Author and publisher, Ishmael Penyai has moved a gear up in his career after publishing two books in the local Ndau language, becoming one of the leading promoters of his native language, culture and traditions.
Language is considered the flesh and blood of human culture and as such, understanding one’s language is a gateway to appreciate a particular culture.
This is the view share by Penyai who published an anthology of poetry in Ndau titled: Yarira YaJesu WeJerusalema and another book written in prose titled Rekete Chindau.
Penyai said the book Rekete Chindau is about the Ndau culture and explores issues like customary marriage, witchcraft and mermaids, among others as part of the preservation of indigenous knowledge from one generation to the other.
“Rekete Chindau seeks to raise an appreciation on the Ndau cultural beliefs and traditions. It is a book that depicts the Ndau way of life,” he said, adding that the anthology Yarira YaJesu WeJerusalema talks about Christians who fail to live an exemplary life and calls on the importance of living a holy life.
“Christians mostly fail to live an exemplary life as stated in the Bible. The book seeks to influence Christians to move away from pagan practices and start living in line with the dictates of God,” he said.
With the country on a process to include Ndau in the national school’s curriculum, production of literature and more learning materials in the native language is necessary.