The Afrolit Sans Frontieres virtual literary festival, an initiative of writers of African origin, kicks off on the Internet from March 23 – 30, 2020. Here are the writers who will feature in this festival.
Yesterday we informed you of an exciting new project where African writers will be interacting with bibliophiles from wherever they are hunkering down from the Coronavirus pandemic around the world. Over 16 writers from 10 African countries sharing their work from 15 different cities in English, French, and Portuguese. Today we give you in-depth information about these writers who will be taking part in this thrilling new festival starting today.
Monday, March 23 – Richard Ali Mutu and Leye Adenle (sex and the city).
Richard Ali Mutu
Richard Ali A Mutu, better known as ” The Real Richard Ali”, is a Congolese writer living in Kinshasa who writes in French and in Lingala. His novel, Ebamba Kinshasa Makambo, written in Lingala, one of the most widely spoken languages in Congo and Central Africa, has been translated into French with the same title and into English and published by Phoneme media, under the title Mr Fix It.
He was selected as one of the 39 sub-Saharan writers aged under 40 from the Africa39 Anthology. Richard is winner of other literary prizes including the Mark Twain Prize in 2009. He is the founder of the Association of Young Writers of Congo (AJECO) and currently works as Head of the Wallonia-Brussels Library in Kinshasa.
Among his publications are Le Cauchemardesque de Tabu, recueil des nouvelles, éd. Mabiki – éd. Medispaul, Kinshasa, 2011-2014; – Ebamba, Kinshasa-Makambo, lisolo (roman), éd. Mabiki, Wavre, 2014 – Okozonga Maboko pamba, masolo yab mikuse (nouvelles), Mabiki, Wavre, 2017 – Et les portes sont de bouches, roman, à paraître. Catch him virtually in Lingala and French on Facebook Live at 12GMT.
You can check out Richard’s sessions here.
Leye Adenle is a London-based Nigerian author and the winner of the first ever Prix Marianne for his debut novel Easy Motion Tourist (2016) in 2016. The second novel in the Amaka series, When Trouble Sleeps was published in 2018 and shortlisted for the 2019 CrimeFest edunnit award.
His short story, The Assassination, from the anthology, Sunshine Noir, was a finalist for the 2017 CWA Short Story Dagger award. He has written several short stories under his own name, and over a hundred satirical pieces under various pseudonyms. Leye comes from a family of writers, the most famous of whom was his grandfather, Oba Adeleye Adenle I, a former king of Oshogbo in South West Nigeria. Leye’s latest novel, The Beautiful Side of the Moon, was published by Hoatzin in 2019.
He will interact in English on the official festival Instagram page @AfrolitSansFrontieres at 18GMT.
Tuesday, March 24 – Rémy Ngamije & Hawa Jande Golakai (Black Shags in Fair Cape)
Rémy Ngamije is a Rwandan-born Namibian story writer, essayist, columnist, poet, photographer, and the author of The Eternal Audience Of One (Blackbird Books, 2019). He also writes for brainwavez.org, a writing collective based in South Africa. He is the editor-in-chief of Namibia’s first literary magazine: Doek!
His short stories have appeared in Litro Magazine, AFREADA, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Amistad, The Kalahari Review, American Chordata, Doek!, Azure, Sultan’s Seal, and Columbia Journal.
He has been longlisted for the Afritondo Short Story Prize 2020 and shortlisted for Best Original Fiction by Stack Magazines in 2019. More of his writing can be read on his website: remythequill.com
Link up with him in English on the official festival page @AfrolitSansFrontieres on Tuesday at 12GMT.
Hawa Jande Golakai
Hawa Jande Golakai is a former, current and futuristic refugee who hails from Liberia. She has too many jobs and is exhausted. She writes crime, speculative fiction and is in an unhealthy relationship with all twisted tales. She is also a medical immunologist, creative consultant and educator.
She is a laureate of the Africa39 list of most promising writers, winner of the Brittle Paper Award 2017 for nonfiction, longlisted for the NOMMO Award for speculative fiction 2019 and nominated three times for her crime novels.
She is a 2019-20 winner of the Miles Morland Scholarship for her upcoming science fantasy novel Spectral. Hawa’s work has been published in numerous places, including Granta, BBC and Omenana. Currently, she lives in Monrovia with her son and too many chickens. Hawa will be with you in English via her Facebook H. Jande Golakai at 18hr GMT .
Wednesday, March 25 – Maaza Mengiste & Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Love and Revolution)
Maaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist. She 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 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. She will interact in English from the official festival Insta page @AfrolitSansFrontieres at 12GMT on Wednesday.
