Nokuthula Mazibuko Msimang’s debut novel The Daughters of Nandi, published by Paivapo Publishers, debuted in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 4, 2021.
Nokuthula Mazibuko Msimang is a South African writer, academic, producer and broadcaster who has published the following books for young readers: In the Fast Lane (2003, New Africa Books); A Mozambican Summer (2005, New Africa Books); Spring Offensive (2006, Timbila); Love Songs for Nheti (2006, Vivlia); Freedom Song (2008, Pearson); and Qhawe! Mokgadi Caster Semenya (2021, New Africa Books). Qhawe! Mokgadi Caster Semenya which celebrates the life of the champion gold medallist won her a Bessie Head Writing Fellowship. Some readers of this blog will remember seeing the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Research Institute Fellow at the Zulu day during the languages edition of Afrolit Sans Frontieres last year.
The writer this year made her step into the adult space with the publication of her debut novel The Daughters of Nandi which has the following blurb;
As she took her dying breath, Nandi Mhlongo, mother of Shaka ka Senzangakhona, cursed the house of Zulu and her family, the Mhlongos, for the disrespect she endured at their hands. In the ancestral realm, Nandi worries that her malediction may have been rash and too dangerous for the descendants of the two houses. The curse can be undone but it will need a human medium to convey the message to the progeny.
Through three historical periods, three women who are extraordinary in their different ways will seek to get restitution for Nandi. Gentle Keeya, a Motswana woman of the House of Moagi who marries one of Nandi’s descendants as the English, the Boers and the Zulu go to war in the 19th Century; Uju, a spirited married woman who carves a space for herself in history during the forced removals of Sophiatown in the 20th Century; and in the 21st Century Amangwe, who reluctantly joins her fellow students as they speak up against a meaningless freedom during the #FeesMustFall protests.
Will any of these three women manage to ensure Nandi Mhlongo is appeased and if not, what shall be the consequences to the Houses of Mhlongo and Zulu and to the three Daughters of Nandi themselves?
An engaging debut which seamlessly weaves fact, fiction and spiritualities while subverting the way the reader perceives history.
Readers in Johannesburg were given a sneak peak of the new book at an event at the Book Circle Capital on Saturday, December 4. The well attended event was moderated by Book Circle’s Sewela Langeni.
You can get a taste of the new book from this excerpt from our friends at Johannesburg Review of Books by Clicking here.