BULAWAYO-based writer Mthabisi Maphosa feels it is the duty of writers to tell community stories using indigenous languages so as to preserve African culture.
The 20-year-old former Masotsha High School pupil holds a strong view that in order for Africans to appreciate and understand their history and chart a path to development, they have to read books written in their native languages.
Maphosa has just penned his second book titled “Kudala Kwakunganje” which he describes as an offing that will bring positive change to the youths and community at large. The book that was published by Pentolacut Publishers was launched at a colourful ceremony at the ZNCC offices in Bulawayo last weekend.
He said his upbringing and rural background at Magedleni village in Gwanda inspired him to scribble stories and bind them into novels. The young storyteller said he developed a passion for writing after noticing that a lot of people, especially youths, have deviated from their culture.
His first writing, “Wisdom Stars Versus Arrogance at Sea sides” was published in 2021. It was co-authored with Winiwe Nkomo.
In his latest offing, the writer who attained 15 points at A-Level worked with his former Masotsha High School classmate, Iphithule Ndlovu whom he studied arts with.
“This book is a brainchild of arguments I had with my former classmate, best friend, and co-author Iphithule Ndlovu. We found ourselves debating about culture and devising ways to preserve it. Penning the book seemed to have settled well with us.
“We managed to collaborate because we’d spend time debating about our culture and ways to preserve it, hence the collaboration gave birth to Kudala Kwakunganje, a unique book with a different text,” Maphosa said.
He said the book is a recollection of the past mixed with contemporary views.
“The story in the book is told from a woman’s narrative as the persona decries the moral decay happening today compared to the past. The central setting of the book is the streets of Bulawayo. It reprimands youths and also enlightens them about the dangers of abandoning their culture. Black people must know where they come from so that they know where they’re going. So apt is the book’s title as well,” he said.
The young writer who aspires to be a lawyer said he draws inspiration from writers such as Barbara Nkala-Makhalisa, Pathisa Nyathi, Amon Nyamandi Dube, and the late Isaac Mpofu among others.