THE Bulawayo Book Fair opens tomorrow with AmaBooks Pubishers using the occasion to launch a Ndebele short story publication.
Brian Jones and Jane Morris of AmaBooks spoke to Southern Eye Lifestyle about the forthcoming launch on the eve of the opening of the book fair to be held at the Large City Hall.
“Without art and culture, life is devoid of meaning, life just becomes very mono, with no colour,” Morris said.
The couple’s love for books saw them set up the publishing house that has played midwife to the literary works of some of Bulawayo’s literary giants such as Bryony Rheams, John Eppel, Christopher Mlalazi, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and NoViolet Bulawayo (they are NoViolet’s Bulawayo publishers).
The theme of this year’s Book Fair is “Indigenous Languages, Literature, Art and Knowledge Systems of Africa” and on Saturday, AmaBooks, in partnership with Bulawayo Agenda will be officially launching their first Ndebele publication – Siqondephi Manje?
Indatshana zaseZimbabwe, the translation of a collection of 16 stories by Zimbabwean writers, Where to Now? Short Stories from Zimbabwe.
“The book has been receiving wide support from many local writers. Interestingly, there is an ongoing debate about language: whether it should grow or remain “pure”. I am all against language being stuck in stasis. But if you speak to the likes of Isaac Mpofu, he is a purist. So the debate rages on,” Morris said.
A galaxy of 16 writers with stories in the book are Raisedon Baya, NoViolet Bulawayo, Diana Charsley, Mapfumo Clement Chihota, Murenga Joseph Chikowero, John Eppel, Fungai Rufaro Machirori, Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende, Christopher Mlalazi, Mzana Mthimkhulu, Blessing Musariri, Nyevero Musa, Thabisani Ndlovu, Bryony Rheam, Sandisile Tshuma and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma.
Slated performers are Mzana Mthimkhulu and Baya who will read from their stories at the launch, and performance poet Sithandazile Dube will read an excerpt of NoViolet Bulawayo’s story.