The World of Mary Moyo

by | Dec 6, 2023 | Author | 0 comments

Remote south-west Zimbabwe

is the setting for this novel. Mary’s father marries her off as the number two wife of the much older head of a distant village. The agreed lobola (bride-price) of six cows is to be paid with four upfront and two when she produces a child.

Mary has no formal schooling and instead, spent her childhood taking care of her four younger sisters. Little more than a child herself, she is overawed by her new circumstances. Her husband treats her well, but his number one wife is unwelcoming and derides her in front of the other village women.

With her romantic childhood dreams, a distant memory, Mary faces a miserable existence in a hostile village far from home. Will her days fall into a monotonous cycle of cooking, cleaning, and enduring the bullying of the number one wife? Any prospect of her improving her situation looks bleak.

But Mary has her fair share of the indomitable human spirit, and who knows where that may lead?

The World of Mary Moyo

is the story of the underdog faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles in an uncaring world. Zimbabwe is in political and economic chaos with every person for themselves. For Mary’s active mind, the future looks dismal.

A visit to my home town, Bulawayo, after almost 40 years, inspired me to write this novel.I grew up in Rhodesia and left the country six months before it became Zimbabwe. When I lived there, whites occupied almost all the skilled jobs, but now, efficient young blacks filled the positions. These were the lucky ones with the money and contacts to get educated and qualify for the best jobs.

Most Zimbabweans have no way of improving their lot, and I wondered how many brilliant minds, gifted athletes, and artistic talents may have withered because of a lack of opportunity.

This novel is for anyone interested in sub-Saharan Africa, or readers who love stories of courage in the face of adversity. Mary’s naivety provides several light-hearted moments, many drawn from real-life experiences. I hope readers will find this an entertaining and uplifting novel, giving them a look into life in Zimbabwe.

You can find the paperback (ISBN 978-0-6482772-4-8) on Amazon or request it at bookshops.

The World of Mary Moyo is my fourth novel and is loosely connected to the three novels in my Leopard Series. Details of all my books are on my website. I am at present writing the Leopard Series prequel, The Harare Hunt Club, which I hope to publish around July 2024.

From late January, subscribers to my email list can read, download, or print the serialised chapters of The Harare Hunt Club for free on my website. I will publish each chapter as I complete it. It’s the same process I used to write The World of Mary Moyo.

A further Leopard Series novel, and a follow-up to Mary Moyo, are in my plans, though I’m not sure in which order. And time permitting, I hope to work on an audio book for Mary Moyo.

I am grateful to Authors’ Lounge for this opportunity to introduce my work to more readers. The cover image for The World of Mary Moyo is by Zimbabwean photographer Frankie Kay.

About the Author

Bulawayo was my home town, where I grew up and got my first job. Anyone who has lived in Africa will confirm you can never really leave it. No matter how far you travel, like the grass seeds that stick to your socks, Africa goes with you. I lived and worked in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia and South Africa for over thirty years, alternating between Bulawayo, Salisbury (Harare) and Johannesburg. Many who have lived in Africa would keep fond memories of their loyal African workers. These included our domestic servants, who often felt more like family members.

In my professional life, I worked in senior management positions in both manufacturing and service industries. Today, I live in Melbourne with my wife Maggie and write novels set in Southern Africa, principally Zimbabwe.

I never intended to become a writer, but did so by accident. Before my first novel, my experience of writing was limited to school essays, university assignments, exams, and government tenders. I hated writing and found the entire process tedious. To me, writing represented boring research and a cramped right hand. In 2010, I was at home recuperating from pneumonia. A relative bought me an action-adventure novel to help relieve the boredom. It was the first fiction I read in thirty years, but it caught my interest because of the African setting.

After reading a few chapters, I thought, hey, I can do this! How difficult could it be to churn out a few novels, travel the world to research my next book, and make a small fortune in the

process? I’d sleep on the idea, but if I ever was to write, at least I knew the genre. A few years later, when writing my first novel, I discovered the answer to my question. But then I remembered nothing is as difficult or as easy as one might first imagine.

To my surprise, I found writing a novel is fun. I do very little planning, and the story takes me in unexpected directions. It’s a lot like reading, but just slower.

See more on my Facebook page.

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