A Farewell to Okadabooks by the Pencilmarks House


Okadabooks sent a wave of shock through the Nigerian literary space on Monday the 20th of November 2023 that they would be shutting down. This impacted the community especially writers who published their first piece with them. Here at Pencilmarks, the news hit us harder because the founder got published for the first time on okadabooks and okadabooks remains a fervent isnspiration to the house.

In true archive spirit, we decided to make this commemorative piece to let the community and Okadabooks know that we will not forget them and their deeds. This is a letter from Atty, Dammy, Precious, Patricia, Jessica, Timileyin, Naomi and Clara from the Pencilmarks Publishing House. We are saying goodbye and we will miss you. This is Okadabooks through our eyes. 


Okada books partnered with GTB to organize Dusty Manuscript Contest to help budding writers make a living off their works. The program was set up to address the major barriers indigenous writers face in sharing their stories with the world. The aim of the initiative was to inspire, develop and nurture the talent of next generation renowned writers in Nigeria.They impacted writers by allowing them tell and sell their stories across the globe also giving them a chance to get their manuscripts published.


They started Quick chat with the author (QCWTA) which was like an online meet and greet that highlighted the achievement of young writers who had published with them. OkadaBooks partnered with Teach For Nigeria (TFN) to distribute original storybooks sponsored by the Dubai Cares initiative to primary school Learners around Ogun State, Nigeria.


OkadaBooks is a self-publishing and bookselling platform based in Nigeria founded by Okechukwu Ofili in 2013. It was selected by Google’s “Google for Start-up Accelerator” in 2017. In 2018, it hosted a writing competition in partnership with Guaranty Trust Bank called “Dusty Manuscript”. OkadaBooks was founded by Okechukwu Ofili in 2013. The name is a combination of okada – a motorcycle taxi typically used to circumvent traffic in Nigeria and other West African countries – and books.The platform was started when the founder was still an author at BellaNaija and YNaija, and was frustrated at the fact that bookshops were not paying him for books already sold. OkadaBooks offers books as mobile phone downloads.



Okadabooks offered 5 distinct service to help users promote their books.

– Place books on front page ( any users coming into the app/website can see it)

– An author custom tab carries the name of the author.

– Created an app/ Push Notification

– Email Newsletter and Book Review

– App banner and that advertises book with banner picture on okadabooks.


Okada books is a self-publishing platform. It was founded in 2013 by okechukwu ofili. They sell books online to the public on behalf of authors and wre in partnership with GTB. The founder had a burning drive to start this organisation and after a long held frustration, it became a success. I am sad to see it go. 


Okada books gave writers a platform to earn and publish their works. Okada books gave writers the chance to publish their works for free. Readers were able to get access to free books on Okada and Okada had a blog where writers could read up on interesting facts, where the average person could also go to for knowledge. They also highlighted writing opportunities for writers.


Okadabooks was a setting stone for what African literature and online publication is today. They were pacesetters and did the important work of giving African writers a platform they deserve. Their work will continue to inspire us



The house has highlighted only some of the great feats Okadabooks achieved in ten years and I personally am grateful to them because they started my writing journey with me and opened the path for digital publishing. Without them, I highly doubt that I would have started Pencilmarks as early or as seamlessly as I did. I am eternally grateful and will miss them but I am comforted by the good they have done in the community. We promise to carry on for them, in their honour.

Signed for the house with a heavy heart but hope for the future,

Clara Jack,

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Pencilmarks and Scribbles. 

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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.