*It’s not often one can say they have become friends with one of their favourite authors. I also don’t think I’ve ever read an advance copy of an author’s personal copy. But now I can say that I have. He he he he. Look at me! I turn 30 and start rubbing shoulders with lovely people… And stealing their books. Well… I am returning it this Tuesday so don’t you judge me!
After the first book of the month I was in desperate need of something that would MOVE me. Oh boy was I moved after I finished reading The Sculptors of Mapungubwe.
We are taken back in time (1223 CE) in the kingdom of Mapungubwe. The story is that of a rivalry between Rendi (Rendani) and Chata (Chatambudza). The 2 are raised as brothers even thought Chata is the son of one of Rendi’s father’s workers. The relationship of the 2 boys begins to strain when Rendi suspects that his father favours Chata.
Years later when Rendi holds the esteemed position of Royal Sculptor he still holds a grudge towards Chata. Chata on the other hand is unmarried (Rendani has 3 wives) and seems to only be interested in doing whatever he pleases. I was absolutely drawn into this tale of rivalry between the 2 sculptors who once considered each other brothers. It is beautiful, tragic, magical and energetic.
What made me love this novel is the details (and descriptions) of the day to day lives of the people of Mapungubwe. In school we are not taught anything about South Africa before 1652 (Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival). I know it is not a historical novel but dammit it felt good to read about something way before 1652 (in South Africa). I love the book. It’s available on Amazon. Get it, you won’t regret it. This is one of my favourite reads of the year.
*This is not my first time on ‘The Internets’. I know how some of my opening lines can be misconstrued (by the bored and always offended) as boasting. Please believe that I was not boasting and it was all ‘tongue in cheek’ a.k.a ‘I’m such a dork’ b.k.a ‘you know I don’t believe any of that stuff’. So please don’t start something neh? I thank you.