Bibi Bakare Yusuf is ASAUK’s Distinguished Africanist

Bibi Bakare Yusuf
  • Photo by Bibi Bakare Yusuf

Sometime in September, Nigerian academic, writer and editor, Bibi Bakare Yusuf (pictured), won the ASAUK’s Distinguished Africanist 2020 award. This is in recognition of her scholarly and publishing efforts in Africa.

Bibi Bakare Yusuf’s Background

Bibi Bakare Yusuf began her career first as an academic. She obtained a PhD in Interdisciplinary Women and Gender Studies at the Warwick University. Yusuf has been published widely tackling a range of topics such as gender, power and sexuality in African and African diaspora studies.

In addition, she has previously worked as a gender and research consultant for the BBC, Central Bank of Nigeria and European Union. Furthermore, Yusuf is the Co-Founder of Cassava Republic Press, a publishing house based in Abuja, Nigeria and London, UK. This is a venture she started in 2006 together with her partner Jeremy Weate and is currently touted as one of Africa’s leading publishing houses.

Cassava Republic Press is also credited with launching the careers of now accomplished African writers such as Elnathan John, Teju Cole and Sarah Ladipo Manyika. In positive response to her scholarly and publishing contributions, Yusuf has recorded numerous personal achievements and won a couple of awards.

Recognitions and Awards

The publisher and scholar has since been recognised as a Yale World Fellow, Desmond Tutu Fellow, Royal Society of Literature Fellow and a Frankfurt Book Fair Fellow. Yusuf is the chair of the Initiative for Equal Rights described as the largest LGBT Organisation in West Africa.

Her publishing house Cassava Republic Press has been key in commissioning and publishing works by Nigerians in the LGBTQ Community and from communities which have been overlooked. Cassava Republic Press also recently launched an African language imprint in celebration of writing in native African languages.

In 2018, Yusuf won the International Excellence Awards in conjunction with The Publishers Association in London for “Inclusivity in Publishing”. She has equally been recognized as Brittle Paper’s African Literary Person of the Year. In 2020, Yusuf was named The Africa Report’s Top 50 Disruptors. And again in the same year, she won ASAUK’s Distinguished Africanist award which is the focus of this listing.


African Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK) is a scholarly organisation with a membership that includes academics, journalists, civil servants, broadcasters and many others with an interest in Africa. ASAUK is administered by the Royal African Society.


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