Here are the writers who will feature at Season 3 of Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival from May 25 – June 1, 2020. The festival theme is Future. Present. Past.
Afrolit Sans Frontiers Virtual Literary Festival, a new initiative for writers of African origin, was started as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown in March. There have been two iterations for the festival talking part at the tail end of March and April curated by festival founder Zukiswa Wanner with co-curation by Maaza Mengiste for the second season.
The third season kicks off on May 25, Africa Day, and wraps up on June 1, with curation by Mohale Mashigo and Zukiswa Wanner, feature some of the leading names in African writing. There will be 16 writers from 13 countries streaming from 15 cities in English, French, and Portuguese over the eight days of the festival. The writers are Jose Eduardo Agualusa, Leila Aboulela, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Molara Wood, Max Lobe, Mubanga Kalimamukwento, Chimeka Garricks, Dilman Dila, Angela Makholwa, Vamba Sherif, Tanella Boni, Ayesha Harruna Attah, Masande Ntshanga, Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Virgília Leonilde Tembo Ferrão.
Here are the bios of the writers who were revealed exclusively on Lorraine Sithole’s Instagram by festival founder Zukiswa Wanner.
Molara Wood, a writer and journalist, has written widely on the arts for nearly two decades. Author of Indigo, a collection of short stories. She won the inaugural John La Rose Short Story Competition and also received a Commonwealth Broadcasting Association award for her fiction. She is a former arts columnist for the Nigerian Guardian and also worked as Arts & Culture editor of NEXT, the newspaper founded by Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olojede. Wood has served on the panel of judges for the Etisalat Prize for Literature; and more recently, the Quramo Writers Prize. She lives in Lagos, where she works as Chief Editor for Ouida Books and the One Read Africa initiative.
Molara Wood will be streaming from Lagos, Nigeria.
Max Lobe was born in Douala, Cameroon. At eighteen he moved to Switzerland, where he earned a BA in communications and journalism, as well as a master’s degree in public administration and politics. His first novel 39 Rue de Berne, which portrays the lives of undocumented immigrants in the red-light district of Geneva, received the Prix du Roman des Romans 2014. His book Confidences on the war of independence in Cameroon received the Kourouma Prize for African literature 2017.
Max Lobe will be streaming from Geneva, Switzerland.
Leila Aboulela who was born in Cairo, grew up in Khartoum and now lives in Scotland is a Sudanese author and the first winner of the Caine Prize. Her latest books include the novel Bird Summons and the short story collection Elsewhere, Home, winner of the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year. Leila’s work has received critical recognition and a high profile for its distinctive exploration of migration and Islamic spirituality.
Her previous novels are The Kindness of Enemies, The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the year, Minaret and Lyrics Alley, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. Leila’s work has been translated into fifteen languages and she was long-listed three times for the Orange Prize.
Leila is Honorary President of SSSUK-the Society for the Studies of the Sudans UK and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Leila Aboulela will be streaming from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Mubanga Kalimamukwento is the award-winning author of, The Mourning Bird (Jacana Media) which won the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award 2019. Her short stories have appeared in journals around the world and in 2019, she won the Kalemba Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize. Mubanga is a lawyer, whose human rights advocacy earned her a Fulbright Fellowship at the Humphrey school of public affairs in 2018. She’s also an alum of the Young African Leaders Initiative (2017) and a current MFA (Creative Writing) candidate at Hamline University.
Mubanga Kalimamukwento will be streaming from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Ayesha Harruna Attah
Ayesha Harruna Attah is a Ghanaian-born writer living in Senegal. She was educated at Mount Holyoke College, Columbia University, and New York University. She is the author of the Commonwealth Writers Prize-nominated Harmattan Rain, Saturdays Shadows, and The Hundred Wells of Salaga, currently translated into four languages. The Deep Blue Between, forthcoming October 2020, is her first book for teen readers.
Ayesha Harruna Attah will be streaming from Dakar, Senegal.
Tsitsi Dangarembga’s debut novel Nervous Condition (1988) was hailed by Doris Lessing as one of the most important novels of the twentieth century and was included in the BBC’s 2018 list of the 100 books that shaped the world. The Book of Not (2006) and This Mournable Body (2018) complete the Tambudzai Trilogy.
