Maaza Mengiste and Zukiswa Wanner are the co-curators of Season 2 of the Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival starting April 20-27, 2020.
Afrolit Sans Frontiers Virtual Literary Festival, a new initiative from writers of African origin, was started as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown in March. With curation by novelist and publisher Zukiswa Wanner, 16 writers from 10 African countries shared their work from 15 different cities in English, French, Lingala, and Portuguese to a virtual audience over eight days.
The writers featured during the first edition were Richard Ali Mutu in Kinshasa, DR Congo, Leye Adenle in London, UK, Rémy Ngamije in Windhoek, Namibia, Hawa Jande Golakai in Monrovia, Liberia, Maaza Mengiste in Zurich, Switzerland, Mukoma Wa Ngugi in Ithaca, New York, USA, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele in Johannesburg, South Africa, Yara Monteiro in Alentejo, Portugal, Bisi Adjapon in Accra, Ghana, Mohale Mashigo in Johannesburg, South Africa, Shadreck Chikoti in Lilongwe, Malawi, Chiké Frankie Edozien in Accra, Ghana, Kalaf Epalanga in Berlin, Germany, Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda from Lusaka, Zambia, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim in Abuja, Nigeria, and Zukiswa Wanner in Nairobi, Kenya.
With the success of the first edition and calls for more writers from the fans, the Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival shall be running monthly until the lockdown ends. Like in the previous edition, a writer will read their work on the official festival Instagram account and then engage with the audience for half an hour. Where technical issues arise, writers will record their readings beforehand, share them online and avail themselves for interaction.
Co-curating this edition of the festival with Zukiswa Wanner, which runs from April 20 – 27, is novelist and essayist Maaza Mengiste. Mengiste is the author of the novels, Beneath The Lion’s Gaze, selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books; and The Shadow King, one of New York Times’ Notable Books of 2019 and TIME’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2019. Her work can also be found in The New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Granta, the Guardian, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and BBC, among other places.
The list of writers to take part in this new edition of Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival shall be revealed in the next 48 hours.