Festival Take Five: Donald Maasa

It is slightly over two weeks left to the highly anticipated #Writivism2016 festival. In our short Q & A series with previous festival staff, we feature Donald Maasa today. Donald was in charge of recruitment of volunteers for the 2014 festival, and went on to supervise them. We found out what his memories are, and his assessment of the past.

UG Hiphop Archivist
Photo by UG Hiphop Archivist

What pushed you to get involved in #Writivism 2014 as part of the organising team?

I attended Writivism 2013, and felt that a lot more needed to be done to get more people involved in forthcoming editions of the Festival. Towards Writivism 2014, I felt that the Festival might suffer the same challenges as Writivism 2013, and decided to get involved to ensure the Festival was well publicised and better planned.

What fond memories do you have of the festival?

Meeting and interacting with celebrated writers like Nii Ayikwei Parkes and Zukiswa Wanner, and and making friends with awesome writers like Saaleha Idrees Bhamjee and Saaleha Bhamjee from South Africa and Ngasa Wise Nzikie from Cameroon, some of whom I’ve stayed in touch with since.

UG Hiphop Archivist
Photo by UG Hiphop Archivist

Thinking back now, what could you have done better, regarding the plans and execution of #Writivism2014 festival?

I think the plans for Writivism 2014 were quite ambitious for a Festival that was only in its second year. We therefore had challenges in gathering enough people for some of the sessions and in coordinating the many volunteers we had. I think the Festival could have benefitted from more modest plans and better execution of most of the events.

How would you measure the growth of this festival in three years?

The Festival has grown to become a major event on the African literary scene and has attracted participants from across the continent and the diaspora, which are commendable accomplishments.

Are you proud of this baby you nurtured?


Donald with Kelechi Njoku, shortlisted for the 2014 Short Story Prize

Donald has attended all the three editions of the Writivism Festival. We look forward to having engaging conversations with him at the 2016 festival.