Author pens novel to demystify the San

06 Oct, 2022 - 00:10 0 Views
Author pens novel to demystify the San Davy Ndlovu’s book cover page

The Chronicle

Yvonne Ncube, Showbiz Correspondent

A LOT of questions have been raised about the San community in Zimbabwe, but no answers have been found, a development which has led to the birth of misconceptions about the minority group.

 Davy Ndlovu, an author and Tsorotso San Development Trust director has taken it upon himself to demystify the minority group in a self-published book titled The Tshwa San of Zimbabwe, Land Livelihoods and Ethnicity.

 Ndlovu said he was inspired to write the book when he realised that there was nothing written about the minority group.

“When I started working with the San in 2008, I discovered that there was very little written about this community in Zimbabwe, yet there was so much about the San in Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia. I visited different libraries and archives in Bulawayo, but I couldn’t find anything. 

“I was looking for books that could explain about the San and there were none. So, I told myself that if there was no information about them, I’d have to be the one to compile it. I started gathering information and started writing,” Ndlovu said.

“When I met them (Sans) for the first time, they were complaining that they weren’t known and that no one had bothered to research about them, so they wanted their stories to be told.” 

 Ndlovu said the book, that is now available online at a number of bookstores, demystifies misconceptions about the San.

“People used to say that the San are primitive and unsophisticated. This pained them a lot so that’s why in the book, I sought to address these misconceptions so that they can be corrected.”

 Tshwa San people, Ndlovu said live primarily in western Zimbabwe in Tsholotsho District of Matabeleland North and Bulilima District in Matabeleland South. They are one of two groups in Zimbabwe who self-identify as indigenous people.

“Recent surveys indicate that the population size of Tshwa San is approximately 2 800. The vast majority of Tshwa today are subsistence farmers, though some of them work for other groups including Kalanga and Ndebele as cattle and goat herders, agricultural field hands, and domestic workers,” Ndlovu said.

 He said many Tshwa supplement their subsistence by gathering wild plants and insects after their relocation from Hwange National Park in the late 1920s.

Hwange National Park

“Tshwa moved to commercial farming areas and worked as field hands. Some of them worked at the Colliery in the town of Hwange, and a few were employed by the wildlife department in the park. Currently, most live in communal areas.

“This chapter documents the colonial and post-colonial issues facing the Tshwa, including government policies, environmental factors, and economic stress.

“In the past decade, the Tshwa have engaged in cultural empowerment and revitalisation efforts and are organising themselves to promote social justice and human rights in the Zimbabwe nation-state,” Ndlovu said while encouraging people to read the book so that they get to understand the San as they are not different from any other ethnicities in Zimbabwe. – @SeehYvonne 

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