Mukoma Wa Ngugi
Mukoma Wa Ngugi is an Associate Professor of English at Cornell University and the author of The Rise of the African Novel: Politics of Language, Identity and Ownership, the novels Mrs. Shaw (recently republished by Paivapo Publishers as We, The Scarred), Black Star Nairobi, Nairobi Heat, and two books of poetry, Logotherapy and Hurling Words at Consciousness. A new novel, We Sing the Tizita to Unbury Our Dead is forthcoming. Some of his works have been translated into German, Turkish and French.
He is the co-founder of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature and co-director of the Global South Project – Cornell. He will be with you in English and music at 18GMT on the official festival Insta page @AfrolitSansFrontieres.
Thursday, March 26 – Nozizwe Cynthia Jele & Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Grave and Deadly)
Nozizwe Cynthia Jele
Nozizwe Cynthia Jele is a South African novelist. Her debut novel, Happiness is a Four-Letter Word (Kwela Books, 2010), has won numerous awards including the Best First Book category (Africa region) in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011 and 2011 M-Net Literary Award in the Film category. The book was adapted into film and released at the box office countrywide in February 2016.
The Ones with Purpose is Nozizwe’s second novel. It was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize 2019 and University of Johannesburg for South African Writing in English 2019. It is currently longlisted for The International Dublin Literary Award 2020.
Nozizwe also writes shorts stories and contributes to magazines, newspapers and other literature platforms. She supports various initiatives to promote literacy including The Fundza Literacy Trust, which promotes reading and writing amongst young people, and is an editorial board member of the People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) Women’s Writing Project. She will be with you in English, taal and some isiZulu at 12GMT on the IG page @AfrolitSansFrontieres.
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is a Nigerian creative writer and journalist. His debut short-story collection The Whispering Trees was longlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014, with the title story shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. Ibrahim has won the BBC African Performance Prize and the ANA Plateau/Amatu Braide Prize for Prose. He is a Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellow (2013), a Civitella Ranieri Fellow (2015).
In 2014, he was selected for the Africa39 list of writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define future trends in African literature, and was included in the anthology Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara (ed. Ellah Allfrey).
His first novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms, was published in 2015 by Parrésia Publishers in Nigeria and by Cassava Republic Press in the UK (2016). Season of Crimson Blossoms won the Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016, Africa’s largest literary prize. He will join you in English, Hausa and pidgin on the official IG festival page @AfrolitSansFrontieres. at 18GMT.
Friday, March 27 – Yara Monteiro & Bisi Adjapon (Sexy @ Home Or Abroad)
Yara Monteiro is a writer, artist and activist who was born in Angola and grew up in the South Bank of Lisbon. Her family roots are in the Central Plateau of Angola and in Northern Portugal. Her debut novel Essa dama bate bué!, published in 2018 (Guerra e Paz Editores), approaches subjects such as identity, gender, colonialism and diaspora. Yara is a regular guest speaker at universities and events to talk about afroeuropean narratives, post memory, creativity, identities and feminism. She holds a degree in Human Resources and has worked in the field for fifteen years.
Yara has a scriptwriting course from ACT (Lisbon) and a Contemporary Art course from Sotheby’s (London). She is a radio cohost at “Avenida Marginal” (RDP Africa) and is part of the management team of INMUNE – Portuguese Black Woman Institute. Yara lived in Luanda, London, Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro and Athens. She now lives in the countryside of Portugal. She will be with you in English and Portuguese on the official IG festival page @AfrolitSansFrontieres at 12GMT this Friday 27th.
Bisi Adjapon is a poet and writer of the critically acclaimed novel, Of Women and Frogs, which made the Daily Trust’s Top 15 novels of 2018, and whose short story version was nominated for the Caine Prize. A former International Affairs Specialist, she won the US Foreign Service Civil Rights Award for Human Relations.
Her writings have appeared in journals and newspapers including McSweeney’s Quarterly, Washington Times, and Brittle Paper. She also founded and directed the Young Shakespeare Company in Virginia, USA. She will join in English from the official IG page @AfrolitSansFrontieres at 18GMT.
Saturday, March 28 – Mohale Mashigo & Shadreck Chikoti (Afrofuturistic Sextualities)
Mohale Mashigo is a South African award-winning singer-songwriter, novelist, and former radio presenter. Her debut novel The Yearning was shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2016, and the South Africa Literary Awards and won the University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Debut Writing 2016. It was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2018. Her work with South African comic series Kwezi was shortlisted for the Nommo Awards 2019. Mohale will join you at 12GMT on Saturday on the official IG festival page @AfrolitSansFrontieres.
