Dudu Busani-Dube's Books Are Creating a Culture of Reading Amongst South Africans
South Africa is known for many things but reading is not high up on the list. A harsh but true thing. Our country ranked 56th out of 61 countries in ‘literate behaviour’. This means that even though 92% of South Africans CAN read, most are not in the habit of reading. It will be a while before we see a change in this trend but little known self published author - Dudu Busani-Dube is starting to make a dent in this and ushering a culture of South Africans who read.
I can’t tell you how many people (men and women) I have come across who have mentioned having read Busani-Dube’s Hlomu romance trilogy; people who don’t fit the expected profile of avid readers. Which is apparently exactly what the writer set out to do, she wanted to prove to the publishing industry that South Africans DO read when presented with something they are able to relate to.
The main problem that Busani-Dube’s work solves is - South Africa’s publishing industry is flooded with books that the vast majority of South Africans don’t see themselves represented in or books that aren’t written in accessible language. The Hlomu trilogy flips this tradition on it’s head. The books are really gripping and easy to get engrossed in. They are set in places like taxi ranks and paint amazing rags to riches tales which are universally loved.
Now, about the first book, Hlomu The Wife. At the centre it this is a love story. In the beginning Hlomu is a young journalist from KwaMashu living in Johannesburg. She commutes to work by taxi and has to go via Bree taxi rank everyday. Here she meets Mqhele Zulu, a big eyed, maskandi and ice cream loving taxi driver who wins her heart. The rest of the book chronicles their love story and we are introduced to Mqhele's 7 brothers and dark history which becomes a central feature. The story is not short of drama, intrigue and plot twist upon plot twitst. Hlomu and Mqhele's relationship has a host of problems that keep you on edge but rooting for them. I don't want to ruin any of it for anyone so I feel you should read it for yourselves here.
The second book Zandile The Resolute is a continuation on Hlomus book. Zandile is married (loosely speaking) to Mqhele's older brother Nkosana. The story of the Zulu family continues as we see the brothers get older and richer and we get to see Hlomu and Mqhele from a different set of eyes. You start to see problematic things about their love story and it leaves us with a cliff hanger ending as it is clear that the tight unit that is the Zulu may be on the verge of a hurricane. The third book, Naledi His Love, is about Naledi and Qhawe, Mqhele's younger brother. The story zeros in on just the two main characters which I quite enjoyed as opposed to trying to keep up with an entire family.
The subject matter does sometimes feel far fetched but your attachment to the characters makes you think it COULD happen. That believability is where the money is at.
People are forming WhatsApp book clubs in order to discuss books, there is a Facebook group where thousands of people gather and share what parts of the books moved them. The impact of is has been truly phenomenal. I for one am very grateful to Busani-Dube for creating work that encourages everyone from the supermarket cashier to the grade 9 pupil to the office clerk to start reading for leisure. A country that reads is a country that’s getting ready to flourish. #Kwesefied
To watch Fine Living Network, Travel Channel, Fashion TV and other world-class lifestyle channels buy a Kwesé decoder online. For a unique business opportunity apply to become a Kwesé dealer. To enjoy our selection of live channels, viewers in Africa can download the Kwesé App for iOS or Android and register for free.Read full story
More from source