Local author Rudzani Eric Mmbengwa, from Havhangani village, has published his first Tshivenda collection of poetry, titled “Ngwedzamilambo”. The book, which was launched on 28 October, contains 42 poems that break down the definition and structure of the typical poem and figure of speech.
Mmbengwa’s writing skills started to develop way back in 2000. At that stage, he was a pupil at Mudinane Secondary School. He wrote numerous poems that won him prizes in the school’s poetry competitions. After he completed his matric, Mmbengwa started to compile his poems with the hope of one day having them published.
He has found the self-confidence to venture into a territory where other would-be writers face so many challenges. “Though I have noticed how some writers struggle to get their books published, I armed myself. I actually find that the rejection inspires me. But, then again, I have only chosen writing as a hobby, not a career.”
He says that indigenous languages in South Africa are struggling when it comes to literature because many big publishing houses are not interested in publishing these languages. “So, we are creating an industry of our own by focusing more on writing and publishing our own work in our own languages. This book of mine is selling like hot cakes. People find it appealing to their everyday lives,” he said.
Mmbengwa says many platforms exist to address issues, but that he personally finds writing to be the best platform to express his views. Besides writing poetry, he also loves to write short stories.