Beaven Tapureta Bookshelf
In the Zimbabwean literary sphere there are indications that we could be witnessing an interesting development of the “Williams-sisters-syndrome”. The Williams sisters (Venus and Serena) are celebrated international tennis icons whom one South African magazine rightly described as “inimitable”.
The world over, there are numerous examples of talented siblings who are symbiotically transcending in the same type of career or calling, be it in sport or the arts. Interestingly, in Zimbabwe, cases of two or more siblings sharing the same passion have been common particularly in music and recently in literature.
Close in our minds are the Mungoshi brothers (Farayi and Charles Jnr), sons of the great writer Charles Mungoshi, who have unstoppably “invaded” the book sector with big brother Farayi keen on fiction and young brother Charles Jnr pursuing motivational writing. Farayi recently scooped a NAMA Award for his debut English short story collection. There is also the Mutasa brothers (Lexta and his young brother), sons of the late writer Nobert Mutasa, who are gifted spoken word artists.
Now, on stage enter the twin brothers Lisbon and Liberty Chigwenjere sharing the same passion for writing. We have known Lisbon from the past as a poet/writer, yet little did we know the “writing bug” exists in the family. His twin brother, Liberty Moses Chigwenjere, has just published his debut Christian inspirational book titled “Young Lights Arise – Let it Shine” (2017, Days of My Youth Press).
Although they both started out as aspiring writers in the now defunct Budding Writers Association of Zimbabwe (BWAZ), Lisbon seems to have ‘led’ his twin brother. He was visible in the poetry performance circles way back before he ventured into mainly Christian-based poetry and publishing. Although some of Lisbon’s poems have been featured in various international Christian anthologies such as “Enter the Gateway” (2013) and “The Effect of Grace” (2015), his own 2016 poetry collection “Days of My Youth”, which Bookshelf once reviewed, must have inspired him to found a publishing enterprise named after the anthology. His belief that youthful potential will help change the world is reflected in his anthology and his new publishing house. The same theme of youth is his twin brother Liberty’s commitment in “Young Lights Arise – Let it Shine”.
The Days of My Youth Press came into being in 2016, with Lisbon’s collection “Days of My Youth” as its first publication. To date, the Press has published about eleven books, including the founder’s twin brother Liberty’s “Young Lights Arise –Let it Shine” which is the latest.
With The Days of My Youth Press, Lisbon is targeting Christian and inspirational literature. He says he aims to contribute “to the overall growth and preservation of the culture of literature in Zimbabwe, and Africa as a whole. DOMY Press achieves this by creating products, services, events, and projects that reveal the most talented and unrecognised artists in African literature today”.
Just like the Williams siblings, and possibly the Mungoshi and Mutasa siblings, Lisbon and Liberty cannot do without the other in matters to do with their talents. Naturally, although they may be interested in different genres, they depend on and motivate each other. Lisbon co-edited, wrote the foreword and published his twin brother’s book, thus fulfilling the rules of symbiosis or mutualism!
“Young Lights Arise –Let It Shine” is a voice desperately crying out to all young people so that they can return to innocence and live God-fearing lives. It is dedicated to “every young person who is ready to fulfil God’s purpose in their lives”.
Certainly, it is a dangerous era we are living in today. Drugs and alcohol are being sold on the streets to the youths like sweets, sensuality now rules more than sensibility, and some parents have given up control over their teenage children who have been seduced by worldliness clad in all sorts of forms. Liberty’s book comes as an antidote.
Much of the wisdom in the book is drawn from the author’s personal experience when he was a university student. The book is partly autobiographical. The author constantly refers to his days as a university student when he witnessed the spiritual corruption of his fellow youth.
The sin of fornication, drug and alcohol abuse, homosexuality, shocked him at close range but he writes that that is when he realised he had a job to do – that is, bring light to the lost youth. In the first chapter “Light The Candle –Don’t Curse the Darkness”, Liberty alludes to the influence of the environment. While some students were changed by the “cursed” environment at the institution and the community around it, he says. “I was not changed by the environment. I changed the environment. I was afire for the Lord.”
In later chapters, backed by Biblical quotations, he explains how he would then preach the gospel to fellow students and pioneered regular prayer meetings and a youth fellowship that changed many lives. Through this experience, he detected how the youths had been led astray by passions of the flesh, dragged downstream into the pit of darkness. Yet he had to be the light.
Technology has come to both develop and destroy the human race. One of the evils of technology, the author observes, is that it has robbed people of their time to worship the true living God, with the youth in particular being the victims of its poisonous deception.
The author, in one of the chapters, says, “We have time to chat with our friends on social media, but none for fellowship with the Holy Spirit . . . Ever since God blessed you with that Apple iPhone, you no longer have time for His word.”
“Young Lights Arise – Let it Shine” exposes the wayward tendencies of young people, the lure of ‘swag’ and calls for a ‘ruthless dealing’ with these tendencies.
Born a twin with Lisbon in 1993, Liberty holds a B.A Honours Degree in English and Communication. He is currently serving in the video filming and editing department at YADAH TV, a Christian television station owned by The Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries.