Guest Post: A Book Review
“We all know our final destination but we have no idea what will cross our path as we journey” is testament to the latest instalment from the Bulawayo born writer Sue Nyathi. Titled “Gold Diggers”, one would mistake the title and its cover for a novel about women and men who dig for the finer things in life. However once you open the book you learn that it is about several Zimbabweans from different walks of life who embark on a journey to the “City of Gold”.
Set in Johannesburg, the writer journals the various experiences of fellow Zimbabweans who sought for a better life in Johannesburg during the 2008 economic demise. For most of the characters in the book, hope and the itch to realise their dreams propels them to pave their way in the city and they soon discover that there is more to the city than its beautiful skyscrapers.
The writer explores the question that often hangs in the air. “What does one need to endure in order to thrive in an unknown land?” This question opens a Pandora box of themes namely sex work, human trafficking, family disintegration, xenophobia, illegal border jumping and resilience. Through these themes, this book allows you to see the faces behind the headlines, the spirits and souls behind the stories; the reader learns that the victim of xenophobia has a name, the illegal border jumper is that unemployed graduate who wants a better life and yes even your own kin can turn their back on you when desperate.
In this book the writer removes the blinders and allows the reader to see the struggles of being an immigrant in a foreign land; the good, the bad and the nasty and to acknowledge its effects on the family that’s left behind,…..”For those left behind ,bonds withered and the only connection they had with loved ones was the foodstuffs and letters brought by the malaitshas” (sp)
As I reached the ending I realised the “gold” is subjective to each being, it is there but the journey to the pot is a trial in itself and that we need to be a bit kinder to each other its the least we can do with what we face.
A simple fast-paced read which begs the reader to realise that no matter where you are and who you are, fate awaits but before then a journey ought to be taken to meet fate.
Guest Book Review by Melody Chingwaru
Melody Chingwaru is a book lover, avid reader, soapie fanatic and the editor of Untitled263 . She tutors French and Portuguese.
You can find her on twitter: @melching91