Afrolit Sans Frontières, the virtual literary festival for African, is pleased to announce a historic African languages festival that will run from October 26 – November 2, 2020.  While there are individual African language festivals, this will be first time that a literary festival features multiple African languages.

The languages are: Kiswahili, Ewe, isiZulu, Lingala, Hausa, Amharic, Yoruba, and Shona.  In addition, a poem written in Gikuyu by world-renowned writer Ngugi Wa Thiong’o in memory of the great Chinua Achebe will be read in translation in the featured African languages.

Zukiswa Wanner, writer, publisher, and founder of Afrolit Sans Frontières said, “It is unfortunate that those who have chosen to write in African languages have too often been marginalized outside their linguistic borders, even though they are immensely accomplished as writers. Through this edition of the festival, we amplify their voices and bring them closer to readers. Beyond this, I hope we can advance the conversation and act on translations to ensure the novels we have all found exciting in our mother tongues can reach the wider African community and the world.”

Prof. Mukoma Wa Ngugi, the co-founder of the Mabati-Kiswahili Prize for African Writing with Dr Lizzy Attree, and co-curator of the AfroLit African Languages Edition said, “This historic African language writing festival shows that African languages can and should be at the center of African writing. And that translation is the bridge that will allow African languages and cultures to be in conversation with one another.” Kiswahili will be presented in two sessions on Monday, October 26th, 2020.  Please see below for the schedule.

Where to watch? The sessions will take place simultaneously on the Afrolit Sans Frontiéres Facebook page, on YouTube, and on Twitter via the handle @AfrolitSansFro1.

Kiswahili.  Monday, October 26th, 2020

Session I – 12:00PM GMT

Abdilatif Abdalla will be in conversation with two past Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize winners, Dotto Rangimoto and Mohammed Ghassani. S

ession II – 18:00 PM GMT

Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Moses Kilolo and Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize winner Anna Samwel. Ngugi will read the original Gikuyu version followed by readings in English, Kiswahili, Ewe, isiZulu, Lingala, Hausa, Amharic, Kiswahili, Yoruba, Shona, and Kikamba by the translators.  This will be followed by a reading and conversation between Kilolo and Anna Samwel in Kiswahili.

Ewe Day October 27: Hosted by Kofi Akpabli

12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: Benedicta Esi Anibri.

18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT: Justin Ekor.  

Lingala Day October 28: Hosted by Eric Ntumba

12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: 

Stéphanie Boale

18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT:  Richard Ali  

Hausa Day October 29: Hosted by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: 

Rahma Sherif Abdul Majid

18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT: 

Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino  

isiZulu Day October 30: Hosted by Nokuthula Mazibuko

12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: 

Zanele Ndlovu

18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT: 

Nakanjani G. Sibiya  

Amharic Day November 1: Hosted by Hallelujah Lulie

12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: 

Yezina Worku Desta

18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT: 

Girma T. Fantaye

Yoruba Day November 2: Hosted by Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

12:00 pm/13:00 WAT/14:00 CAT/15:00 EAT: 

Bámijí Òjó

18:00 pm/19:00 WAT/20:00 CAT/21:00 EAT: 

Prof Arinpe Adejumo  

Shona Day November 3: Hosted by Zukiswa Wanner

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