Local writer releases new literary work

2018-02-07 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedZipho Makhoba with his latest literary work.

PHOTO: suppliedZipho Makhoba with his latest literary work.

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PIETERMARITZBURG author Zipho Makhoba’s latest literary work hit the shelves last Monday.

The 29-year-old’s second offering covers various topics, including politics and race issues. His first book is titled Post-Independence Pitfalls in Africa — Contemporary Echoes of the Past in Black and White.

Being a scribe and publishing papers is something Makhoba has been doing since his varsity days, going into mainstream publishing in 2015.

Makhoba owns a publishing company, Astute Books, which published his recent work.

In 2016, Makhoba successfully co-ordinated and facilitated the “Better Off Knowing” campaign. He was awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Mentor School of Politics in 2009.

During his years of study, he was a class representative in Modern Political Thoughts 301 and in Comparative Government and Politics 304.

Echo journalist Makhosandile Zulu had a chat with him about his life, his love for the written word and his latest works.

MZ: What made you become an author?

MAKHOBA: I have ample love for literature and storytelling in general. In particular, I wanted to add meaningfully to the profusion of literary work on the African continent. In addition, I believe in documenting the happenings of our epoch so that the future generations will know where this continent is coming from.

MZ: What path did you take to become an author?

MAKHOBA: Most of our African authors are self-taught and I am no exception. We do not have professional institutions where one can go, specifically to study the art of writing. When I got a chance in 2007 to start varsity I picked political science and philosophy as my majors. This curriculum introduced me to a mountain of literary works by African scholars, sages, philosophers and thinkers. There is a saying that you are what you feed your mind. The more I exposed myself to these writings, the more I fell in love with the art of writing.

MZ: Tell us a bit about yourself.

MAKHOBA: I am down to Earth, very quiet, goal-orientated, hard working and I have a huge heart.

MZ: What is the title of the book you have just released?

MAKHOBA: My current book is titled Antonyms of Democracy in Africa — The Democratization of Ill-democracy.

MZ: Which genre does your new book fall under?

MAKHOBA: The book is non-fiction and it falls under the political sociology, political philosophy categories.

MZ: Without giving away too much, please tell us what the book is about.

MAKHOBA: The book is a collection of short essays. These essays cover a range of topics, from political economy to political sociology and political philosophy. For example, there are essays on subtle manifestations of racism, how and why democracy is imposed on the African continent, how unemployment is a lucrative business in Africa, how thieves and the unemployed are about to become permanent premature classes, the dichotomies and contradictions of our imposed democracy, etc.

MZ: Why did you choose to write about these topics?

MAKHOBA: I study and interpret the daily woes we face as a people of this continent with the hope of finding answers, if not, at least the alternatives. Most of the topics I write about are highly contentious and there are certain people who do not feel comfortable. But my job as an author is not to ensure their comfort but rather bring hope to the majority of blacks.

MZ: Please tell us briefly about the path you took leading to the publishing of your book?

MAKHOBA: A lot of reading and observation, followed by literature review, peer review. Then there was a manuscript, then a book.

MZ: What would you like to accomplish as an author?

MAKHOBA: I would like to create an environment where writing is treated like any other profession, not just an art or a hobby.

MZ: What do you love the most about being an author?

MAKHOBA: I love the autonomy and the fact that when you write, you expose your shortcomings and your brilliance all at once.

MZ: What are some of your challenges that you as a writer have experienced?

MAKHOBA: Distribution — getting your books to all bookstores can be very costly.

MZ: What advice have you got for young people who dream of becoming authors?

MAKHOBA: Read as much as you can, focus on that one genre that you love the most, be open to criticism and master intellectual property law.

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