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Victor Dlamini

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The greatly humorous Zimbabwean author, Charles Mungoshi

Charles Mungoshi

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Charles Mungoshi

Photographed at last year’s Time of the Writer.

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    March 11th, 2009 @22:09 #
     
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    Here's a poem by Mungoshi I included in Seasons Come to Pass:

    A LETTER TO A SON

    Now the pumpkin is ripe.
    We are only a few days from
    the year’s first mealie cob.
    The cows are giving us lots of milk.
    Taken in the round it isn’t a bad year at all –
    if it weren’t for your father.
    Your father’s back is back again
    and all the work has fallen on my shoulders.
    Your little brothers and sisters are doing
    fine at the day-school. Only Rindai
    is becoming a problem. You will remember
    we wrote you – did you get our letter? –
    you didn’t answer – you see, since your
    father’s back started we haven’t been able
    to raise enough to send your sister Rindai
    to secondary school. She spends most of the time
    crying by the well. It’s mainly because of her
    that I am writing this letter.
    I had thought you would be with us last Christmas
    then I thought maybe you were too busy
    and you would make it at Easter –
    it was then your father nearly left us, son.
    Then I thought I would come to you some time
    before the cold season settled in – you know how
    I simply hate that time of year –
    but then your father went down again
    and this time worse than any other time before.
    We were beginning to think he would never see
    another sowing season. I asked your sister Rindai
    to write you but your father would have none of it
    – you know how stubborn he can get when
    he has to lie in bed all day or gets
    one of those queer notions of his that
    everybody is deserting him!
    Now, Tambu, don’t think I am asking for money –
    although we had to borrow a little from
    those who have it to get your father to hospital
    and you know how he hates having to borrow!
    That is all I wanted to tell you.
    I do hope that you will be with us this July.
    It’s so long ago since we last heard from you –
    I hope this letter finds you still at the old address.
    It is the only address we know.
    YOUR MOTHER

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  • <a href="http://wgt.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Ndaba</a>
    Ndaba
    March 13th, 2009 @14:37 #
     
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    Surely, this deserves a comment...
    Charles Mungoshi is a writer of note.
    Humour and suspense abound in the following lines :
    `Now the pumpkin is ripe.
    Your father’s back is back again
    and all the work has fallen on my shoulders`.

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  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    March 13th, 2009 @14:52 #
     
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    I missed this when Helen first posted it. It is indeed a very clever, and almost uncomfortable, blending of humour and pathos.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    March 13th, 2009 @16:26 #
     
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    That line "Your father's back is back again" speaks volumes, a line once read, never forgotten.

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