Sisonke Msimang features at Afrolit Sans Frontières Season 5 from Perth, Australia on Friday, July 31, 2020. She was hosted by Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda.
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 four editions; Season 1 from March 23-30; Season 2 from April 20-27; Season 3 from May 25 – June 1; and Season 4 from June 29-July 6.
Season 5 kicked off on July 27 and festival goers have so far interacted with Lerato Mogoatlhe in Johannesburg, South Africa, Joe Khamisi in Texas, USA, Frances Mensah Williams in London, UK, Conceição Evaristo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Kayo Chingonyi in Leeds, UK, L.L. McKinney in Kansas City, USA, Gauz in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, and Fiston Mwanza Mujila in Graz, Austria.
For the last few iterations of the festival, the last day of the week has been dubbed “Girls Friday” as Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda hosts African women writers. Girls Friday this time started with South African writer Sisonke Msimang who has two nonfiction titles in Always Another Country and The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela.
The session started by recognising Booker Prize longlisted author Tsitsi Dangarembga who had been arrested earlier in the day in Zimbabwe for protesting against a corrupt regime. The session then went on to its bread and butter issues which included the South African reading from her debut memoir Always Another Country. For the rest of the hour, audience members learnt the difference between memoir and autobiography, and some of the writer’s favourite writers of all time.
You can watch the interaction between the host and the guest in the below videos.