Creatives Under Lockdown is a SABC News feature that focuses on issues affecting artists. This week, author Boniswa Somana talks about her book titled Most Wanted.
Author, Boniswa Somana’s book Most Wanted explores South Africa’s political landscape with a reflection on where the country is, post-1994. The book gauges on the state of governance, covering issues including corruption, poverty, and service delivery.
“The current state of governance in South Africa seems to reveal that the country is in crisis. Job losses are on the rise and priority to make a better life for all has been compromised because of greed and desire to maintain positions of power,” she writes.
Published in July, the book comes at a time when the country is found wanting with challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the midst of the dark cloud of the pandemic, several government officials are facing fraud and corruption allegations for the misuse of state resources aimed at mitigating the effects of the virus.
Somana questions the morality of those in power and urges them to self-introspect.
“Logic dictates that in order to put back the pieces when things are broken, one needs to ask himself then, how did it get here and how do you start to restore the stolen particles. Maybe then this is the time to look back to where it all started in order to move forward.”
In the video below, Research Professor at the University of Johannesburg, Steven Friedman talks about the cost of corruption in SA:
The book is also a result of her self-introspection after a life-altering event left her homeless.
Somana captures her journey to self-discovery albeit the pain of leaving her home in Madadeni, KwaZulu-Natal to look for her grandmother’s home in Dunken Village, Eastern Cape.
“When I decided to leave, I only had a surname and her place of birth. I have never been to Dunken Village and East London has grown into one of the biggest cities since she left home. Where do I begin to look, I don’t have any leads but my only hope is that she still has a home and maybe I would find a relative one way or the other. It all seemed a bit crazy when I decided on this but my spirit was not at peace and so I had to do it.”
Process of writing and reviews
It took Somana just less than two weeks to write the book.
“Writing for me was not a challenge because I am an experienced writer. I am a professional journalist. I wrote a book in less than two weeks. I did not have any challenges in putting the book together; it was an easy flow for me. Already, I had the titles in my mind and it was easy to write.”
She says the book has received positive reviews which have encouraged her to write more.
“I am happy because my first reader was a white woman who was very impressed with the writing itself, the history behind the book, my experience as a journalist. Other people who have bought the book, they are very impressed. They motivate me to keep writing and in fact, I’m on my second book. So basically, the book is doing well. My first batch is gone and I am waiting for my second batch to come.”
Somana dedicates the book to her 93-year-old grandmother who raised her, Ethel Somana. The main message of the book according to Somana is for people to live their truth, “because the truth shall set you free.”
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