Lingala was the featured language at the Afrolit Sans Frontières African Languages Edition on October 28, 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 now 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 for two days already has had two days focused on Kiswahili and Ewe. On Day Three, the language focus was Lingala a Bantu language spoken in DR Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Angola, the Central African Republic, and Southwest & Southcentral Republic of South Sudan. The host for the day was Eric Ntumba.
The first feature writer of novels and poetry was Brussel-based Stéphanie Boale. She is the founder of BUKU, a cultural space that promotes literacy among young people. For the next hour, we heard her motivations for writing in Language which was about what flowed from her easier. What the whole discussion in the video which is principally in Lingala.
The evening session of Lingala Day was time for Kinshasa-based Richard Ali A Mutu whose first novel, Tabu s Nightmares (2011), written in French. His novel Mr. Fix It: Troublesome Kinshasa was published in Lingala (2014), and has since been translated into French. He was selected as one of the only writers working in indigenous languages for the Africa 39 anthology, which showcased the continent’s most talented writers under forty, including Ondjaki and Zukiswa Wanner. The session featuring Richard Ali can be watched in full below; please note that the session is run primarily in Lingala.
The program for the fourth day, today, Hausa Day hosted by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is as follows;
12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: Rahma Sherif Abdul Majid
18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT: Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino