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Book review | Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi

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Summer is here (almost) and wether you opt for the Beach, the Bush or lazing by the Pool – a good book is as good a companion as any. Sweet Medicine is set around the life of a young woman, Tsitsi in modern day Zimbabwe. It is about love, family, religion, African tradition and  a woman’s fight to maintain her status quo by all means necessary. The story is also a take on feminism and the choices women make on the daily to survive. Tsisi does her best to please the people she loves, whilst doing the utmost to maintain her own success. She tries hard to be this sophisticated version of herself while hiding some debilitating fears about losing it all. It is beautifully written, and one of those that will be hard to put down. This Sweet...

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Book review | We need new names by NoViolet Bulawayo

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This is the type of book that’s hard to put down once you open the first page in the bookshop. It forces you to find the nearest Cafe, order a cup of tea and keep reading. Set in modern-day Zimbabwe, we see life through the eyes of a 10year old Darling and her friends trying hard to survive in the slums of a ghettoized township called Paradise. The group scavenging the neighbouring suburbs in search of Guava trees to steal some fruits eat. They are funny and interesting, and each character has her own story going on. But the main story centers around Darling and he constant dream to escape the daily struggle and move to America with her Aunt.’ When the time comes, she is torn about leaving her friends but soon settles into her life in Michigan,...

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Book review | Ghana must go

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Author, Taiye Selasi’s first novel is quite a page turner. From the moment you start to read the first page and meet the Patriach of the Sai family dying in the garden, you’re immediately captivated by the thoughts going through his mind and enticed into all the events that led him there. The book is about family, love, loss, connection, forgiveness, death, life. It takes place between America, Nigeria and Ghana. The reader is introduced to the beautiful meanings of the West African names, and with that strong tone is set for what’s to unfold as a richly observed and beautifully written story. If you love Chimamanda Adichie or Zadie Smith, you will fall in love with Taiye. She writes with such a depth that its astonishing that this is only her debut novel. We cant wait to hear more...

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A special moment with Author Zakes Mda

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When you receive an email from an African stalwart like Zakes Mda, to inform you that they will be in your City soon, what you do is clear your schedule, ignore the jet lag from a long flight and run to go meet him. This is almost what happened. And I savoured every single moment. Zakes Mda is currently back in South Africa to launch his new novel, Rachel’s Blue and to participate in Book workshops in both CapeTown and Joburg. He has become one of my greatest support systems, and it’s always an honour to talk to him. This is what he had to say: Did you ever envision your life would be like this? Growing up I always wanted to be a writer, a traveling scholar. I wanted to be great and don’t think I’m there yet. Feels...

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Book review: Un-importance by Thando Mgqolozana

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There are people at my door. Thus begins the third full length novel by young author Thando Mgqolozana. A novel that is a worthy follow up to his electrifying debut. Unimportance follows twelve hours in the life of Zizi, the president elect of the campus SRC on the night before he is to give his manifesto speech. But Zizi has problems of his own. Following an argument with his girlfriend where she disappears into the night he roams the campus searching for her. The book is narrated in the first person by Zizi and it is through his eyes that we see the campus and its various goings on. Zizi’s journey is not only through the physical confines of the campus but back into his own past as he tries to make sense of where he is his life....

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