The Happy Noisemaker Book Club

For a few years, my mother and I lived in different parts of the world. It was not a matter of choice; my brother needed medical attention Nigeria could not provide and so they moved to London. The youngest was still a toddler and so he went as well. My dad and I remained in Nigeria. For a 7-year-old who was obsessed with her mother, it was difficult for me to understand why she could not take me along. I know it was irrational but at the time I felt unwanted. This was in the late ’90s and early 2000’s so there wasn’t cheap, mass mobile, or internet proliferation so we weren’t constantly in communication. The national postal service wasn’t great either (still mediocre) so she would send gifts and letters to me through friends or people she knew travelling from London to Lagos. I liked the clothes and chocolates and toys but what I absolutely loved, were the books. My mum would send me what seemed like a mountain of books at the time. It was more like 10, or 20 at a go. For a kid who loved books so deeply, it was the ultimate love language. Every time I read any of those books (and I read a lot), I convinced myself my mum was thinking about me, and loved me in a special way.

I loved reading before that and love it even more now, but that is just one of the stories that expresses just how much books mean to me. I have wanted to start a book club for a really long time, but between procrastination and feelings of inadequacy, I have waited till now, but better late than never innit! 

Happy Noisemaker book choices will be predicated on one of two things: 

The author is a woman 

The author is African or black 

Why? Because I say so. But also because some of the amazing literature that has stuck with me for the longest time has been by women, and the more I read the, more I love. I also just love African stories and stories about the black experience. If I’m going to deliberately make recommendations, I want it to be from authors in those two categories. 

We will meet every fortnight (virtually) to discuss the book choice of the month. There will be other recommendations (optional) including articles and blogposts and other books and I’m open to suggestions from readers! Please join me!

If you want to be a part of the happy noisemaker mailing list, sign up here! 

I’m excited for what is to come! 



  • Nicci

    i’m soooo excited for this! congratulations on starting this Jollz.

  • Jola

    I just started getting into African literature and I love it. Still wondering why I stayed away for so long. Looking forward to your recommendations. Congratulations 🎉

  • PeaceX

    It seems interesting already. I'm super hyped about the book club. Well done Jollz, stay jiggy always.

  • Nonye

    I'm so happy for you Jola 💛

  • Mofope

    Really looking forward to the book club and your recommendations! I’m hoping it will help curb my Netflix addiction 😂

  • Tosin

    I’m in a toxic relationship with African literature. I really do love it and I keep buying books, but I hardly read these days. 🤦🏾‍♀️ Excited for this book club! Maybe I’ll finally rekindle my reading habit because Jola said so!

  • Boluwatife

    I'm soooooooooooo excited that this blog has finally launched. I did a little happy dance when I saw that it was live. I love you so so so much Jola & I see so many parts of myself in you to the point that it's insane(we even come from the state!). I can't wait to see the amazing things you'll do through this(as with other things you've done)!!!!

  • Ije

    I am so happy to read that you are starting this book club. Most of the relatively contemporary African literature I bought in the last few months have been because you said something about it either on Twitter or the ISWIS podcast. I am also a little (deeply) lazy and this book club will help me finally start reading something that is not on my PhD reading list. I am so excited for this! Also, congratulations on the website!!!

  • Yvonne

    There are few things I love more than African literature, Jola. Super excited for this.

  • folusho

    I am so excited to read African literature, moving abroad so young it is one thing that always made me feel connected to home. I am ecstatic 🤍

  • Elyon

    Lol I’ve always wanted to be a reader. All my friends would read thick a** books in a few days, and I’d struggle for months with a single book. I tried watt pad, books with and without pictures. The habit didn’t stick. I’m hoping this book club helps my life lol

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