Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Zimbabwe I Know

Since the day Chinua Achebe published is classic novel, Things Fall Apart, African literature has enjoyed a stupendous growth that had our economies progressed along such trajectory, even at an infinitesimal level, we sure would be amongst the world's 'haves' and not amongst the 'have nots' as we currently find ourselves. Chimamanda Adichie has professed of the inspiration she got from this book and that it was this book that made her know that people with skin colour like hers can also be in books. 

In recent times news about and/or form Zimbabwe have always been political with some humanitarian  tragedy or human rights abuse twist to it. It is difficult to hear these media talking about the the greatness of this nation of stones, about the talents that abound in the country. And whilst these media giants are eagerly propagating the negatives, because that is where the news is juicy, we also follow their trail and talk negatively about it. About the human rights abuses (though G. Bush has the worst human right record), about the dictatorial regime that has become Zimbabwe, (though in the US every call can and is eavesdropped according to the PATRIOTS ACT), about every negative that we hear or is told us. 

We also hardly talk about our positives. Yet, there are many young and talented writers in that country. Many who should command our respect. My interest to promote African Literature has brought to my notice many of such writers and these individuals take their work serious. I am not here to talk about all the Zimbabwean writers I have met on this blogosphere but to bring to your notice one particular Zimbabwean writer whose work marvelled many.

Tsitsi Dangaremba
Some years ago the Zimbabwean Literary Foundation (ZLF) came out with their list of Africa's 100 best novels of the 20th century and amongst them was Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions (released in 1988). This novel made waves and was well received. However, Miss Dangarembga never added to this well received novel until in 2006 when she published The Book of Not as a sequel to the Nervous Condition.

The Book of Not as a sequel to Nervous Conditions traces 'Tambu's continuing quest to redefine the personal, political and historical forces that threaten to destroy the fabric of her community--and reveals how its aftermath still bedevils Africans today. Dangaremba's language sparkles and dances on the page as she delves into the education system, the liberation struggle and attitudes of contemporary Zimbabwean in an incisive and insightful examination of a system calculated to destabilize the sense of self. Read the rest here...'

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