‘My joy was to see our books on the pastor’s desk!’
Last month, Dr Solomon Andria retired after many fruitful years coordinating Langham Literature’s work in Francophone Africa.
Originally from Madagascar, Solomon was an integral part of Langham’s publishing work since its inception. This included being the general editor of both the Malagasy (Madagascar language) and French editions of the Africa Bible Commentary (ABC).
He was a New Testament editor of the original ABC. He was also involved in its ‘second edition’ project.
Producing the Malagasy edition of the ABC was no easy task. The translation was desperately needed for local people and pastors in particular. Malagasy is the common language of all 18 tribes on the island and key to their national identity.
Speaking at the launch of the commentary in 2014, Solomon said:
“This book explains simply, and in a Malagasy way of thinking, the word of God. Some comments in the original ABC were difficult to understand, others had no meaning in the context of Madagascan life.
“But these things have been attended to by the local team of translators during the four years it took to complete. This is not just a commentary using Malagasy words, it uses Malagasy meanings!”
Solomon was also heavily involved in ‘LivresHippo’, a significant partnership between Langham and several Francophone publishers. He oversaw the commissioning and publishing of books under the ‘LivresHippo’ tradename.
Its aim is to develop books by African Christian authors who address African realities from an evangelical perspective.
Solomon is an author in his own right. He has written a commentary on Romans, available in French and English as well as a book on theological initiatives in Africa.
Langham Literature’s Director Pieter Kwant said Solomon will be most remembered for his “quite incredible work” on the French and Malagasy editions of the ABC, and his “wonderful” work on LivresHippo and its development.
In his farewell letter, Solomon expressed his gratitude to Pieter Kwant and the Literature team, adding: “My joy was to see our books on the shelves of libraries and bookstores, and on the pastor’s desk! I leave Langham better equipped to serve God, retired.”
He also expressed joy at the appointment of his successor, Langham Scholar Dr. Yacouba Sanon. Yacouba will take over the role on a part-time basis alongside his duties on the staff at Alliance Theological Seminary in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Solomon and his wife Alexandrine are retiring to Madagascar after 40 years living in Abidjan.
Watch Yacouba speaking on one of our ‘Advent with Langham’ Zoom calls last month.