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Penyai says he writes Ndau books to preserve culture

In an interview with the Standard Style, Penyai said he won’t stop writing saying he has more to offer.

A columnist with a local vernacular newspaper, Ishmail Penyai has said he writes Ndau books to preserve his culture citing that a UN report says in every two weeks, there is an indigenous language dying.

Penyai (58), who funds his publications, has so far published 38 Ndau books which target the Ndau community including schools in the area.

In an interview with the Standard Style, Penyai said he won’t stop writing saying he has more to offer.

“l do this for the preservation of our culture and the next generation to come, and making   money is secondary," he said.

"A United Nations report says every two weeks, there is an indigenous language that's dying and I don’t want Ndau to be one of those dying languages.

“If l was doing this for money, l could have long abandoned this project. So far I have written and published 38 books and the night is still young. I will die writing, publishing my books and for other fellow writers,” he said.

He said his books talk about everyday life, love, hurt, patriotism and witchcraft among other issues.

“I have got a series on witchcraft entitled Dzangu Dzekwa Muthakhathi Volume One up to eight and I will start working on Volume Nine.

"Shakespeare wrote about witchcraft in Macbeth hence I also decided to make money on witchcraft, it sounds universal.

"My target is to publish up to 50 books next year. As l speak I have four books ready for publication. Typing takes most of my time, l spend  a lot of time typing from my scripts but am now used to it," he said.

"I also have a series on love books entitled Dzangu Dzerudo Nedzimweni Dzacho. l am on volume Two, l have started typing Volume Three.

l also have a series of a mixture of Ndau and Zezuru, this one is called Fare Fare Tindike Sheke Sheke Shweee-e Volume One  and Two.  I love Volume One, it's a must read for every Zimbabwean with an appetite for humour. l can say all my books are full of humor and irony, you will be in stitches until you get to the last page."

Penyai, who also runs a charity publishing club to promote other upcoming authors, said his books target adults and schools.

“Tsvurangoko is a collection of Ndau proverbs and sayings.  It’s ideal for secondary schools and colleges throughout the country. Great Zimbabwe University will be soon offering a degree in Ndau, which is an exciting development to our language. 

"Marymount Teachers' College in Mutare will also train Ndau teachers soon. All these institutes are consumers of my literature. However, my challenge is funding for my publications, it's difficult to get funding but with the little l generate, l am able to fund my next publications,” he said.

He said he was looking forward to a business in Mozambique where he is set to market his books.

“Business will open up especially when Mozambique establishes Ndau as their local language in schools and they are busy implementing that. I owe Mozambique a business trip like yesterday," he said.

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