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It’s cool to write in indigenous languages

Entertainment - Date: 19 March 2017

Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 1734



The culture of reading stories for pleasure and entertainment seems to be dwindling in many communities. Some people argue that books have become too expensive, while others say access to reading material has declined.

However, a 25-year-old woman, Rudzani Thangambi, believes that a culture of reading is only gaining momentum in the country. The proof is the success of her literary initiative, where she writes stories and posts them on Facebook for readers to enjoy at no cost.

She also published a book, Avhatakali, in hard copy in 2015.

Although she mainly self-publishes, Rudzani makes use of experienced editors, proofreaders and quality printers. A resident of Ha-Makhuvha village, near Vuwani, Rudzani noticed her writing talent at a young age. She would write poems and plays and pass them around to friends to read.

“I was a very shy kid,” she said. “As a teenager I'd read anything from newspapers to novels and magazines. My dad used to encourage me to read, in that he'd buy me newspapers and magazines regularly." It is that love of books and reading which has so far served as a foundation for her writing tools: vocabulary, plot devising and story structuring. She writes both in Tshivenda and English, but it seems she is more at ease when writing in Tshivenda.

“I am a proud Muvenda and I've proven that not only in my writing, but in supporting our Tshivenda music as well,” she said. “I love to read and after realising that most of the books that people are publishing today are in English, I saw a gap that needed to be filled. I felt that maybe I should take a stand to write in Tshivenda and then many more people would start doing the same.”

In 2015 she published Avhatakali, and it was well received. “What was even more humbling was when I was approached by a number of young people who were interested in writing books in Tshivenda. There are few that I am working with on a project that I can't disclose yet.”

Her Facebook stories are riveting. She started her literary page after reading a favourite Facebook page, called Amacherrie Ase Kasi. “I began to hear my writing self talking to me,” she stated. “The plot of Amacherie Ase Kasi was intriguing and gripping. I loved how the writer told that story. So I decided to create a page too and started writing inserts which I posted daily on Facebook. That’s how Rudzani the writer was born.”

The story that catapulted her to fame was Tshitori tsha vhutshilo hanga, which she published daily on an eponymous Facebook page. Her current Facebook page, The untold – I was his mistress, has around 40 000 likes. She delights in sharing stories with the readers, even though she does not get paid for her efforts.

“I have learned that not everything is about money and making income,” said the environmental science graduate and mother of a four-year-old daughter, Rokunda Munyai.

“I get pretty excited when I see the kind of people reading my stories. I am talking about people old enough to be my mom, young teenage boys and girls who don’t usually read paperbacks.I have created a platform for people to exercise their reading skills, seeing that we have fewer people who want to read these days. So I don’t feel like it’s a waste for me to write because I have received massive feedback from different people whose lives I had touched through my stories. So I think that’s worth more than cash to me.”

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Rudzani Thangambi.


Rudzani Thangambi, busy writing her stories.

Proud author Rudzani Thangambi.


Rudzani Thangambi's novel, Avhatakali.


Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.


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