Shona was the featured language on the last day of the Afrolit Sans Frontières African Languages Edition on Monday, November 2, 2020.
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. There have been five editions running since it begun; Season 1 from March 23-30, Season 2 from April 20-27, Season 3 from May 25 – June 1, Season 4 from June 29-July 6, and Season 5 from July 27 to August 3.
A special season of the festival dubbed the “African Languages Edition,” curated by founder Zukiswa Wanner and Mukoma Wa Ngugi with support from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia Johannesburg is here. The format is two sessions a day with an artist moderated by a host who also fields questions from audience members simultaneously on the Afrolit Sans Frontières Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages.
The festival which has been running since October 26 has already featured the languages of Kiswahili, Ewe, Lingala, Hausa, Zulu, Amharic, and Yoruba. On the last day, the focus was Shona, a language spoke in the Southern African country of Zimbabwe with the host being the festival founder and director Zukiswa Wanner.
The first panel of the day featured Marcilyn Mugariri, a Shona enthusiast, whose first novel, Manyambiri, a Shona old-world fiction book, was prescribed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as a set book for Ordinary Level Shona Literature from 2017-2021. Her second book Shasha Dzekurera, was nominated by the National Arts Merit Awards in 2020. Her third novel is an English romantic fiction, titled A Love Boundless. She has also written a Shona series, from form 1-4, under the updated Curriculum. The form 1 book was accepted by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for use in Zimbabwean secondary schools. The rest of the series is still undergoing the publishing process. Watch the panel, in Shona, in the below video.
The final panel of the festival had Legendary author Aaron Chiundura Moyo, credited with creating Zimbabwe’s first-ever television soap Studio 263 which aired for more than 5years on ZBCtv. He also created the first evolving-epic series in Zimbabwe TIRIPARWENDO which aired for 10 years on ZBCtv. He is also credited with being the first creative to work with the first lady of Zimbabwe on the film project titled Rujeko that aired on ZBCtv more than six times. His published works include Uchandifungawo, Wakandicheka Nerakagomara, Nguo Dzehuswa, Yaive Hondo, Chenga Ose, Ziva Kwawakabva, Wandibaya Panyama Nhete, Ndabve Zera, Matekenya Pfungwa, Kuridza Ngoma Nedemo, Chinaku Chinobva Muzevezeve, Kereke Inofa, The Other Side Of the River, Chabvondoka, Nhamo Ine Nharo, Ndaponda Gandanga, and Pane Nyaya. Watch the session in full in the below video.