BY DARLINGTON MWASHITA
A TEACHER at Senzangakhona Primary School in Bulawayo, Benson Jiyane has penned his debut book, titled IMpehlalwazi Yolimi lwesiNdebele which is a collection of short stories and poems themed around the life of Ndebele people.
The book was printed by Dreamdicovery Publishers.
Jiyane told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that the book revive the Ndebele words which were spoken long back, but were no longer being used by the present generation.
“The book has marketed itself by its title, I have been approached by the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec) assessor who pleaded for the book to be a syllabus,” he said.
“This will bring back the original isiNdebele language on both paper, orally, at home in ceremonies where people have gone astray.”
Jiyane said many people were going astray as far as the IsiNdebele language was concerned.
“People no longer know the isiNdebele language as they mix it up with some numerous languages which they drag into the language on daily basis. The book also mentions the name of cattle according to their skin,” he said.
“There are also some similar proverbs that discuss their meanings, teaching and how they came up. It hurts to hear an old man saying: “Nantiyana ibhasi…” instead of saying “Nansiyana ibhasi”.
The 29-year-old author said the book also captured the way Ndebele people did their weddings culturally, memorial sessions (umbuyiso) and Ndebele ceremony dances.
“There are some folktales, their meanings and teachings together with some poems. In addition the book consists of some seasons and it explains what should be done during a certain season among some other Ndebele cores and values,” he said.
“Many of both young and old people no longer speak or write proper Ndebele of which I decided to write a reference book so that they come back home and stir with me the IsiNdebele language which seems to be vanishing.”
Jiyane said he realised his talent when he was in grade five after his teacher gave them a composition based on pictures.
“I have pursued the dream of being an author as I used to write poems and compose songs before venturing into novels,” he said.
“Currently since it’s lockdown, those who want the novel can get it from me personally in Bulawayo, for those in Gweru they can access it from any shop and soon it will be available countrywide.”
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