“I have always been best friends with books”

LittAfrica 2019: Agnes (right) receives a prize from MAI-Africa Chair Rose Birenge. Photo by Prince Rufaro Makaya.

“Writer, translator, editor and poet, I have always been best friends with books,” Agnes Singine said. But she never imagined a 25-year career in publishing or starting a Christian publishing house.

During a hard time as a jobless young woman, Agnes heard that MacMillan Publishers was hiring from a stranger who pitied her. Agnes lacked even bus fare to get to the interview. But God provided a free ride, and she landed a job in the MacMillan warehouse, where she read every book in stock.

During 13 years at MacMillan, Agnes ultimately worked her way into editorial management. Today she is chief editor at MK Publishers, where she has authored multiple children’s books. In addition, she serves as president for Zambia Women Writers Association and vice chair of the National Arts Council.

We first met Agnes at our training in Zambia earlier this year, and we invited her to attend our continent-wide LittAfrica conference in Ghana in November.

Amazingly, not one independent Christian publishing house exists in Zambia, where Christianity is the official religion and adhered by more than 85 percent of its 16 million people. “The Churches are mushrooming and people are accepting Christ,” Agnes said. “My vision is to start a publishing firm that will squarely accept and publish Christian books.”

Agnes’ dream took further shape at LittAfrica, where she learned business skills, gaining contacts and confidence. Within two weeks of the conference, she registered Bespoke Publishing House as her business name. She plans to begin by publishing children’s books that she translated into her mother tongue, Chinyanja.

“I hope to carry on bringing words to life and fulfilling the Great Commission through writing,” Agnes wrote us.

Your generous support is helping to equip and encourage gifted Christian wordsmiths like Agnes. Thank you!


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