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Carnelian Heart Publishing Ltd

Portrait of Emlanjeni

Portrait of Emlanjeni

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Portrait of Emlanjeni

Portrait of Emlanjeni tells an enthralling story of the inhabitants of a small, remote village in Matebeleland South where the rains will not come, and modernity lays waste to the landscape. While primarily driven by the pregnancy of Zanele and the rape of Khethiwe, there is much more to this story. At its core, it is a vivisection of humanity, a detailed examination and graphic portrayal of the nuances of society. Tsitsi Nomsa Ngwenya callously explores the fallibility of individuals, but she also celebrates the victories that come when people work together with a common interest, be it a village performing a rain dance ceremony or a group of young girls banding together in sisterhood against the fervid savagery of sexual abuse.


In Portrait of Emlanjeni, Tsitsi Nomsa Ngwenya weaves a story that is both gripping and intriguing as well as rich in the sounds and sights of an idyllic Zimbabwe that may be waning. The characters in this narrative are endearingly rustic and appealing, yet complex by degrees. In some ways, the universe that Ngwenya creates in this novel is richly pastoral and vividly graphic. It makes the romantic want to lament, "Cry our beloved Culture." Ngwenya grapples with the challenges of being a woman in a largely patriarchal society and engages in a near-mortal struggle against the vicissitudes of a modern, but hostile world in which the sensitivities of a conquered people are callously trodden upon. I recommend Portrait of Emlanjeni for bookshelves in every home.

David Mungoshi, author of The Fading Sun and Live Like an Artist.

Portrait of Emlanjeni is a narrative that guides the reader on a tour that captures a Zimbabwean landscape and its people. The narrative reminds the reader that somewhere in this country, there are forms of life that are not only charmingly pastoral but are also being lost in our struggle against the vagaries of modern life, struggles that also tramp upon the sensitivities that make us human. Tsitsi demonstrates a keen awareness of the humanness of her characters, making this novel a must-read for those who want to find themselves.

Tanaka Chidora, author of Because Sadness is Beautiful?

Author: Tsitsi Nomsa Ngwenya
Publisher: Carnelian Heart Publishing Ltd
Published: 03/20/2023
Pages: 286
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.56lbs
Size: 7.81h x 5.06w x 0.71d
ISBN: 9781914287343

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