The Chronicle, 27 May 2013
AMABOOKS, the publishers of the story anthology, Where to Now?: Short Stories from Zimbabwe, are working on translating the book from the English language to isiNdebele to help promote the language.
The book would be titled Siqondephi Manje, Indatshana ZaseZimbabwe.
It is a collection of 16 short stories from Zimbabwean writers, the majority of them from Bulawavo.
In an interview, Brian Jones from Amabooks said they decided to translate the book into isiNdebele for the stories to reach a wider audience as well as promoting the language.
"The majority of the stories in the collection were written by Bulawayo writers in and out of the country and we realised that sometimes they think in isiNdebele and some of the words lose meaning in the process of translation into English.
"The stories often read much better in isiNdebele because it's the writers' mother tongue and some of the humour works better in isiNdebele," said Jones.
He said South African based writer Dr Thabisani Ndlovu was translating the book.
"So far, three stories have been translated by Dr Ndlovu, who is based at Wits University, and we are expecting that he would be done by the first of July.
"Zimbabwe has good writers and we want the stories they tell to be available locally as well as reach out to a much wider audience," he said.
The 150‑page anthology is made up of stories that deal with various social issues, among them life in modern day Zimbabwe, traditional values, modern life and the particularly changing role of women in today's society.
Where to Now is the fifth short story collection from Amabooks publishers.
The other books in the series are Short Writings from Bulawayo I, II and III, and Long Time Coming: Short Writings from Zimbabwe.
"The first books were mainly made up of pieces from Bulawayo writers because we were the only publishers in English here at that time, but we have since attracted Zimbabwean writers from all over the globe so we felt we should stop calling the books 'from Bulawayo’," said Jones.
Barbara Mhangami Ruwende's Christina the Colourful has been translated as Itshatshazi ElinguChristina and Mzana Mthimkhulu's I am an African am I? as NgingumAfrica Akunjalo?
Some of the popular short story writers are Raisedon Baya, Caine Prize winner NoViolet Bulawayo, Christopher Mlalazi, John Eppel and Mzana Mthimkhulu, among others.
Jones said they are expecting the book to be available on the market in September.
The project is funded by the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa.
Auxilia Katongomara, Entertainment Correspondent