Vamba Sherif

Vamba Sherif kicked off the second day of Season 3 of Afrolit Sans Frontières from Amsterdam, Holland on May 26, 2020. He was hosted by Troy Onyango.

Afrolit Sans Frontières, a virtual literary festival for writers of African origin, started as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown in March. It has had two iterations with Season 1 curated by festival founder Zukiswa Wanner in March and Season 2 co-curated with Maaza Mengiste and the founder in April. Season 3, with curation by Mohale Mashigo and Zukiswa Wanner, features 16 writers from 13 countries streaming from 15 cities in English, French, and Portuguese. All sessions run on the official Afrolit Sans Frontières Instagram page from May 25 to June 1.

The festival kicked off on May 25 with Dilman Dila streaming from Kampala, Uganda before Tochi Onyebuchi wrapping proceedings from New York, USA.

The second day of the festival, May 26, started with Vamba Sherif streaming from Amsterdam, Holland. Sherif, who was born in Liberia, has written novels like Land of my fathers, The Kingdom of Sebah, Bound to Secrecy, and The Witness. He has just completed the English version of his novel The Emperor’s Heir, which is about the rise and fall of one of the greatest empires in Africa in the 19th century. In his novels, he explores the themes of identity, exile, war, love, and belonging. He is also a co-editor of the anthology Black: Afro-European literature in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Liberian read from his novel Land of my Fathers then spoke with his host Troy Onyango about historical fiction and how a title comes from concept to finished product. He also spoke about how being in the diaspora influenced his writing with reference to his exile from Liberia.