As part of the Self-Publishing Africa initiative, today at It’s My Footprint (IMFP) we are joined by Munyaradzi Gunduza (MG) a Zimbabwean young writer who started writing at the age of 21. He pursued his academic studies at the University of Zimbabwe where he graduated with Bachelor of Arts General, Special Hons in Political Science and Administration and Masters in Public Administration.
(IMFP) Welcome Munyaradzi, and thank you for spending time with us at It’s My Footprint.
(MG) Thank you.
(IMFP) Can you start by giving our followers a brief background of yourself and where you are coming from?
(MG) I was born in the year 1992 in Mashonaland East Province in Zimbabwe. I started writing when I was still at High School in Harare around 2009-11. Currently I am living in Harare, Zimbabwe where I am working at Secondary Book Press as an editor for languages.
(IMFP) Where do you get your ideas from?
(IMFP) Why do you write?
(MG) I always want to see the Zimbabwean writing fraternity occupying the world space and becoming a better place through seeding positive thoughts among the young and the old. Also to contribute to the growing of ideas in the understanding of Zimbabwean local languages.
(MG) People like teachers, students and other readers who did not fully understand the relevance of literature to the modern day society. That’s why I decide to venture into literature, imparting skills and growing literature itself.
(IMFP) How do you deal with bad reviews, rejection and criticism?
(MG) Somehow I ask myself the reason behind rejection and criticism and try to rectify the weaknesses if am wrong. But in the event that am not the one who is on the wrong side I just ignore negative and unconstructive criticism and move on with my writing career.
(IMFP) Munyaradzi, you surely have developed in your writing. What are you busy with now in terms of writing?
(MG) For the past two weeks I have been working on two books that we are going to launch in a couple of weeks to come. These are poetry anthologies written in Shona by different poets across the country. Now am working on a Shona textbook that helps Shona students studying literature at Ordinary level to equip them with the relevant skills of its appreciation.
(IMFP) What do you find difficult about book writing?
(MG) Funding, piracy, and market distribution, the erosion of reading culture among other reasons are becoming problematic in the Zimbabwean book industry.
(MG) From my experience as an author and publisher I learnt that self-publishing is good if properly implemented and well executed compared to the royalties contract publishing because the author will be passive in his/her work. Traditional publishing was more suppressive to writers in my own opinion.
(IMFP) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
(MG) They should work hard and read hard because serious readers are great writers. No two ways about it.
(IMFP) If you could go back in time 12 months, what would you advise yourself?
(MG) 100% dependent on writing and well known writers all over across the world.
(IMFP) Who is your favourite author and why?
(MG) T.K. Tsodzo because he is both a fiction and non-fiction writers at the same time just like myself.
(IMFP) Do you do book reviews? What type of books do you review?
(MG) Yes I do, that’s my full time job which is earning me a living today. I review Shona and English literature books (fiction).
(IMFP) How do you interact with other authors? Are you a member of a book club?
(MG) Usually I chat with other writers through writers workshops, Book fairs, book launches etc. Yes am a member.
(IMFP) What types of books do you normally recommend to your friends?
(MG) The Song of Time Poetry and Short Stories, Zimbabwean Poetry Reignited, Harvest of Thorns etc.
(IMFP) Let’s talk about Munyaradzi the man! Give us a bit of your social and family life.
(MG) Usually I do not want to talk about a social life because I live a writing life. Of course am not married, still single and live with my family of four members; mum and brothers.
(IMFP) Any final word for our followers?
(MG) Please keep on doing whatever you are doing that makes your life brilliant ad don’t lose focus.
(MG) Thank you!
Munyaradzi Gunduza Links and Contacts;