July, 2022

An inclusive Book Supply Chain in Nigeria

BlueTree Group’s presence in Nigeria is through the Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria Education (PLANE) is a 7-year program funded by FCDO, which intends to enable a more inclusive and effective basic education system in Nigeria. PLANE has commissioned BlueTree Group to map out the status of the Book Supply Chain (BSC) in Nigeria, by identifying its strengths and weaknesses in each phase, and provide recommendations to build a durable and innovative supply chain in Nigeria. These recommendations will be compiled in a Book Supply Chain Analysis (BSCA).

In this series we shall discuss all the phases of the book supply chain in Nigeria, guided by the experiences of Tonye Faloughi-Ekezie. While conducting the analysis and research in Nigeria we met Tonye, an inspiring and enthusiastic author and one of the first authors to write books featuring an African main character with Down syndrome. She shared with us her experiences within the book production industry in Nigeria.

The first author of inclusive children’s books in Nigeria

The phases in the book supply chain include title development, publishing, printing, sales and distribution, and the end-users. In this introduction blog, Tonye is introduced, explaining how she became one of the first authors of inclusive children’s books in Nigeria.

Tonye is the author of the first picture books to feature a black main character with Down syndrome worldwide, and one of the few to feature an African family as a regular family. She is also the author of the first ever baby board book produced in Nigeria.

Ugo and Sim Sim Fruits and Vegetables

Her inspiration

Tonye was inspired by her two children, her son Ugo, and her younger daughter named Simone. At four months old Simone had a brief medical scare and two weeks later she was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Ugo began asking questions because he thought his sister was getting a different treatment, as a lot of people were coming to their house ‘playing’ with her. “How hard is it to explain to a four year old that these people are not playing with Simone but these people were providing early intervention to help with developmental delays that occur due to Down syndrome,” remarked Tonye As children are very visual she started looking for books that could better explain Down syndrome to a child. She found several interesting and wonderful books, but none of them featured an African family. Why not write her own Down Syndrome story? she thought and began closely observing her children and taking notes and soon a story emerged from where Tonye decided to share these with the community in the form of books. However, writing, illustrating, publishing, printing and marketing these books has not been easy.

Each phase of the book supply chain came with its own challenges and hurdles. In the coming blogs we shall discuss the phases of the supply chain in Nigeria, guided by Tonye’s experiences. In the next blog we will discuss title development in Nigeria.

You can read about Tonye’s inspiring adventure by clicking on the link below: Blog (simones-oasis.com)


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