LUVONE: THE WRITERS’ LIGHT
There’s a woman who likes big things out there. For example, when she’s not looking at the sea from the heights of Nyangani, she is scaling Kilimanjaro for seven days. Sometimes she lectures, sometimes she writes two books in a year, award-winning books, that’s about 658 pages combined! Sometimes she’s a philanthropist, helping out other women with sanitary wear.
This is not a eulogy or an ode, yet, Yvonne Maphosa has done something amazing. Tracking back to 2020; in the heat of the pandemic, Maphosa woke up with an epiphany of starting a writing competition for younger Zimbabwean writers. As a child of the south, she named the dream in the language of her tongue, TjiKalanga. When her idea met the world it was named “Luvone”, which means “light”, in TjiKalanga of course.
The competition was meant to be a national affair, yet resources were not permitting and so the decision was made by all involved that it be confined to Matabelaland while it finds its feet. The participants aged between sixteen and twenty-five submitted stories of between 2500 and 5000 words. Maphosa said she is very passionate about writing from young Zimbabweans, hence the writing contest. In an immaculate show of ubuntu, all resources for the contest were sourced from the sympathetic public; perhaps the reading culture is not as bad as the naysayers have always wanted us to believe.
For those who didn’t make the top spot worth at least R3000, or the three runner-up positions worth R1000 each but made it into the top 20, their work gets to be published in this new 160 page collection. In compiling this work, Miss Maphosa worked with fellow writers Busisekile Khumalo and Philani A. Nyoni. They formed the judging panel, and functioned as editors of the final project.
Congratulations to each one of the people involved, eKasi is reliably informed that physical copies will hit the streets early September while the book has been trading on Amazon since late July. We look forward to getting our own copy, and perhaps writing a review on it.