Friday, June 29, 2007

Diary of a former Zimbabwean freedom fighter

A colleague at work has asked me to look at her friend’s 20-page memoir, with the idea of making it available on my blog as a download.

The friend is a former Zimbabwean soldier, and he tells the story of how, as a boy, he watched his sister’s murder. The man grew up to join ZANU PF fighting for what he thought would be the liberation of his people.

Only there was no freedom at the end of the journey: ordinary Zimbabweans remain poor and oppressed, and the guy regrets that he fought to get the Robert Mugabe regime into power.

Because of the economic situation in Zimbabwe, the man came to South Africa to look for a better life. Unfortunately, that remains elusive, and he works as a security guard at a townhouse complex, earning very little money. He also misses his family deeply.

My colleague says it’s a poignant tale that would make good reading for teens. We’ll see. If the story is as good as she thinks, I’m going to suggest they apply for a self-publishing publishing grant from the Centre of the Book. Not sure when the deadline for the next batch of applications is, but it’s probably around September.

My colleague and her friend can also make an ebook version available, set up a web site or blog and promote it.


The first email I opened this morning was a rejection for a poem I submitted a couple of months ago. The managing editor said she liked it at the start, but along the way, it became "mundane," so the pub had to pass.

The rejection stings a bit, but I'm heartened by her personal comment of the intro. It means the poem is salvageable, and I just need to work through it again until the full whole works.

Note to self: send as much material as possible out into the market as possible, so rejections don't sting too much.

A couple of months ago I mentioned plans to collaborate with a colleague. I didn't elaborate too much on the project, and still can't. But I did put together a proposal and sent it through her to add to it, and this morning she sent back her revised version. It looks really great, and we just need to panel-beat it a little before sending it out to publishers.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Best of luck on your poem! I know that stinging feeling well and I also hope it gets better with time.

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