She’s a woman, and above all, she’s a creator. She’s Ntombikamama Moyo.
Unlike the usual common story of how one finds themselves in this field after having lost their way into a familial pressured field of study in college and having a fiery-eyed passion that pores and perseveres through with a sharp hot-headed, pointed tip through the blazing inferno of what you “should” do as opposed to what you want to, hers is a story of someone who followed their love for the art of creating through the writing art form.
Ntombi, a sucker for romance stories spent four years at NUST studying Publishing, which ultimately gives her a sharp edge in this cutthroat industry and she has a whole portfolio to show for it, with two whole feature films under her belt. While she is a she that’s definitely killing it, and looking good darn good whilst doing it too, it wasn’t all that easy for her and progress didn’t just fall into her lap. One can imagine the countless sleepless nights she had to live through, the tossing and turning bred out of frustration, but anything worthwhile is worth the wait.
Straight out of college, like any other person, you hope to take your industry of choice by the horns, shake it up like one does a salt shaker as you climb the corporate ladder on your way to the summit. And when that doesn’t happen, you have to make lemonade, which sucks because you don’t want lemonade. Given the choice, you’d probably go for a Coke, but you’re stuck making a drink you lack the affinity for, for a reason most unbeknownst to you, could be allergies for all you know. After graduating from college, Ntombi’s visual board for life after college consisted of a nice cocoon of an office, with her name on it of course, and a platinum plaque that read Copy Editor. But she had to make lemonade, which I ought to mention once more, sucks, regardless of the beauty being in the struggle and Queen Bey having glamourized the art of making lemonade.
“The plan after graduating from varsity was to find a nice office job as a Copy Editor and spend my days righting the wrongs on other people’s work whilst writing my own work on the side, but I found myself working as an Information Officer at an NGO, a job that has exposed me to a lot of life and allowed me to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds–something I don’t take for granted,” she said.
Light at the end of the tunnel actually exists folks, so despair not. Ntombi found herself actively absent in a vision board that she has meticulously planned on being the star of the show in and instead found herself working in a field that was more than a stone’s throw away from where she actually wanted to go. But that was not a deterrent, just a detour.
She has gone on to write two feature films for Zambezi Magic DSTV, namely $400 which premiered in 2019 and did so well that it was nominated for a 2020 NAMAs and Gold Diggers (a collaboration with Creative Pot Africa), which premiered last year. Ultimately this opened up doors for her, and she’s been writing up a storm ever since, balancing being a novelist and screenwriter, loving it and looking darn good whilst doing it too. Last year, she also published a novel, In 30 Days, which follows a young career woman, trying to put her life back together after ‘Hurricane Rejection’ ravaged her, simple translation, sis got dumped by a boyfriend of nine years, and so the story revolves around her getting back on her A-game.
Speaking on the innateness of writing as a kill, she said:
“I believe writers are either born writers or made writers through their love for the written word. Seeing as I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember and can honestly say that I don’t know what it’s like not to write, most of my creative ability is likely to be an inborn thing. I chose Publishing at varsity because it was the most suitable option for what I wanted to do with my life after school – which was to make a career out of writing and editing. My training didn’t teach me what I didn’t know, but it built on what I already had inside of me and equipped me with the tools to control and maximize on my craft. I don’t take it for granted that there’s obviously still a lot of learning to do, but it’s a lot easier knowing that writing is not just what I do, but who I am deep down.”
Ntombi prides herself on being a romance writer, so she’s just like you and me, a sucker for a good romance story. She often finds herself engulfed and entranced in the telenovelas on Telemundo, and if she’s not glued to the screen she’s reading fanfiction and helplessly crushing on the Nigerian actor Ramsey Nouah, whom she hopes to meet and work with someday as she’s looking forward to writing more stories for the screen and collaborating with Bulawayo filmmakers to produce mighty fine films.
Personally, as someone who’s also a sucker for a good romance story, I’m excited for what’s to come from Ntombi because she writes and creates especially for us hopeless romantics, a classic ‘For Us By Us/FUBU’ case. She writes intending to allow her audience an escape and creating a safe space.
“Apart from, obviously, hoping the audience and the readers are thoroughly entertained by the tales I create on a daily, I want them to find a safe space in my stories and use them as an escape. As someone who grew up with my nose buried under every book imaginable and watching movies, and allowing myself to use my imagination to explore other worlds, I hope that those who encounter my stories will find a home in them, identify pieces of themselves in the characters I write about and be able to look at themselves through someone else’s eyes. I pride myself on being a romance writer and this is something I want to cultivate until I am the romance writer of my generation. I’m a sucker for a good love story and I think that if my stories had a scent; they would smell a lot like roses – the ultimate symbol of love, passion and romance with the ability to stir up passionate feelings, even in the most apathetic of hearts,” said Ntombi.
Speaking on the creative industry in Zimbabwe, this is what Ntombi had to say:
“Zimbabwe has got talent – right from the veterans who set the pace with their outstanding creations across platforms right down to some of us who are still trying to find our feet and take up space in our respective creative areas. I strongly believe that there is room for growth going forward and it all depends on us as creatives to not just rely on what has been done and be satisfied with that, but instead to raise the bar high so that we can also compete on international stages, especially in the film industry. The highlight has been watching creatives push the boundaries with limited resources and making it work – there’s been a rise of self-published authors and filmmakers joining forces to get their work out there. Imagine what could be achieved if we had a bit more to work with!”
This month, #enthuse, through its #SheCreatesMarch feature series, celebrates the work of thirty-one Zimbabwean women creatives, the contributions and achievements they have made throughout history, culture, and society. The idea is to elevate visibility for commercial projects and commissions. Discover the work of avant-garde creatives who embody the spirit of the month by uplifting and empowering women. Representing diverse backgrounds and disciplines, these women share one thing in common: their dedication to supporting women and sharing their stories through art and creativity. We are thrilled to share their work. And this month is about them. #ChooseToChallenge