Author Titshabona Ncube on the beauty and challenges of writing non English novels

Published: 24 July 2014 | by Janine Dube
Author Titshabona Ncube on the beauty and challenges of writing non English novels
OneVybe caught up with Titshabona Ncube, also known as Tish, the author of the Ndebele novel, Igazi Labafo, to find out what the challenges of writing a non English novel are and whether there was still a market out there.

Tish was lucky enough as a child to have a teacher who noticed and praised his talent as a writer and has since written a number of articles and documents for various publications and is currently working on an English novel.

On the challenges of promoting his work, Tish said: "It's hard promoting a non English book because the audience is so limited hence you need to know your targets well otherwise you will advertise and sing to the wrong crowd."

"Social media is the best thing since sliced bread and I use it a lot because the right audience is within my reach.

"There are also a number of online stores selling products without upfront payments, for example. smashword.com.

"So yes there are challenges but technology is shrinking the world into a smaller space and time.

On what inspires his work, Tish told OneVybe: "My experiences and other people's experiences coupled with my natural wild imaginations.

"I have realised that sometimes I possess that supernatural gift of seeing what other people either can't see or take for granted.

"Usually me and my friend or any other person would see some strange happenings together but when we go on to share the experience with other people, I find that even my friend would listen to my own version of events with utter curiosity as if they were not there as it happened."

Igazi Labafo is a vivid book about the plight of Zimbabwean immigrants in South Africa and it resonated with a lot of readers.

Tish said, "a large percentage of the people who have read it have admitted to have somehow seen themselves in the book.

"This shows it precisely highlights the plight of our brothers and sisters, especially those in SA."

Igazi Labafo appears to have captured exactly what Tish was trying to convey. However, a lot of artists and writers concede that it can be difficult to produce something that matches exactly what was in their imagination.

Tish acknowledged this and said: "That's where I love Ndebele because if a Ndebele expression is failing to properly express my imaginations, I can venture to either Zulu, Xhosa or Swati.

"One of these Nguni dialects will definitely have what am looking for. If not, I just create a word. It's called etymology."

Asked whether it was challenging to write in different languages, Tish, who is Khalanga, said: "In my case I would say no because both Ndebele and English are not my mother tongue.

"In both languages I may encounter a situation whereby I fail to find the appropriate superlatives to match my imaginations."

To buy e-book Igazi Labafo go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/160292
Or email titsha27@yahoo.co.uk
Or whatsapp 00447765386033 to order hard copy.

When he is not writing, Tish creates music.

"On the 25th January 2014, I created Sinazo, an amazingly talented music group consisting of Velisiwe Mkhize, Lorin Sibanda and Nkanyiso Kitane Dube.

"The group is in the process of producing a stunning and refreshingly intelligent album entitled 'Iyatsi' featuring the likes of Dj Virus, Vusa Mkhaya Ndlovu and Dumisani Ramadu and Slivester Isilo.

"'Inyatsi' is our first album and serves as an introduction to the music industry but we will be following suit with another album soon which we will be doing in September this year."


Sinazo Featuring Tha Vyrass - Amabhubesi


To buy Sinazo music go to http://africantunz.com/songs/
- OneVybe

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