By Byron Mutingwende
Eminent Zimbabweans have heaped praises on human rights defender and peace advocate Misheck Gondo on the launch of his inaugural novel, “The Terrible Heat-break” at a colourful event in Harare on Thursday.
Prominent businessman and President of FreeZim Congress party, Joseph Makamba Busha, who was Guest of Honour at Gondo’s book launch at a prestigious event at Batanai Gardens in Harare said the peace advocate had transformed his potential into reality, a feat that most Zimbabweans find insurmountable.
“The move by Mr. Misheck Gondo, a human rights defender, peace advocate and leader who chairs the Board of the JM Busha 54 Races and also sits on the Board of the National Association of Non Governmental Organisations (NANGO) and is director of the National Association of Youth Organisations (NAYO) invokes in me an analogy of a young man who visited a prolific writer with a view of writing books.
“On being asked why the young man referred himself as a writer without published works, the young man said he had the feeling but was told the feeling remained just a wish until executed. Today, we are all gathered here in our diversity because Mr. Gondo has moved and transformed his potential into reality through coming up with his book, The Terrible Heartbreak,” Mr. Busha said.
As an athlete who has a record of reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mr. Busha said Mr. Gondo had figuratively reached the summit of his potential by writing the book which made him to see, discover and experience new things.
Dr. Prolific Mataruse, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe who was in the same class with Mr. Misheck Gondo as university students, praised his colleague for putting his feelings and views into a book, a feat he said lacked in academic journals.
“This journey of writing a book started when we were students at the University of Zimbabwe in 2007 and I am glad that today the idea has culminated into reality. Like Ngugi wa Thiongo and the famous Dambudzo Marechera, Mr. Gondo wrote this book from a personal perspective and I am sure it will go a long way in arousing interests of readers worldwide since he writes from a personal experience unique to Zimbabwe and Africa and attends to issues that are peculiar to our country and society.
“My experiences today on a ZUPCO bus, if I were to put them in a book or novel will be the first of their kind to someone from Europe or America. This is exactly what my colleague has done in the book and I am confident he will reach greater heights,” Dr. Mataruse said.
In a similar fashion, celebrated novelist and women’s rights advocate and development practitioner, Emelda Vhiriri said Mr. Gondo had embraced a positive attitude and taken control of circumstances that may have debilitated against him until he brought the book into reality.
“Each and every one holds something in his or her own hands. We need to have a positive mindset in order to give to the world our unique contribution as what Mr Gondo has done in launching this book that we all yearn to read,” Vhiriri said.
Mr. Kudzanai Vere, a Certified Forensic Practitioner, the Founder and Executive President of Premium Business Network International who is also a development strategist alluded to the importance of using time to the best of one’s abilities as a critical ingredient of attaining success.
“The Chinese bamboo takes four years underground and germinates the fifth year. It grows up to 27 metres within five weeks of germination. In the four years, the bamboo will be busy growing its root system to be strong enough to support the miraculous growth. Without a strong grounding, nothing lasting comes out. Since 2008, Misheck was busy working on his book so that at a time such as this, the book emerges and sees the light of day. This book is definitely going to have a lasting impact in the lives of many,” Mr. Vere said.
Writer and academic, Dr. Charlton Tsodzo said Africans need a paradigm shift where they need to tell their own stories and support their own people like Mr. Gondo.
Mr. Gondo said The Terrible Heartbreak was written between 2007 and 2009 when he was an undergraduate student at the UZ.
“Ten years have since passed and it has been upgraded to capture the contemporary mood in Zimbabwe as determined by the ongoing social, economic, cultural and political events in the country, which first inspired the writing of the book,” Mr. Gondo said.
The mid 2000s were a tumultuous era in the history of Zimbabwe’s national politics and student activism. Misheck Gondo, then a student at the university of Zimbabwe, re-enacts, in his debut novella, that period with its vicious politics and risky student activism against the backdrop of HIV and AIDS.
He tells the compelling story of Alois and Eve, former lovers who reconnect after enrolling at university after fleeing political persecution from their village although Alois believes they are just picking up the thread from where they had left, he is on the shock of his life when Eve draws him into a web of deceit and danger. A MUST READ!!!