Mohale Mashigo and Zukiswa Wanner are the co-curators of Season 3 of Afrolit Sans Frontières running from May 25 – June 1, 2020, with the theme Future, Present, Past. It’s particularly significant for the curators that Season 3 kicks off On Africa Day.
Afrolit Sans Frontiers Virtual Literary Festival, an initiative from writers of African origin, was started as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown in March. The format for the ground breaking venture was a writer reading their work on the official festival Instagram account (or Facebook account) and then engaging with the audience for at least half an hour. Where technical issues arose, writers recorded their readings beforehand, shared them online, and avail themselves for interaction. Due to popular demand, organisers promised to run the festival monthly until the end of the Covid-19 pandemic international shutdown.
Season 1, curated by writer and publisher Zukiswa Wanner, had 16 writers from 10 African countries sharing their work from 15 different cities in English, French, Lingala, or Portuguese. The theme was Sex. Season 2, co-curated by Maaza Mengiste and Zukiswa Wanner, had 16 writers from 14 countries streaming from 13 cities in English, French, or Portuguese with the theme What I Wish You’d Ask Me. With the second festival, session hosts allowed guests to be more comfortable in their virtual interactions.
The dates for Season 3 of the festival and its new curator have been announced on the back of the end of Season 2. Co-curating the literary bonanza that runs from May 25 (Africa Day) to June 1 are Mohale Mashigo and Zukiswa Wanner. 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.
The list of writers to take part in Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival Season 3 shall be revealed in due course.