Nokuthula Mazibuko Msimang
The Daughters of Nandi is a novel by Dr Nokuthula Mazibuko Msimang, published by Zukiswa Wanner under the imprint Paivapo.
Through three historical periods, three women who are extraordinary in their different ways will seek to get restitution for Nandi Mhlongo, mother of Shaka ka Senzagakhona. This book seamlessly weaves fact, fiction and spiritualities while subverting the way the reader perceives history. It explores a wide variety of themes such as love, betrayal, tradition, culture, politics and so much more.
Detailed book description:
As she took her dying breath, Nandi Mhlongo, mother of Shaka kaSenzangakhona, cursed the house of Zulu and her family, the Mhlongos, for the disrespect she endured at their hands. In the ancestral realm, Nandi worries that her malediction may have been rash and too dangerous for the descendants of the two houses. The curse can be undone but it will need a human medium to convey the message to the progeny.
Through three historical periods, three women who are extraordinary in their different ways will seek to get restitution for Nani. Gentle Keeya, a Motswana woman of the House of Moagi who marries one of Nandi’s descendants as the English, the Boers and the Zulu go to the war in the 19th century; Uju, a spirited married woman who carves a space for herself in history during the forced removals of Sophiatown in the 20th century; and in the 21st century Amangwe, who reluctantly joins her fellow students as they speak up against a meaningless freedom during the #FeesMustFall protests.
Will any of these three women manage to ensure Nandi Mhlongo is appeased and if not, what shall be the consequences to the Houses of Mhlongo and Zulu and to the three Daughters of Nandi themselves?
An engaging debut which seamlessly weaves fact, fiction and spiritualities while subverting the way the reader perceives history.
Read the excerpt:
Prologue (1827, The Valley of a Thousand Hills, KwaZulu, South of Africa)
My people, I have no regrets. I, Nandi Queen of the Zulu Nation, have lived a life anointed by the ancestors. I was chosen to birth a king and lead my people. I called him uMlilwana. The fire to warm my heart and hands. But little did I know he would later turn into a flame that would burn brightly, illuminating the future of our nation. He would become an inferno that would rage ferociously for one decade, but forever changing the histories of many nations across the African continent. Yes, my son gave me a life like no other. UShaka kaSenzangakhona.
They called him Ilembe eleqa amanye amalembe ngokukhalipha. They called him uNodumehlezi kaMenzi—the one who gets famous although he is sitting, idle. Poets are liars! When was my son ever idle? The African ant, ever frenetic, would have been shamed into a stupor of helplessness by Shaka’s boundless energy, his tirelessness.
The sharp spear of the Zulu Nation.
Indeed, even as I birthed him, welcoming him into the world, I could sense that he would raise me high above nations. UShaka akashayeki. Undefeated in life and in death. There, the poets were right!
Nokuthula Mazibuko Msimang