An emerging talent in the realm of African literature Peter Molife has unveiled his debut novel, “Eriza,” published in England by the independent publishing house, Conscious Dreams Publishing.
Molife’s narrative takes readers on an enchanting journey through rural life in pre-independence Zimbabwe, offering a compelling exploration of family dynamics, immigration, and the struggle for freedom during the transformative period from the 1960s to 1980 when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.
The heart of the story lies with Eriza, a bright young girl hailing from the fictional rural village of Chena. Her father, recognizing her intelligence and potential, encourages her to pursue nursing training in England, a chance she embraces with excitement.
While she immerses herself in the cultural tapestry of 1960s England, experiencing the freedoms of speech, relationships, multiculturalism, and the harsh realities of racism, Eriza’s heart remains firmly rooted in her homeland of Chena.
As she navigates the complexities of straddling two different worlds and the expectations of returning to a changed nation, Eriza’s life unfolds in the backdrop of the raging War of Independence, leading to shocking discoveries and profound changes within her family, village, and country.
Molife, a native of Msengezi, embarked on his educational journey at the University of Zimbabwe before completing his studies in Leeds, England. His career in education, primarily in the Caribbean and England, endowed him with a unique perspective on the intersection of African cultures worldwide, a theme that plays a significant role in his novel. Molife’s upbringing in Msengezi served as the primary inspiration for “Eriza,” as he witnessed the transformative power of women leaving their villages to improve their families’ lives, including his own.
“The migration of Zimbabwean women had a significant impact on families, including my own, and it still resonates today,” Molife explains. “I saw how much our life changed after my sister came to England to study nursing. Then there was the fact that men also became inspired to pursue the profession when it had always been seen as the domain of women. In addition to that, I was inspired to write this book because women became more involved in the political liberation of Zimbabwe through their professional achievements and the urge to go back to Zimbabwe to help their fellow people. They were true political agitators.”
Daniella Blechner, founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing, commends Molife’s work, emphasizing the importance of amplifying underrepresented voices with powerful stories. “The world needs more works of literature from Peter. At Conscious Dreams Publishing, we are passionate about providing a platform for strong and powerful underrepresented voices that have important stories that need to be preserved… In Eriza, Peter reflects on the rapidly changing political and social climate of 1960s Rhodesia vividly, whilst also drawing contrasts between 1960s UK and Eriza’s rural village, Chena.”
Molife’s debut novel promises to engage readers from diverse backgrounds with its insights into family dynamics, the migrant experience, the intersection of black cultures, and the historical journey of Zimbabwe towards independence. “Eriza” is readily available for purchase on Amazon, through Conscious Dreams Publishing, and will soon be on the shelves of local bookshops in the coming month.