Mel Matsinhe kicked off the Sunday at Afrolit Sans Frontières Season 4 from Maputo, Mozambique on July 5, 2020. She was hosted by Jessemusse Cacinda.
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, Natalia Molebatsi in Johannesburg, South Africa and Iquo DianaAbasi in Lagos, Nigeria, Mélio Tinga in Maputo, Mozambique, Raoul Djimeli in Yaounde, Cameroon, and Lu Ain-Zaila in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sunday, July 5 was the penultimate day of the festival and it kicked off with Mel Matsinhe in Maputo, Mozambique. Matsinhe’s debut poetry collection Fundação Fernando Leite Couto was released in 2017, and her poetry has since been published in anthologies both in her home country and abroad (South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, etc). Covid-19 put on hold plans of publishing a second book in Brazil Nyabetse de Vidro and a third in Mozambique Palavras em Fuga. Her work has been an object of study at primary, secondary and tertiary level schools in Mozambique and Brazil, has been made into theatre pieces, transformed into music and interpreted through dance. Mel is a founder of the all female pluri-arts collective Art&Acção, a space where artists create together, provoke debates and do social artivism, exploring the different resources they represent and possess. In addition to poetry, Mel is a musician (piano player and singer) and works at Xiluva Artes School, an Arts School established by herself, where she focuses on working with children with autism.
It was a session where Mel Matsinhe with her host Jessemusse Cacinda spoke for an hour and a few extra minutes about her artistic work sharing her routines for her work. She also spoke about her passion for working with kids with autism, the Art&Acção space which brought women together and helped them in their craft, contracts, and much more.
You watch the discussions which were mainly in Portuguese in the below videos.