New book depicts life in a foreign land
Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
A South Africa-based Masvingo author has written a novel, “In the Black Dawn: More than a Decade and half in Eclipse”, which depicts the hardships experienced by undocumented immigrants in South Africa. Owen Mapuranga(30) of Zaka, who is also a Local Governance Studies Honours degree graduate with the Midlands State University, said he was motivated to write the book based on his experience in South Africa.
Mapuranga, who joined the great trek to South Africa, in 2015 said it is never rosy in the flash lights of Johannesburg, Pretoria or Durban and there was no gold glittering as many were made to believe.
He said things are really tough when one is a foreigner especially for those who have not regulated their stay in the neighbouring country.
In his book, Mapuranga takes a school dropout as the main character, as many undocumented immigrants from Zimbabwe would not have completed their education back home. “They dropped out of school due to the love of the otherwise elusive Rand and sacrificed their lives , crossing the crocodile-infested Limpopo River , on foot with some risking suffocating , as they hide themselves in tankers.
The book is a lesson to the Zimbabwean young men and women, in particular that they should be properly documented to eke out a decent living on foreign land,” he said.
He said some undocumented immigrants are taken for slavery ,human trafficking and other dehumanizing activities under the guise the perpetrators would find them decent jobs.
“I started writing when I was doing my tertiary education at MSU. . People should get a synopsis of what has happened in South Africa.
“I shudder to think stories of Wenera era were supposed to be recorded and I feel through this book, I am filling a gap of record keeping.
“The need to warn people about living on foreign land has also made me finish this project in three years,” said Mapuranga.
He said , it was not easy to have the book published but soldiered on until the book was found on South African bookshops shelves.
Mapuranga said he used his savings from the menial jobs he used to do in South Africa, to publish the book. He said plans were afoot to produce an action movie from the book.