Yoruba was the featured language at the Afrolit Sans Frontières African Languages Edition on Sunday, November 1, 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, and Amharic. On Day Seven, the focus was Yoruba, a language spoke in the West African nations of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. The host for the day was linguist, writer, translator, scholar, and cultural activist Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún.

The first panel of the day featured Bámijí Òjó, a Yorùbá writer and broadcaster of note with at least two novels and a number of other books on Yorùbá culture to his name. His first novel, Mẹ́numọ́, was published in 1989, followed by a sequel Ọba Adìkúta in 1995. He is also a broadcaster of note, with years of experience in the Yorùbá language broadcasting at the Broadcasting Corporation of Ọ̀yọ́ State (BCOS). He lives in Ìbàdàn, Nigeria. Watch that session, primarily in Yoruba, in the following video.

The day wrapped up with playwright, poet, and critic Prof Arinpe Adejumo. She is the Professor and immediate past Head of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is the author of the play, Afàgo Kéyin Àparò, and Ròóre, a collection of poems. Professor Adejumo is the author of the first book-length study of dramatic satire in Yoruba language, Ìṣẹ̀fẹ̀ Nínú Àwọn Eré Onítàn Yorùbá (2001). In addition, she co-edited Ọ̀tun Ìmọ̀ Nínú Ìtàn Àròsọ D. O. Fagunwa (2016), a volume of essays to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of D. O. Fagunwa’s passing. Her current research focuses on the Tropes of Patriotism, Citizenship, Leadership, Governance, and Development in Yoruba Literature. She is a member of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. Watch that session, primarily in Yoruba, in the following video.


The program for the seventh day, today, Shona Day hosted by festival founder and director Zukiswa Wanner is as follows;

12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: Marcilyn Mugariri
18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT: Aaron Chiundura Moyo