“I was never ready… a deep sigh I take nursing this blue eye that I have been given by the one whom I call my “husband”. Is he truly really “the husband”? Oh! I long the days when we would sit under the jacaranda trees in the park discussing how our future would be like and where our children would go study. The good old days I long for, the days I yearn for, the days I crave for. I feel as if I am trapped in a cage that is ripping, tearing, clearing, snatching, and taking away my life. A life I used to have, a life I used to own, a life I had freedom of choice. The life I lead, I was never ready for…”
The woeful and nostalgic excerpt above is extracted from “I Was Never Ready And Many Other Stories,” a new anthology by a snowballing newest member of the Zimbabwean literature fraternity: poet, author, newsreader and blogger, Ivainashe Earnest Nyamutsamba.
In this gradually evolving micro-universe encapsulated in sixteen novelettes narrated from the vantage point of different women, the author, 27, takes a thorough analysis of the turbulent journey of the tumultuous mind of an African woman. It is a journey into the unknown where there are subtle whispers of questions “For how long?”, “Until when?”, and “what must be done?”. It is a journey into the unknown to unearth the known, encapsulating the complexities of being African in the twenty-first-century global village.
A double-edged sword and a trojan horse of the ever-sensitive polarised world of the African, the literary work discusses the microcosm of the macrocosmic plain of what it means to be African in the ever-accelerated life of contemporary Africa. The question is, “Are you ready?” too to express the phrase “I was never ready”.
A student at law who believes in a balanced society, Nyamutsamba style of writing paves way for the shifting in the dynamics of literature yet embracing the intimate foundations of the discipline. Of the sixteen stories, fifteen are narrated by women who come from different backgrounds, all built around the “I was never ready” motif. Bearing in mind the danger of a single story, he saved a solitary piece to explore the experiences of a man who also echoes the subtle phrase “I was never ready”.
Regardless of one’s societal background and era, the collection attempt to become an immortal reference of the African of the past and the present. The author sought the art of writing to add his own views regarding the state of affairs of Africa.
Officially released in October 2020, Nyamutsamba is re-issuing the deluxe edition of the anthology via his independent Uncle Earnie’s Bookstore.