Those were the days when literature was followed with passion and pride – when readers’ emotions took precedence over personal ambitions, when information distortion and misinformation was still alien to literature.
“We were driven by passion and genuine cause to represent our societies at top level through writing books. We had people who understood life through our work and unfortunately nowadays literature is infested with lies as politics is taking its toll. Politicians want to benefit their stomachs at the expense of literature and we urge those talented writers there not to be used or fall scam to ‘bogus literature,” he said.
When his book ‘Sasisemeveni’ (We were suffering) was in the limelight during the 90s, Magagula used to spend much time visiting schools to motivate students and explain the political situation at the time his book was written.
“I suffered rebuke and abuse at the hands of colleagues, particularly avid Zanu (PF) followers, who argued that I was a dissident. But I just wanted people to understand what was happening in the country because only propaganda was disseminated by a certain tribe who believed that people from Matabeleland and Midlands were trouble causers out to destabilize the country,” he said.
Despite the fact that his book is no longer a set book for school curriculum Magagula does not feel bad because he understands how the education system works.
“Once a novel is a set book it’s there for that period and when its time elapses then it’s a done deal. If anything I am happy that my book stands out in the archives of the country as a record of what transpired at one time in our history. I also pray that the book bounces back as a set book. Our kids mustn’t be taught lies through the current set books,” he said.
The current syllabus was full of lies and half-truths, he said. “It negates roles played by whites, NGOs and heroes like Josiah Tongogara and Joshua Nkomo, whose vision of Zimbabwe could have made us all proud had they been followed.”
Born in Esigodini, Magagula(47) did his Teacher Training at Gwanda Zintec College. He taught until 2004 when he was promoted to head Mzimini Primary until 2006 when he was removed from his post by Zanu(PF) youths on the orders of the MP, Abedinigo Ncube. He left the same year for South Africa where he continues to teach.
He was instrumental in the introduction of MDC around Mzimuni and the whole of Gwanda North constituency. Due to his continued involvement with MDC, He was labelled a state enemy by Ncube.
He is working on an English novel entitled ‘Goodbye Zimbabwe’ which is set to be out in a few months’ time.Post published in: Arts