Thupeyo Muleya — Beitbridge Bureau
“Young people are powerful agents of societal and economic progress, but today a few of them are able to reach their full potential due to reproductive health issues.”
These are the words that always ring bells in the mind of Beitbridge-based humanitarian worker and author, Enock Kwinika, who has just published a novel, “The Fickle Heart”.
The storyline is about the disappointments and embarrassments which accompany unwanted and unplanned pregnancies in social life.
“Coming from the development sector, l think one needs to advocate for change for adolescents so that they avoid pitfalls of teen marriages, pregnancies and abortions,” said Kwinika in an interview.
“The book started off as a short play in 2008 to show that the heart can be as fickle as the weather. The words ‘l love you’ sound sweet to the ear, tickle the heart, and bring excitement. But if pregnancy comes unexpectedly, the human mind can change.”
Kwinika said after reading a lot about the marketing of books, he realised that a novel was better than a short play, resultantly, he converted the play to a novel which was published in June this year.
“As l read a lot around writing books, l realised that everyone has a story to tell about what they see, hear or experience every day.
“At any given time if you open your eyes and listen carefully, you will realise that there is something that brings pain and disappointment to people.”
Kwinika was inspired to write the book after witnessing an increase in bright students dropping out of schools due to teen pregnancies and also noting that some university students were disappointing their parents by falling pregnant before completing their studies.
He said this gave him a good storyline as a humanitarian and he saw an opportunity to raise awareness on the problem and to create a positive change.
To make the story depict a real social issue in Beitbridge, he connected the problem with limited employment opportunities which drive people to go to South Africa to address their social and economic problems.
“The book was published in June 2021 in Harare by Wholeness Incorporated Publishing.
“This is after I was advised by someone who had just published her book that l was sitting on interesting manuscripts. She referred me to her publisher who liked my writing style.”
Kwinika said it took him six months to convert the short play into a fully-fledged novel and that when he started writing the novel, he had no computer and used a pen to write in an exercise book.
He said he started off his writing career with poetry as a pupil at Nuli High School, where he was part of the School Writing Club.
Some of his poems and letters got published mainly in the Chronicle newspaper, and he intends to publish a second book before the end of 2022.
He said his first manuscript of a poetry book and very first novel “Matters of the Heart” were yet to be published.
According to Kwinika, his new book is available on Amazon and was yet to be uploaded on Takealot which is South Africa’s version of Amazon.
“The feedback from some readers is encouraging. Some readers are now pushing me to write another interesting story.
“I will also consider other online bookstores. Digital marketing is the way to go to reach your target market today. Currently, I am using different social media platforms to market the book.”
At the moment, Kwinika is focusing on a dissertation for a Master of Social Science in Development Studies.
Kwinika is a holder of a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA), BCom Honours in Human Resource Management, Diploma in Business Management conferred by the Institute of Administrative and Commerce of Southern Africa, and a diploma in marketing from the Institute of Marketing Management of South Africa.
His family, he said, encouraged him to be a published author since books are his best friends. When he is not at work, he will either be writing or reading.
“Fellow budding writers are encouraged to note that there is no alternative for hard work,” said Kwinika.
“If you want to be a professional writer, practice writing as often as possible and develop your own style of writing.
“Write what the public wants after studying the market, identify your potential readers and what they are looking for. You don’t need a degree or computer to start writing a book, but just a good story and writing skills to tell the world your story in an interesting and absorbing way.”
Kwinika said the traditional way of publishing and marketing books was likely to change greatly in the next five years due to advances in technology.