Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda kicked off the eighth and final day of the Afrolit Sans Frontieres Virtual Literary Festival on Instagram on Monday, March 30, 2020.
The Afrolit Sans Frontiers Virtual Literary Festival is an initiative for writers of African origin curated by Zukiswa Wanner. Sixteen writers from 10 African countries are sharing their work from 15 different cities in English, French, Lingala, and Portuguese to a global virtual audience online over eight days. Since the festival started on Monday, audiences have interacted with Richard Ali Mutu in Kinshasa, DR Congo, Leye Adenle in London, UK, Rémy Ngamije in Windhoek, Namibia, Hawa Jande Golakai in Monrovia, Liberia, Maaza Mengiste in Zurich, Switzerland, Mukoma Wa Ngugi in Ithaca, New York, USA, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele in Johannesburg, South Africa, Yara Monteiro in Alentejo, Portugal, Bisi Adjapon in Accra, Ghana, Mohale Mashigo in Johannesburg, South Africa, Shadreck Chikoti in Lilongwe, Malawi, Chiké Frankie Edozien in Accra, Ghana and Kalaf Epalanga in Berlin, Germany.
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 was published in Short Story Day Africa’s Hotel Africa (2018) and her debut novel No Be From Hia was selected as a Graywolf Africa Prize finalist 2019.
Natasha, who was streaming from Lusaka, had a problem with her network operator as the session kept stopping and starting for its duration. In spite of the technical challenges, she read a beautiful excerpt from her debut novel before fielding questions from across the world.
On her writing, it worked because of her multiple heritages; her Zambian grandfather was a published author with six works before he passed on and she was also inspired by her Nigerian grandparents. She was able to integrate this heritage into her writing and her current book No Be From Hia is a prime example of this.
Natasha is not a full-time writer thus she finds it tough going to juggle the writing and her busy job in advertising and PR as well as her family. Luckily, she is supported by family and friends in ensuring that she can keep up.