Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent–
Renowned mbira teacher Trust Mutekwa popularly known as Ticha Muzavazi has published a Shona novel after 20 years of disappointment and readjustments.
Titled “Yokwira Mutarara”, the book, a tale of ritual killings as a way of establishing riches and promoting businesses, took Mutekwa over 20 years until it finally got published.
Mutekwa said he initially finished writing the novel in 1996 and entered it in a competition that same year.
“I finished writing ‘Yokwira Mutarara’ on 29 June 1996 and sent it to the Literature Bureau for a competition that closed the next day. I waited expectantly for it to appear in Scribe Scroll which used to be published in The Herald every Tuesday,” he said.
“When I was now at Morganster Teacher’s College in 1999 I got a notification that the Ministry of Education Sport, Arts and Culture was going to close down the Literature Bureau as part of its restructuring programme. The notification called on writers to collect their work,” he said.
It took him another year to finally come to Harare and collect his novel.
Mutekwa had to put in a lot of work to make sure his novel stays relevant hoping one day he would find a publisher interested in it.
At some point he shifted his focus from the novel to poetry writing and performance. Mutekwa’s abstract poetry was published in four Shona anthologies namely, “Ngoma Yekwedu” (1998), “Jakwara reNhetembo” (2008), “Mudengu Munei” (2010) and “Shoko Harivhikwi” (2012).
“All this time I also penned a number of Shona novels but I had a feeling that I should publish ‘Yokwira Mutarara’ before them,” he said.
“I respect the book, having walked on it exactly half of the life I have lived so far. Publishing it this year paves way for six more novels I have written but, I am not going to have them published at same time because I appreciate the maturity I develop everyday as I read, write and experience changes in the social environment.”
“Yokwira Mutarara” was published with Shageo Printers and Publishers. It will be celebrated with a launch in August.
This is not the first book Mutekwa has published having availed a Nyunga Nyunga Mbira Handbook last year.