Book café, arts centre opens in Lilongwe


The Story Book Café and Arts Centre has opened in Lilongwe to, among other things, promote African literature.

Shadreck Chikoti, one of the country’s award-winning writers, said the centre situated in Area 47 behind Anne’s Lodge, houses the story club offices and a book shop that focuses on African literature. A crafts shop and coffee and beverages shop serving as a mini eatery for arts lovers and artists are also in place.

The centre were officially launched last month with the visit of Dr Stephanie Bosch Santana, a lecturer at University of California in the United States.

The hub is a huge step forward: Chikoti

“As you know, Malawi has no residency for artists. The hub will also be used as a residency for artists during some months of the year where they can just be by themselves and work on their art. They will be accommodated there, fully funded with food and other necessities, to allow them work on their art for a particular period,” said Chikoti.

He described the hub as a major step forward, not just for writers, but artists in general.

Chikoti said: “It is not just a venue for events, but also a kitchen where they can cook their art. It’s an idea for workshops, events and production of such.”

The office part of the Book Café and Arts Centre has been operational for some time with other activities opening last month.

One of the writers Dumbani Mzale hailed the Book Café and Arts Centre, saying writers need tranquil spaces to brainstorm.

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