By Kundai Marunya
Four writers from Harare and Bulawayo will today launch a collaborative creative fiction novel titled Sworn to the depths of Inyangani.
To be availed online for free download, the book is a tale of a young university student who starts having extraordinary dreams in which an elderly woman visits him with a set of inexplicable instructions throwing his orderly life into disarray.
Elisha initially tries by all means to ignore the persistent dreams and continues leading his normal life. Then the dreams start manifesting in reality. He accidentally discovers the exact folder handed to him in his dreams by the elderly woman in his mother’s study room. The aged woman also starts appearing in the physical realm convincing Elisha to listen and do as instructed. He starts digging.
The old tattered folder contains deep clues, secrets and mysteries in the form of letters, sketches and stories of instances where the old woman and her village people have been living and interacting with the mischievous spirits from the deep pools of Mount Inyanga.
These are not the only skeletons that await Elisha as he journeys to Inyanga in the company of his varsity friend, Takudzwa, pursing mysteries of the folder. The two uncover secrets about Elisha and his family battling demons that threaten to shatter Elisha’s world.
The authors namely Lindiwe Dhlakama, Takatso Sibanda, Rejoice Moyo and Banabas Karuma were selected from a pool of 252 contestants who responded to an open call by Multimedia Box in partnership with the British Council and Zimbabwe German Society for young writers to participate in a relay authoring contest back in January.
Dubbed Collabowriters, the initiative used relay authoring better known as exquisite corpse.
“Collabowriters is an innovative project that connects writers of different background to collaborate in writing creative fiction one chapter at a time,” said Collabowriters coordinator Kudzai Chikomo.
“Writer A does first chapter, writer B reads the first chapter and composes chapter 2, Writer C reads A and B and builds Chapter 3 and so on. The exciting challenge the authors have, is to develop a story in the absence of set structure.”
The project promotes artistic collaboration, creative expression and cultural dialogue using literary arts.
“The aim is to create synergies between young artists of different backgrounds to work together on a fiction novel which will be published digitally and in print format,” said Chikomo.
“The project fosters cooperation rather than competition and creates a bridge to understanding the differences that unite us.”
Multimedia Box is a creative arts organisation that initiates, facilitates and implement production of multimedia art which fosters positive, cultural, socio-economic transformation. They empower young and emerging artists with skills development opportunities in digital media content, illustration, photography, graphics, animation and film.
The book will be made available and free to download on the Collabowriters website www.collabowriters.org