Dangarembga founded the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) in 2009, and its publishing division in 2014. She is writing Sai-Sai and the Great Ancestor of Fire, a dystopic speculative young adult fiction. Her plays were performed at the University of Zimbabwe. Her short musical Kare Kare Zvako (Mother’s Day, 2005) was screened at Sundance. She runs capacity building programmes for African women filmmakers, in addition to fundraising for her productions. Her films and prose have received many awards.
Tsitsi Dangarembga will be streaming from Harare, Zimbabwe.
Virgília Leonilde Tembo Ferrão
Virgília Leonilde Tembo Ferrão’s started her literary career with the launch of O Romeu é Xingondo e a Julieta Machangane published by UEM University Press in 2005. In September 2008, she graduated in Law at the Higher Institute of Science and Technology of Mozambique. In 2011, she left for Melbourne, Australia, to do her Masters in Environment. Her second work, O Inspector de Xindzimila was published by Brazilian publisher Selo Jovem in 2016. Currently, she works for Total E&P Mozambique Area 1, as a legal consultant and is the administrator of the blog “diário de uma qawwi”. She was awarded the November 10 Prémio Literário for her third novel Corais e Rosas in 2019.
Virgília Leonilde Tembo Ferrão will be streaming from Maputo, Mozambique.
Chimeka Garricks is a lawyer, editor, and ghost copywriter. His fiction includes the acclaimed novel, Tomorrow Died Yesterday and a forthcoming collection of short stories, A Broken People’s Playlist, which he wrote with the aid of music while trying to avoid working on another novel. He would rather choose soundtracks for movies or be a DJ, but life is not fair. He lives in Lagos with his wife, three children, and dog (who suffers from an entitlement complex).
Chimeka Garricks will be streaming from Lagos, Nigeria.
From an early age, Angela Makholwa harboured dreams of becoming a storyteller. Her love for the written word saw her first short story being published at the age of 13 in the popular youth publication; Upbeat Magazine. From that moment, the bug had bitten. Angela went onto graduate as a Journalism major at Rhodes University and practiced as a journalist for several years before starting her own PR and events management company; Britespark Communications in 2002.
Her debut novel, Red Ink is a crime thriller set in Johannesburg which was published to both public and critical acclaim in 2007. This was followed by The 30th Candle, a book that revolves around four university friends who navigate their way to their 30th birthdays with humorous and sometimes unexpected results. The Black Widow Society (2013) follows the cloak and dagger workings of a secret society of middle class women who plot to eliminate their errant husbands through devious and underhanded means, giving fresh meaning to the words “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.
Angela’s most recent novel, The Blessed Girl is a satirical novel told from the perspective of a young woman who engages in transactional relationships with married men in order to access the opulent lifestyle she believes she deserves. It was recently longlisted for the UK’s Comedy Women in Print Prize.
Angela has gained critical and popular acclaim for her contribution to African literature and has been nominated for several literary awards. The crime and women’s fiction writer has been invited to speak at a number of local and international literary events and is committed to the advancement of literature on the African continent. She works with a number of South African writers to encourage the love of reading amongst township and rural youth through various initiatives, including Read SA, a non-profit organisation.
Angela Makholwa will be streaming from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Vamba Sherif was born in Liberia and spent part of his youth in Kuwait. During The First Gulf War he fled to Jordan, then Syria, before settling in the Netherlands. Sherif read Law and is an ambassador for the Dutch Refugees Council. He’s many written novels including, Land of my fathers, The Kingdom of Sebah, Bound to Secrecy and The Witness. He’s just completed the English version of his novel The Emperor’s Heir, which is about the rise and fall of one of the greatest empires in Africa in the 19th century. He’s co-editor of the anthology Black: Afro-European literature in the Netherlands and Belgium. In his novels, he explores the themes of identity, exile, war, love, and belonging. The impacts of history and of migration on the individual are featured in his work. His novels have been published in many languages, including English, Dutch, French, Spanish, German and Malayalam.
Vamba Sherif will be streaming from Amsterdam, Holland.
Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse
Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse was born in Butare, Rwanda in 1979. Her life was dramatically changed by the Tutsi genocide in 1994. She fled to France as a teenager, armed with the most precious luggage possible: her passion for literature. After studying political science at Sciences-Po Lille and international cooperation at La Sorbonne, she started working in NGOs, travelling from continent to continent (Cameroun, Senegal, Vietnam, Peru, Canada…). She now lives in the city of Bordeaux and work as a suicide prevention programme manager. Her notebooks and her love of English language literatures naturally led her to write short stories.
Her books include the short story collections Ejo (2015) which won the Francois Augiéras Book Prize 2016 and the Ailleurs Book Prize 2017 as well Lezardes (2017) which won the Estuaire Book Prize 2017 and the La Boétie Book Prize 2019. She has also written the novel Apres Le Progres (2019) and the poetry collection Tout Tes Enfants Disperses (2019).
Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse will be streaming from Bordeaux, France.
Masande Ntshanga is the author of the novels, The Reactive and Triangulum. He is the winner of a Betty Trask Award and the inaugural PEN International New Voices Award. His work has appeared in The White Review, Chimurenga, The Los Angeles Review of Books and n + 1.
Masande Ntshanga will be streaming from Cape Town, South Africa.
Dilman Dila is a writer, filmmaker, all round storyteller, and author of a critically acclaimed collection of short stories, A Killing in the Sun. He has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2013) and for the Nommo Awards for Best Novella (2017), and long listed for the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition (2014), among many accolades. His short fiction has featured in several anthologies, including African Monsters, Myriad Lands, AfroSF v2, and the Apex Book of World SF 4.
His digital art has been on exhibition in USA and in Uganda, and his films include the masterpiece What Happened in Room 13 (2007), and The Felistas Fable (2013), which was nominated for Best First Feature by a Director at the AMAA (2014) and winner of four major awards at Uganda Film Festival (2014). You can watch some of his most popular short films on www.youtube.com/dilstories and you can find more on his life and works on his website dilmandila.com
Dilman Dila will be streaming from Kampala, Uganda.
José Eduardo Agualusa
José Eduardo Agualusa was born at an altitude of two thousand meters, under the most beautiful sky in the world, in the city of Huambo, in the heart of Angola. He has lived in Luanda, Lisbon, Olinda, Rio de Janeiro and Berlin. In recent years he has spent more time on Ilha de Moçambique (Mozambique Island), in northern Mozambique, where he writes, swims, and raises a daughter named Kianda. He has two other children, Vera Regina and Carlos Manuel.
Agualusa who writes in Portuguese has fifteen novels that have been published in more than thirty countries. One of these, A General Theory of Oblivion, won the International Dublin Literary Award 2017 and was a finalist for the International Man Booker Prize. With a previous novel, O Vendedor de Passados, he won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.’
José Eduardo Agualusa will be streaming from Lisbon, Portugal.
Tanella Boni is Professor of Philosophy (University of Cocody-Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire), as well as a poet, novelist and essayist. She has published around twenty works including Labyrinthe: Poèmes (1984), Une Vie de Crabe (1990), De L’autre Côté Du Soleil (1991), Les Baigneurs Du Lac Rose (1995), Matins De Couvre Feu (2005), Les Negres N’Iront Jamais Au Paradis (2006), La Ou Il Fait Si Clair En Moi (2017), Habiter Selon Tanella Boni (2018), Wangari Maathai, Celle Qui Guérit La Terre (2018), and Miriam Makeba, Une Voix Pour La Liberté (2018),
She was a programme director at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris from 1992 to 1998, and was also Director of Francophonie for the Ivorian Ministry of Culture from 2000 to 2002. Dr Boni has been a member of the International Network of Women Philosophers since 2007, and a member of the Management Committee for the FISP (International Federation of Philosophical Societies) since August 2008.
Dr Boni’s centres of interest are women’s issues and gender, human rights, arts and cultures, the relationship between ethics and politics, and the place of Africa in globalisation.
Tanella Boni will be streaming from Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of the young adult novel Beasts Made of Night, which won the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African, its sequel, Crown of Thunder, and War Girls. He holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.F.A. in screenwriting from the Tisch School of the Arts, a Master’s degree in droit économique from Sciences Po, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. His adult fiction debut, Riot Baby, was published by Tor.com in January 2020.
Tochi Onyebuchi will be streaming from New York, USA.