Amharic was the featured language at the Afrolit Sans Frontières African Languages Edition on Saturday, October 31, 2020.
Afrolit Sans Frontières, a virtual literary festival for writers of African origin, was founded by author and publisher Zukiswa Wanner as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdowns. There have been five editions running since it begun; Season 1 from March 23-30, Season 2 from April 20-27, Season 3 from May 25 – June 1, Season 4 from June 29-July 6, and Season 5 from July 27 to August 3.
A special season of the festival dubbed the “African Languages Edition,” curated by founder Zukiswa Wanner and Mukoma Wa Ngugi with support from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia Johannesburg is here. The format is two sessions a day with an artist moderated by a host who also fields questions from audience members simultaneously on the Afrolit Sans Frontières Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages.
The festival which has been running since October 26 has already featured the languages of Kiswahili, Ewe, Lingala, Hausa, and Zulu. On Day Six, the language focus was Amharic, a language spoken in Ethiopia, and the host for the day was Hallelujah Lulie.
The first panel featured Yezina Worku Desta, a graduate at A.A. University with a Master of Arts Degree in Ethiopian Literature and Folklore as well as a BA Degree in management. The manager at the Ethiopian writers Association has written children’s books, novels, Ethiopian tax history, short stories, poems, and the life of people who live with Leprosy. The first female modern short story writer to write in Amharic in Ethiopia has served at the Ziema Bier Ethiopian Women Writers Association at president level and as chairman of the Ethiopian Writers Association general assembly. Watch her panel in the video below; please note that the whole video is in Amharic.
The evening panel featured Girma T. Fantaye, an Ethiopian writer and former print journalist. He has published collections of poetry and novel in his Native language Amharic. His short story Of the poet and The Cafe is published in the Addis Ababa Noir anthology. His new novel Yenigat wof Zema (loosely translated as The Rythmes of an Early Bird) will be out this year. Watch his panel in the video below; please note that the whole video is in Amharic.
The program for the seventh day, today, Yoruba Day hosted by Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún is as follows;
12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: Bámijí Òjó
18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT: Prof Arinpe Adejumo