Reflecting on Izinkanyezi and announcing Zandile Khumalo’s debut novel

This post has been sitting in the drafts folder since 2017. Looking back on Izinkanyezi Ezintsha has never been easy, probably because there will always be things that we could have done better. The book though was the beginning of the realisation of a dream for us and despite its flaws is still a living and breathing piece of art — collection of art — that will, we hope, develop its true character with time. Our recent partnership with Blue Weaver will mean that more people will get to experience this process and contribute to how Kwasukela Books interacts with the South African literary scenes.

Our initial submissions period was interesting. We received a lot of work and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity and privilege to read it all and work with the seven authors whose work we chose to make up the collection. We can’t wait to see what writers have in store when we announce our next call for submissions…

Of course, being a new publication, trying to insert ourselves into the South African literary scene was no easy task. It still isn’t, for many reasons. We want to produce work that will make people excited to read isiZulu literature. For us, this means publishing quality, curated work. And it is from these seven curated stories in Izinkanyezi Ezintsha that we are publishing our next few titles, all taken from or expanding on stories written in the anthology.

While it is too early to announce some of these, we cannot hold our excitement any longer regarding Zandile Khumalo’s uNtsika eZweni leseThembiso, Zandile’s debut Young Adult novel. Based off of the eponymous short story in Izinkanyezi EzintshauNtsika eZweni leseThembiso promises to be a tale of family loyalty, loss, magic, and war set in late 1500s-1600s in Southern Africa. (Be sure to buy your tickets to our conversation at the National Arts Festival on the 6th of July to meet Zandile and chat with her about her work). With the incredible cover illustration done by the supremely-talented Dananayi Muwanigwa, bringing the characters of Ntsika and Nkanyezi to life, the eagerness we have to share this incredible story with all of you is increasing every day.

We at Kwasukela Books would like to thank everyone who has supported us and our work so far, and who understand the particular journey we are on. We are so grateful that we are not the only ones and can only do what we do with your support. Thank you.