Known for his great works, including ‘Waiting for the Rain’, Charles Mungoshi is arguably one of the best writers in Zimbabwe.
His works include short stories and novels in both Shona and English, dating back to the liberation struggle in the 1970s. Now the prolific writer has released a new book, Branching Streams Flow in the Dark, which took him 21 years to finish due to health problems.
The now bed-ridden award winning author went into a comma three years ago while still putting it together. But his loving wife Jesesi, a star in her own right, and two children, Farai and Charles Junior spent the last three years working hard to finish the work that he had started.
This was not easy considering that they were struggling with Mungoshi’s health on the other hand.
Mungoshi’s family has found comfort that the book is now out and with Charles on the “long road to recovery.”
The book just like it’s title focuses on despair and hopelessness of those affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic before the advent of life-saving anti-viral drugs.
Mungoshi, as usual, writes lyrically and with deep empathy for those affected by the virus. He presents characters with compassion and sorrow as well as joy as they come to terms with a disease often transmitted in the most intimate of circumstances.
The main character, Serina, is riddled with feelings of betrayal and the pain of being abandoned after the death of her son, gradually comes to terms with her new family and those who stand by her through her illness.
Jesesi said her husband is a prophetic writer and at times such prophetic messages are mistaken for madness by ordinary people.
Charles Jr. once said his father does not write for money, adding he once tried to make him change his profession but later realized it was out of immaturity.
Writing runs in the Mungoshi family. Farayi and Charles Jr. are now full-time writers like their father. Charles Jr. has published a collection of short stories titled “Candle Lights Thoughts” to be launched at the Zimbabwe Book Fair later this month.
Mungoshi had 12 works before this latest book which include two Commonwealth writers' prize award winners, His books include Walking Still, Setting Sun, Rolling World, One Day Long Ago, Waiting for the Rain, Coming of the Dry Season, Makunun’unu Maodzamoyo (Brooding Breeds Despair) and plays Inongova Njakenjake and the Milkman Doesn’t Only Deliver Milk.
The family expects Mungoshi to fully recover and go back into writing – the true love of his life.