Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda Hosts Iquo DianaAbasi

Iquo DianaAbasi at Afrolit Sans Frontières Season 4.

Iquo DianaAbasi ended day 4 at Afrolit Sans Frontières Season 4 from Lagos, Nigeria on July 3, 2020. She was hosted by Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda.

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. The festival format is two sessions a day on Instagram Live with an artist moderated by a host who also fields questions from audience members. There have been three editions so far; Season 1 from March 23-30, Season 2 from April 20-27, and Season 3 from May 25 – June 1.

Season 4, which started on June 29, has so far seen Ngwatilo Mawiyoo in Nairobi, Kenya, Hannibal Tabu in Los Angeles, USA, Lamelle Shaw in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún in Lagos, Nigeria, Irenosen Okojie in London, UK, and Koleka Putuma in Cape Town, South Africa.

The end of the week at Afrolit Sans Frontières dubbed “Girl Friday” started with Natalia Molebatsi in Johannesburg, South Africa, and ended with Iquo DianaAbasi in Lagos, Nigeria.  Iquo DianaAbasi, who writes prose, poetry, and scripts for radio and screen, had her debut short story collection Efo Riro and Other Stories released in January 2020. Her first collection of poems, Symphony of Becoming, was shortlisted for the NLNG Nigeria prize for literature, and the ANA poetry prize; both in 2013. It was also shortlisted for the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature.  Her writings have also appeared in Kalahari Review, Saraba Magazine, ANA Review, AfricaInWords, and Olisa.tv. She has also been featured in several print and online poetry anthologies.

Iquo has performed at the Lagos International Poetry Festival, Ake Arts and Book Festival, The Big60 Cultural Exchange, Wole Soyinka @80, Lagos Black Heritage Festival, The Macmillan Literary night, PLAY Poetry Festival, Word slam, The Lagos Poetry Festival, and more.

The session wasn’t one of the best with unreliable Internet connections leading to a disjointed experience for those following online. In spite of this, an ebullient Iquo DianaAbasi read from her collection Efo Riro and Other Stories as well as giving one of her popular performances. Iquo spoke about how she decided how her stories came in be they poems, short stories or any other form. She also spoke about her book coming out in a year when Covid-19 happened making it difficult to use the traditional forms of promoting a book. The session was well managed by its host Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda.

You can watch the two ladies wrap up Girls Friday in the below video.

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