KNOWN for his great works including the once-banned Coming of the Dry Season, Charles Mungoshi is arguably one of the best writers in Zimbabwe.
His works include short stories and novels in both Shona and English, dating back to the liberation struggle in the 1970s.
Now the prolific writer has released a new book, Branching Streams Flow in The Dark, which took him 21 years to finish.
Mungoshi went into a coma three years ago while still putting the book together.
But his loving wife Jesesi, a star in her own right, and their two children, Farai and Charles Jnr, spent the last three years working hard to finish the work that he had started.
They made sure Zimbabweans were given another opportunity to read another Mungoshi book — a feat that was not easy considering that they were struggling with Mungoshi’s health on the other hand.
His family has found comfort now that the book is out.
Jesesi speaks about her husband and his work.
She says her husband is a prophetic writer and there is something supernatural about Mungoshi that the world doesn’t know.
“I saw it a long time ago that he has a prophetic element in most of his books especially in the book Kunyarara Hakusi Kutaura? where he predicted the character to die in an accident and it came out as he wrote in real life,” she narrated.
“One day in 1976, Mungoshi told me that he had seen a vision of a person on a motor bike being knocked down by a car. That very day, we saw someone on a motorbike being knocked down and he died on the spot.”
Jesesi said these visions and prophecies could explain why Mungoshi abandoned the book Zviri Mubwe (Mudombo), which he struggled to finish until he destroyed it.
She revealed that in Zviri Mubwe, she was one of the characters.
“When the character dies in the book Mungoshi was troubled on whether to continue writing or not. He eventually abandoned the book,” she said.
Jesesi said Mungoshi doesn’t write fiction, but studies people’s characters and then builds his own creations.
She says sometimes such prophetic messages are mistaken for madness by the ordinary people.
“These people are creators. They are always busy in their mind and people say they are mad because they don’t understand them.
“I got into Mungoshi’s life and studied him. I wanted my marriage to work. We have been married for almost 43 years and I don’t regret it. Many writers are not married or are divorced.
“Writers don’t think like us because they isolate themselves from the outside world.”
Jesesi also revealed that at one stage she refused to stay with the renowned late writer Dambudzo Charles Marechera in her house when he returned from overseas because of what she had heard about the writer.
Writing runs in the Mungoshi’s family. Farayi and Charles Jnr are now full time writers like their father. Charles Jnr has published a collection of short stories titled Candle Light Thoughts to be launched soon.
Mungoshi had 12 works before this latest book which include two commonwealth writers prize award winners, Walking Still and the Setting Sun and the Rolling World, One Day Long Ago, Waiting for the Rain, Coming of the Dry Season, Makunun’unu Maodzamoyo, Kunyarara Hakusi Kutaura and plays Inongova Njakenjake and the Milkman Doesn’t Only Deliver Milk.
The family expects Mungoshi to fully recover and go back into writing — the true love of his life.