Napo Masheane kicked off the fifth day of Season 2 of the Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival from Johannesburg, South Africa on Friday, April 24, 2020. She was hosted by Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda.
The Afrolit Sans Frontiers Virtual Literary Festival, a new initiative by and for writers of African origin, was started in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown. Like the first edition, Season 2 features some of the leading names in African letters today with curation by Maaza Mengiste and festival founder Zukiswa Wanner. This season sees 16 writers from 14 countries streaming either on Instagram or Facebook from 13 cities in English, French, and Portuguese over eight days under the festival theme “What I Wish You’d Ask Me.”
Since the festival started on April 20, bibliophiles have interacted with Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor from Nairobi, Kenya, Lola Shoneyin from Lagos, Nigeria, Elma Shaw from Kigali, Rwanda, Edwige Renee Dro from Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, Sulaiman Addonia from Brussels, Belgium and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi from Manchester, UK. There have also been sessions with festival curators Maaza Mengiste alongside Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda, Remy Ngamije, Bisi Adjapon, and Chike Frankie Edozien and Zukiswa Wanner alongside Chike Frankie Edozien, Kalaf Epalanga, and Leye Adenle.
The first session for Friday, April 24 had Napo Masheane streaming on Instagram from Johannesburg, South Africa. Napo Masheane is a playwright, poet, director, producer, translator and performer on both national and international stages. She became one of South Africa’s leading black female theatre makers, after her provocative and humorous plays, My Bum Is Genetic Deal With It and The Fat Black Women Sing. She is the winner of The Mbokodo Award (2011), Pan African Language Award, (2014) and South African Film and Television Award- SAFDA (2016). Between 2017/18, she held the position of Deputy Artistic Director at The South African State Theatre, where she wrote and directed, KHWEZI… Say My Name, a stage adaptation of Redi Tlhabi’s book: KHWEZI…The Remarkable Story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.
The session started with Napo Masheane reading a few poems from her two collections as well as a monologue from one of her plays. She was joined by her host Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda and the two went over the poets and theatre-maker about how she comes up with the stunning titles for her work, motivations for her work and lots more.
You can watch video from the whole session below.