Book Review: Men of the South By Zukiswa Wanner

By Gloria Mwaniga

TITLE: Men of the South.

AUTHOR: Zukiswa Wanner

PUBLISHER: Kwela Books, South Africa.

The African dream, just like the American dream, is a slippery, mirage-sort-of-affair even in this time and age. From underemployment and joblessness to homosexuality and immigration in search of better opportunities, the modern African man is faced with enough challenges. That is without adding the educated post-Beijing modern woman’s high expectation levied on him.

To bring out these modern day issues in a light and funny way that is relatable requires a writing style which is unique to only but a few African writers and after reading this book;you can judge for yourself if Zukiswa Warner is one of them.

Zukiswa (the queen of black chic lit), takes us into the private worlds of three men of the south and an educated woman.

First, we meet Mfundo,a struggling jazz musician in love with an uptown educated working gal. The girl, admits that she fell in love with the man’s potential but she is now taunting him to get a real job

Then there is Mzilikazi. A successful 100% gay NGO executive desperately trying to hide his sexual orientation from own children.

We also meet Tinaye, a Zimbabwean immigrant who is an Oxford graduate and would do anything to get South Africa Citizenship. His plans turn upside down when he falls from grace as the love of his life,finds out about his past with a certain lady called Grace.

Will Mfundo ever make it as a big-time musician or should he give up the dream and get a real job like Sli keeps telling him? What about Mzilikazi’s children,Can they live with having a gay dad?
And will Tinaye’s south African citizendship dream ever come to be?

You will definitely get the answers in this urbane, fast paced page turner by one of the most promising modern African writers.

The book tackles real-life challenges faced not only by Men of the South, but by the modern African man in a humorous, witty and hilarious style.

The 215 page turner is easy to follow and has a captivating plot written from the male point of view.

Zukiswa Warner was born in Zambia to a South African father and a Zimbabwean mother.She studied journalism at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu.

Her debut novel, The Madams, published in November 2006, dealt with racial role reversals in post-apartheid South Africa.

Her second book,Behind Every Successful Man is a witty tale of a mother turned entrepreneur – to the horror of her BEE tycoon husband.

Men of the South is her third novel and was shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Award.


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