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Book Reviews

Book Review: U ya va rungula by Nzama Mtileni

U ya va Rungula is a Poetry book by Tsonga writer and academic Nzama Mtileni. In this book Mtileni delves into many subjects and tells stories in unique and unusual ways. Mtileni did not stick to the conventional way of poetry. He became a story teller that touched subjects that are familiar; in a Poem Mayana vinyi va Bango – he speaks of how he is constantly asked for identity documents by police due to his dark skin.

“…xihlawuhlawu xa ha ombe ntima hi ra nsimbi pass; ku kota tatana a tshama a ganganderile.”

The writer compares his situation to that of his father during apartheid and how things have not changed after years of freedom in South Africa.

Chifundo is a poem that echoes the incident where Madonna wanted to adopt an infant in Malawi; it was a media and court battle about her rights to adopt the child. Here he exposes the poverty in Africa, where we become exploited and our children becoming part of the circus in the world of white buying us like commodity. An African child cannot speak for herself, as the battle in the court of people’s opinion and that of law takes place; “u te yini wena loko u swi twisa sweswo? endzhaku ka malembe manharhu a hansi ka dyambu.”

In Ngohe ya Vumunhu, he weaves an emotional story on rape. Nkuma Etaleni speaks of the inhuman nature in which members of AWB died in the hands of two teens, but also reminding us what the leader represented. This book is for Vatsonga who enjoy reading Xitsonga and yet love stories packed in poetry.

The book is a gem and certainly gives readers a new world of reading pleasure that is filled with stories and subjects that touches on the reality of our lives. U ya va Rungula has shifted the way in which poetry is perceived, as anyone can be able to enjoy and relate to the subjects.

Published by Nhlalala books


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