We are the children of West African griots who manifested histories from thin air in the courts of the supreme lords of Ghana and Mali and Songhai. Our uncles are the madmen who followed the Bantu from their river homeland to the south and carried with them the stories that sustained the life of the community and affirmed that all Africans are variations of one. Our fathers roused the Zulu to war, marched with the armies of Ras Mikael, then instructed the Ndebele and the Dogon on fine arts and aesthetics. And it was us, poets, who held up the walls of Imperial Benin and Great Zimbabwe for the many centuries they held. We built the tomb of Askia Mohammed and the mausoleums of the Sultans of Darfur.

Tee Jay Dan

And today, we follow the girl in the street and chart her story of ugali and chips funga in Nairobi; we make great the young Malawian boy who creates a pedestal out of thin air as have the griots before him and says to his country, “Listen!”; we have watched the Rwandan woman roasting coffee by Lake Kivu and the Kenyan peasant cultivating tea leaves with pride and love; and we have been in the aftermath of carnage, in countries and cities, when our people have been at their worst and lowest and there we have said, “This is true but this is not all there is!”

We are Taban lo Liyongo, Clifton Gachagua, Nana Asmau and Dike Chukwumerije. We are Bassey Ikpi and Anne Moraa, and Christopher Okigbo and Hassan Hail. We are all that has come before, curators of what is, presagers of where the African country will go. A multitude of poetries is what we are about.

Konya Shamsrumi was founded by poetry aficionados who are poets in their own right. Tired of the limited spaces for publishing poetry side by side the numerous great voices that abound across the continent, we decided to found the KSR Collective and set up the Konya Shamsrumi Press.

In our first year, we intend to publish two full collections and three chapbooks. Order the full box set HERE.



Konya Shamsrumi is the capital of poetry. Named in honour of legendary Persian poet, Jalaludeen Rumi, we are an innovative new traditional publisher of the best poetry from across Africa. We comprise a team of diverse professionals banded together for one purpose—producing great poetry collections and chapbooks.

ALS Poetry Slam in Abuja.

We are interested in exceptional verse from African poets which capture the African reality in all its nuance and detail. We want full collections, chapbooks and bloggers too–anyone who wishes to share their work. We have great faith in the very best of the emerging crop of African writers, children of the digital revolution and heirs to socio-political upheavals. Konya Shamsrumi is your platform.

The KSR Collective is a project of the Parresia Foundation for Arts and Culture. Konya Shamsrumi is affiliated to Parresia Publishers Limited, one of Nigeria’s biggest independent publishing houses, and operate from offices in Lagos


KSR Collective

At the core of Konya Shamsrumi is the KSR Collective. Inaugural members are five Nigerian poets. More members will be added each year so we hold all of Africa’s verse in a pot from which a spoonful can heal, give strength, cast spells on tyranny, cause roses to bloom, secure a lover’s heart and more.

Umar Abubakar Sidi

Umar Abubakar Sidi

UMAR ABUBAKAR SIDI hails from Sokoto, Nigeria. He attended the Nigerian Military School, Zaria and the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. He is presently a helicopter pilot in the Nigerian military. His poems have been widely published including a chapbook in Saraba Magazine, and other poems in Brittle Paper, the Enkare Review and others.

Abubakar Sidi will be publishing his debut collection of poems with Konya Shamsrumi.

Richard Ali

Richard Ali

RICHARD ALI has been writing poetry since 2008. He is a Nigerian lawyer and novelist who was a runner-up for the 2008 John la Rose Short Story Competition. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly Sentinel Nigeria Magazine  and the ANA Review. His 2012 novel, City of Memories, was recently reissued by Parresia Books. His poems have been published widely.

Richard will be publishing his debut collection of poems with Konya Shamsrumi.

Kechi Nomu

Kechi Nomu

KECHI NOMU’s poems have appeared in Saraba Magazine, the ANA Review, Expound Magazine, Sentinel Nigeria, Brittle Paper and Visual Verse. Her short stories have been workshopped at the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop and the Caine Prize Short Story Surgery. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared online and in print. She also writes film and theatre reviews. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize.

Kechi will be publishing her first chapbook with Konya Shamsrumi.

Rasaq Malik Gbolahan

Rasaq Malik Gbolahan

Rasaq was born in Iseyin in south-western Nigeria. His poems have been widely anthologized and he is also a noted performance poet. A graduate of the University of Ibadan, Gbolahan is a cultural enthusiast and his work is strongly influenced by Yoruba cosmology. He was shortlisted for the 2017 Brunel African Poetry Prize.

Gbolahan will be publishing her first chapbook with Konya Shamsrumi.

Funmi Gaji

Funmi Gaji

FUNMI GAJI was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She has a Master’s degree in Literature-in-English from the University of Ibadan where she is currently a doctoral student.  She is an editor, a proof-reader and a freelance writer and has taught Literature-in-English at the secondary and tertiary levels. She is curious about astrology, old Hollywood, history and pop culture. She draws her inspiration from mythology, pop culture and politics.

Funmi will be publishing her first chapbook with Konya Shamsrumi.

Andrea Grieder

Andrea Grieder

Andrea Grieder is a Swiss poet with a Ph.D. in anthropology. She is also the founder and director of Transpo­esis. Based in Kigali, Transpoesis aims at creating space of poetic creativity, especially with work­shops and performanc­es, audio and video production of poems. Transpoesis strives at transforming peo­ple’s life through poetry. With her team, she runs Kigali Vibrates With Poetry, a 3-monthly poetry competition whose winners are rewarded with the Nyiraruma­ga Award, in reference to Nyirarumaga, the mother of poetry in Rwanda. Her book Memories of a Thousa­nd Hills was published by Glo­bethics (2016). With a passion for travel­ling, she is conduct­ing workshops in Ind­ia, Switzerland and that places where po­etry calls her.

She is a Technical Consultant to the KSRCollective.


The #KSR Collective

The KSR Collective believes that Nigerians and Africans read and enjoy poetry and are willing to pay a fair price for quality poems. This is why the five of us teamed up to start the Konya Shamsrumi Press.  Our aim to secure 2000 pre-orders of our box set before the mass market release in December 2017.

Richard Ali, Kechi Nomu, Umar Sidi, Funmi Gaji and Rasaq Malik Gbolahan would like to make a special offer on all pre-orders. You can receive two collections (Richard, Sidi) and three chapbooks (Kechi, Funmi, Rasaq) for #3,500 delivered to your address by filling out the form below. All major credit and debit cards are accepted.

Thank you very much for supporting Konya Shamsrumi and the KSR Collective.

Kechi Nomu
Editor, Konya Shamsrumi

Minimum payable amount NGN 3,500
* are compulsory


Heart of Poetry: Abubakar Othman’s Wordsworth Lied

Spoken in the voice of the poet, Wordsworth Lied is an ambitious poem that also assumes too much, not only as it attempts to give a new definition of poetry and what it entails, but as it introduces the reader into a commonplace definition of poetry given by William Wordsworth.