Virgília Ferrão kicked off the Lusophone day at Afrolit Sans Frontières Season 3 from Maputo, Mozambique on May 30, 2020. She was hosted by Kalaf Epalanga.
Afrolit Sans Frontières, a virtual literary festival for writers of African origin, started as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown. 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 twice daily from May 25 to June 1.
The festival which started on Africa Day, May 25, has so far featured Dilman Dila in Kampala, Uganda; Tochi Onyebuchi in New York, USA; Vamba Sherif in Amsterdam, Holland; Ayesha Harruna Attah in Dakar, Senegal; Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse in Bordeaux, France; Max Lobé in Geneva, Switzerland; Masande Ntshanga in Cape Town, South Africa; Mubanga Kalimamukwento in Minneapolis, USA; Tsitsi Dangarembga in Harare, Zimbabwe; and Leila Aboulela in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Saturday May 30 was the designated Lusophone Day at Afrolit Sans Frontières and it started with Virgília Ferrão in Maputo, Mozambique. Ferrão started her literary career with the launch of O Romeu é Xingondo e a Julieta Machangane published by UEM University Press in 2005. Her second work, O Inspector de Xindzimila was published by Brazilian publisher Selo Jovem in 2016. Her third work Corais e Rosas was awarded the November 10 Prémio Literário in 2019.
The Maputo-based legal consultant and writer started by welcoming us all and introducing herself to the audience. She followed this with what might have been the most memorable reading we had experienced yet as she read from O Inspector de Xindzimila with soothing background music. She then invited her host Kalaf Epalanga onto the live and the engagements could officially begin. She spoke her writing life, her struggles with finding a publisher in Mozambique leading to bagging one in Brazil, and how she felt that the job of writers was telling stories and nothing more. We learnt that she had even done a trailer for her second book which you can watch below.
You can watch the full interaction between Virgília Ferrão and her host Kalaf Epalanga below.