There is a bit of a belief that Zimbabweans don’t read and I think that’s a completely hurried and inaccurate conclusion. I’m not sure if Zimbabwe has significantly more readers than non-readers but I can confidently say that Zimbabwe has a large enough reading community. While we are grateful for the books that are out there it’s worth noting that there are books that we also feel are missing from the bibliography of the world. In particular, let’s look at books that Zimbabweans would be happy to see more of coming from Zimbabwean authors.
Personal Finance (more)
I was pleased to review The personal Finance Game Plan by Shalom Govero. Seeing a personal finance book that personalises the principles of personal finances to the Zimbabwean situation and circumstance was an absolute pleasure. And while Govero has hinted there will be more I’m certain that even she would agree there is space for more authors to write about personal finance in Zimbabwe and connect with a public who will gladly receive the books. The principles of personal finance are the same from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe but the practical expression of those principles differs with context.
We have an entire generation that has woken up to the importance of business and one following fast on its heels. However, these two generations, Generation Y (millennials) and Z do not have before them a generation that could pass down knowledge in these areas. This is by no fault of generation X’s own, the playing field was not level in Zimbabwe politically and economically. We may still have problems in that regard but they pale in comparison to colonial Zimbabwe. We can moan about what we don’t have or perhaps start encouraging those who are in positions to document the knowledge we have to start doing so. There’s a lot of opportunity for good solid business literature in Zimbabwe. Just like with personal finance it’s all about applying content to context.
If there is a frustrating topic it is the history of Zimbabwe. Beyond the heavily documented political history of the country, much of our history is not documented. A good example is how hard it is to find information about a person like Auxillia Chimusoro who became the first Zimbabwe to publicly hold out her HIV positive status to fight stigma against HIV. Similar lack of coverage is found in business history, location history and folklore. So much could be brought to the fore about the human side of the history of our nation.
Of course we look up to places like Europe, America and the East for the fabulous stories they have developed which have been turned into great books, movies and TV shows. Zimbabwe has stories that can rival some of these stories and you don’t even have to dig through centuries of folklore to find them, just look up Kwayedza. There’s a great potential for books that document some of these stranger than fiction stories that the nation has managed to dig up from time to time. I would love to read an anthology of paranormal stories set in Zimbabwe and based on true accounts.
Zimbabwe is home to a lot of good stories but also home to so much more. People, cultures, languages, practices, flora and fauna. Where is this all being documented? Is it all being documented? There is a big opportunity here to create books that condense the knowledge of the elements that make up the country into one place. Documenting the elements that make up a country is a big undertaking so it need not be just one encyclopaedia. An Almanac would also be quite popular in compiling the notable occurrences in the year. Imagine an annual Zimbabwe sports almanac that would compile the years’ activities and highlights of our teams in sports such as football, rugby, cricket, karate, golf, swimming and more. I’m sure many sports fans would be interested in collecting these books.
These represent 5 opportunities for books that Zimbabwe needs but I am pretty sure you can further break down the books into subcategories and perhaps find even more books that the nation and its large diaspora would be happy to receive.