Mtize explores evolving culture, migration problems in new book

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

UNITED KINGDOM-BASED Zimbabwean novelist Miriam Kwenda Mtize has published her fourth book titled Tete aimed at raising awareness of an evolving culture and challenges brought about by migration.

Mtize, who is the founder of Zimbabwe Community Hub, told NewsDay Life & Style that the book highlighted the struggles women faced in pursuit of love and marriage.

“I wrote the Tete book series to raise awareness of evolving culture, challenges brought by migration, the strife and disruption this causes if not identified. We have seen both the role of men and women changing, yet there is room to preserve the good values and practices,” she said.”

Mtize said through her writings she sought to promote the Shona heritage.

“I have always been proud of my Shona heritage. Living in the diaspora, I met people who seemed to think Shona is inferior, they would say “I don’t speak Shona”. So I decided to use my writings to promote my mother tongue,” she said.

“Unexpectedly, the same people who said they couldn’t speak Shona were captivated by my storytelling and now enjoy reading my Shona books.”

Mtize said although the writing profession was profitable, it was demanding and there was pressure to bring out a sequel before marketing the projects.

“Just as with any product, one has to invest in advertising and marketing. I have sold books, but my target market is limited to the Shona literate readers.  I am in the process of translating the books into English,” she said.

Mtize said after the outbreak of COVID-19 that has resulted in national lockdowns, she was using different digital platforms to reach a wider audience.

“Book promotion tours have been turned into virtual tours and we are reaching more audiences across the globe without having to buy flight tickets. I engage with readers through social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Zoom,” she said.

Some of Mtize’s published books are Tete book series (Shona), Shina (English) and My Journal: Reflections.

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