Shadreck Chikoti is a Malawian writer and social activist who writes in both English and Chichewa. His published works include Free Africa Flee! (2001) and Mwana wa Kamuzu (The Son of Kamuzu) (2010). His short story The Beggar Girl was included in the anthology Modern Stories from Malawi (2003), edited by Sambalikagwa Mvona. The Baobab Tree, for which he won third prize in the 2008 FMB/MAWU Literary Awards, was published in The Bachelor of Chikanda: And Other Stories (2009).
Chikoti has received the Peer Gynt Literary Award for his short story, The Trap. He won the 2013 Peer Gynt Literary Award for his science fiction/fantasy novel Azotus the Kingdom, published in Malawi by the Malawi Writers Union in 2015. In 2014, Chikoti was nominated by the Africa39 project as one “of the most promising 39 authors under the age of 40 from Sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora.
Chikoti is founder and director the Feminart Literary Festival that runs in his home town of Lilongwe, Malawi. He is also the director of Pan African Publishers and founder of The Story Club, which gathers writers, critics, and others to share and discuss literature by Malawian writers. You can catch him on his Facebook page at 18hGMT.
Sunday, March 29 – Chiké Frankie Edozien & Kalaf Epalanga (Displacement and micro-Orgasms)
Chiké Frankie Edozien
Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria Chiké Frankie Edozien learned to read from the newspapers before even attending school. He is the author of the groundbreaking memoir Lives of Great Men:’ Living & Loving As An African Gay Man which won the Lambda Literary award 2018 for biography/memoir. His Shea Prince was a Gerald Kraak Finalist and part of its As You Like It anthology which also garnered a ‘Lammy’ in 2019. His Last night in Asaba along with other incredible stories from around Africa have been anthologized in The Heart of The Matter. Edozien lives in Accra, Ghana. He will hang out with you in English or pidgin at 12GMT on Sunday @AfrolitSansFrontieres.
Kalaf Epalanga is a writer and musician born in Benguela, Angola and based in Berlin. As a musician, he co-founded the record label Enchufada, a creative and dynamic platform that promotes new music styles from Lisbon around the world, and went on to form the MTV Europe Music Award-winning band, Buraka Som Sistema (on hiatus since 2016).
He wrote a regular column of short literary chronicles for the prestigious Portuguese newspaper O Público, GQ Magazine (Portugal), the independent Angolan online magazine REDE Angola and collaborates regularly with the Brazilian literary Magazine Quatro Cinco Um.
He has published in Angola and Portugal two collections of literary chronicles Estórias de Amor para Meninos de Cor (engl.: Lovestories for Kids of Colour, 2011) and ‘O Angolano que Comprou Lisboa (Por Metade do Preço) (engl.: The Angolan who Bought Lisbon (at Half the Price), 2014).
Também os Brancos Sabem (engl.: The Whites Also Can Dance, Editorial Caminho, 2017) published in Angola, Portugal and Brasil, is his first novel and was critically acclaimed in the Portuguese-speaking world. He will join in Portuguese, English or German via the official festival IG page @AfrolitSansFrontieres at 18GMT.
Monday, March 30 – Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda & Zukiswa Wanner (Sex to Kill/Die For)
Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda
Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda has been published in the African Women Writers (Afriwowri) e-publication anthology Different Shades of a Feminine Mind, The Budding Writer anthology by Zambia Women Writers’ Association (2017), and featured on AfricanWriter.com for her story To Hair is Human, To Forgive is Design (2018). She has been published in Short Story Day Africa – Hotel Africa (2018) and her published novel No Be From Hia was selected as a Graywolf Africa Prize finalist 2019. She will join you via the official festival page at 12GMT ain English @AfrolitSansFrontieres.
Zukiswa Wanner is a writer who claims the whole continent as her home. Wanner has written four novels: The Madams (2006), Behind Every Successful Man (2008), Men of The South (2010), and London, Cape Town, Joburg (2014) and has three children’s books: Jama Loves Bananas (2011), Refilwe (2014) and A True Book: Africa (2019). Wanner examined the relationships between domestic workers and domestic employers in the satirical nonfiction Maid in SA: 30 Ways To Leave Your Madam and published a literary travel memoir Hardly Working (2018). She co-edited the African-Asian anthology Behind The Shadows: Contemporary Stories from Africa and Asia (2012) with Rohini Chowdhury, and the African Young Adult anthology Waterbirds On The Lake Shore (2019) published in English, French, and Kiswahili. With Mexican writer Luis Felipe Lomeli she co-founded the African and Latin American writers’ blog lashamba.wordpress.com.
In 2015, she won the K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award for London Cape Town Joburg . In 2014, Wanner was named on the Africa39 list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers under 40 with potential and talent to define trends in African literature. She is founder and curator of the arts’ event Artistic Encounters in Nairobi Kenya. Catch her via Facebook Live at 18GMT in English, Shona or the bad isiXhosa that always makes her dabs Ntsiki answer her in English.