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Aniceti Kitereza

An Tanzanian Epic

by Shoonie Hartwig

"Words that are spoken fly like the wind. Words that are written live forever."

Aniceti Kitereza spoke those words while telling Gerald (Jerry) and Charlotte (Shoonie) Hartwig the story of his novel. The year was 1969. They couldn't have imagined that this conversation would inaugurate an eleven-year saga, one of determination and commitment revealed in a significant collection of letters and the extraordinary tale of a man and a book.

The book you are holding is the story of this Tanzanian epic in words written and life lived. Aniceti Kitereza completed his epic novel in Kikerebe, in early 1945 and later translated it into Swahili as, Bwana Myombekere na Bibi Bugonoka na Ntulanalwo na Bulihwali (Tanzania Publishing House, 1980), and which was later translated from the Kikerebe original into English by Prof. Gabriel Ruhumbika under the title of, Mr Myombekere and His Wife Bugonoka, their Son Ntulanalwo and Daughter Bulihwali; The story of an Ancient African Community (Mkuki na Nyota, 2000).

What you will discover in these pages is not only the significant contribution of Kitereza’s writing to African and world literature but also his heroic life as revealed through conversations and letters. It is his personal story captured particularly in the eighty blue aerograms written during his last years that bring his voice to life. He was forty-nine years old when he completed Myombekere and eighty-one when his novel was published. His is an epic life to inspire not only Tanzanians but also the world, particularly as his life passion is encaptured in a question he posed: “What should we teach our children?”.

ISBN 9789987084968 | 164 pages | 229 x 152mm | 2022 | Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania | Paperback




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