RENOWNED AUTHORS GRACE DUT
By: Tony Manyangadze
Attempts to re-instil a reading culture among students has seen the Durban University of Technology’s Library management hosting a collective book launch.
The launch saw the coming together of three renowned authors, Dr Chris Skinner, author of the top selling Public Relations textbook called Handbook of Public Relations, Lungisani Mavundla author of an isiZulu novel called Unyaka Wesithembiso (Year of Promise) and Daniel Alexander, author of a motivational book novel called Through the Crimson Mirror.
During his presentation, Dr Skinner, who is a Public Relations Practitioner, spoke of how he started writing. He highlighted the differences that now exist from when he published his first book, Handbook of Public Relations, first edition and today. Dr Skinner informed the audience that today’s publishers are not willing to take a risk hence authors must have a clear mind of what they want to write about in order to get published.
“I am going to give you guidelines as far as publishing is concerned. If you think that this is an easy task, men don’t go through nine months in terms of the birth of a baby but I have been through eighteen months in terms of the birth of the tenth edition,” he said.
Lungisani Mavundla’s presentation moved many. The DUT graduate enticed the audience by sharing some memorable highlights of his novel. According to the young entrepreneur, Unyaka Wesithembiso is an African love story. Mavundla noted that the idea of writing in isiZulu was inspired by Thabo Mbeki’s famous speech called I am an African.
“In one of his greatest speeches, Dr. Thabo Mbeki said: ‘I am an African, I owe my being to the hills and valleys of Africa, this was in my mind so I started writing a book in isiZulu to say African stories, by African people in African Languages,” said Mavundla.
Though the isiZulu edition of his book is doing well, Mavundla told JournalismIziko that plans are in the pipeline to translate it to English to cater for those who are not familiar with the language. “Plans are there to have the book translated to other languages but as for now it is not the immediate issue, the urgent issue is to make it into a movie,” he revealed.
Daniel Alexander, the third author present, engaged the audience also telling them about how his life experience, particularly as a depression sufferer, influenced him to write his book Through the Crimson Mirror.
He encouraged the audience not to compete with the world or acquiring even more wealth but rather to be content with what we they have. “Change starts from within,” Alexander said.