Max Lobé

Max Lobé wrapped up day three of Season 3 of Afrolit Sans Frontières from Geneva, Switzerland on May 27, 2020. He was hosted by Zukiswa Wanner.

Afrolit Sans Frontières, a virtual literary festival for writers of African origin, started as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown in March. It has had two iterations with Season 1 curated by festival founder Zukiswa Wanner in March and Season 2 co-curated with Maaza Mengiste and the founder in April. Season 3, with curation by Mohale Mashigo and Zukiswa Wanner, features 16 writers from 13 countries streaming from 15 cities in English, French, and Portuguese. All sessions run on the official Afrolit San Frontières Instagram page from May 25 to June 1.

The festival which started on Africa Day, May 25, has so far featured Dilman Dila in Kampala, Uganda, Tochi Onyebuchi in New York, USA, Vamba Sherif in Amsterdam, Holland, and Ayesha Harruna Attah in Dakar, Senegal.

The Wednesday started with Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse streaming from Bordeaux, France before Max Lobé took over from Geneva, Switzerland for the day’s last event. Lobé is the author of the novel 39 Rue de Berne, which portrays the lives of undocumented immigrants in the red-light district of Geneva which 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.

The Cameroonian started by reading from his book Loin De Douala (Long Way From Douala) in French before inviting his host Zukiswa Wanner. They held a minute of silence for the African American George Floyd who was brutally murdered by the police in Minneapolis. What followed after this from the whip-wielding Cameroonian, to deal with the rowdy commenters in the live, led by his South African host was one of the best we had experienced in the festival so far. The two spoke about sex, work, politics, and everything else that affected the work and the lives of the writer and his non-writerly life. Lobe spoke about nurturing the next generation of African writers and advised those who asked about how to go about the publishing and writing business.

You can watch the two sessions that were conducted below.