Victoria Mushaba Chimhutu's book is a fantasy/folktale book recently published in 3 languages. This book is inspired by folktales that Victoria's grandmother narrated to her when she was a child and is a collection of different folktales that happened a long time ago, somewhere deep in the forests of Zimbabwe. We have conducted an interview with Victoria.
Who inspires you to write your book "The Hare Gets Married and Other Tales"?
This book is inspired by folktales that my grandmother narrated to me when I was a child. Growing up in rural Zimbabwe, we would sit around the fire in our mud hut after dinner and listen to my grandmother's storytelling long into the night.
I also strongly believe that there is a need to document and preserve the culture of storytelling and traditional wisdom from the society that I grew up as part of and to share this with the whole world. This prompted me in writing “The Hare Gets Married and Other Tales”. I have noticed that due to the development and technological advancement, the culture of storytelling is slowly becoming elusive. Gone are the days when families use to sit around the fire listening to traditional stories. These have been replaced by televisions, computers and mobile telephones among other modern gadgets. For me, it was motivating and inspiring to make sure that this wisdom is passed on to the next generations.
How many languages is it in? Which languages?
This book was published in 3 languages which are: English, Shona and Norwegian.
What are the themes featuring the interactions between the characters?
The book is a collection of different folktales and features themes like traditional Zimbabwean marital procedures, taking care of others, co-existing as a society not as an individual (the spirit of oneness or Ubuntu/I am because you are), working together, helping others, being compassionate and kindness among other themes.
Which is your favourite?
My favourite story is: The Hare gets married. I particularly like this tale because of the important life lessons that we can draw from it. At the core of this folktale is the tradition in the Zimbabwean culture about marriage procedures. It is also a story that depicts friendship, respect, helping others, one also learns not to undermine others, not to be mean to others.
How did these folktales influence you and your life?
The folktales are didactic in nature, thus they often end up depicting important life lessons and I witnessed this first hand as I was growing up. I learned not to steal, not to treat others badly, I learned to work together, to cooperate with others, to share, to look after others, friendship, to be kind and so on. More often, important life lessons were not always categorically spelled out when I was growing up but were learned through the lessons drawn from these stories and this shaped the core values that guide me as today. In short, I felt that I was equipped with the do’s and don’ts in life through the knowledge I tapped in from folktales.
Where can we find this book?
Can be ordered directly from my website: https://www.victoriachimhutu.com/
Can also be ordered from Xlibris: https://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-001108919/The-Hare-Gets-Married-and-Other-Tales.aspx