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Book Reviews

Nicholas Bhero’s Book, Never Give Up On God, A Priceless Navigation Tool In The Jungles Of Todays’ Trying Times

Brian Kazungu

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Mr Nicholas Bhero

Brian Kazungu, 22/02/2021

The book, Never Give Up On God, written by leadership and business consultant, Nicholas Bhero, is a priceless navigation tool when it comes to exploring the jungles of the trying times that people are going through across the world at the moment.

A fusion of short and concise nuggets on how to handle betrayal, delays, manipulation and hopelessness, this piece of literature is an answer guide to those who are overwhelmed with so many questions about the confusing realities that they are made to endure in the course of life.

Much of the lessons in this book are drawn from the life of a Biblical character called Tamah, a woman whose personality was filled with timeless values of resilience and focus to break forth boundaries and limitations imposed by the marriage traditions of her society.

The book, Never Give Up On God is inspired by Tamah whom life had written off and yet she had the dream, faith and tenacity to pull and push through the challenges of life towards a victorious end.

While talking of Tamah in the prologue of this book, Nicholas says, “At the very end of her story, she emerges victorious and her test becomes a testimony, her place of agony and anguish becomes the very place where her victory manifests.

The dramatic turn-around in Tamar’s life is a sure proof of what God is able to do in our lives as He wills to transform us from pain to gain, misery to happiness and from failure to success.”

Nicholas, who is the Chairman of STIR, an economic empowerment initiative and publisher of the STIRPRENEUR Magazine also added that he wrote this book in order to challenge people to never give up on God since God himself never gives up on them.

In explaining some approaches and strategies to adopt as you hold on to God, Nicholas divided the book into eight chapters namely: 1) Time Wasters, 2) Self-Actualisation, 3) Strategic Planning, 4) You’re Not A Failure, 5) Be Resolute, 6) Positioning and Timing, 7) Information, 8) Negotiation.

These eight chapters are filled with highly informative and educative mind-set changing and life transforming principles of positive living which redefines the way you look at yourself and the way you interact with others.

In the first chapter which talks about time wasters, he warns readers against falling for the deception of selfish and pretentious characters who can massage your ego while from behind the scenes, they will be undermining your personality, destiny and integrity.

While reading this book, you can see that Tamah suffered the abuse and treachery of a man who was supposed to give her kids and yet the man only wanted to enjoy sex rather than to have children with her.

This came after the death of her first husband, of which according to their tradition, she was given over to her late husband’s younger brother who was supposed to marry her and give her an heir for the late older brother.

However, during their sexual ecstasy, the cunning younger brother who didn’t want to raise an heir for his older brother would secretly spill his sperm on the floor rather than to honour his obligation of making Tamah pregnant.

More-so, besides the issue of selfish and manipulative people who can waste your time through their lies and pretences, in the same book, Nicholas also highlighted other critical issues that every person pursuing his/her own purpose in life must be very mindful of.

He encourages people to be careful when it comes to time management especially on issues to do with social media, unplanned meetings, procrastination, laziness, lack of delegation as well as the failure to safeguard your work which may cause you to start afresh once damaged or lost.

On self-actualisation, the principle of self-awareness is brought forth as an important factor that can mould your resilience when you are made to experience delays on things that you desperately want to experience now.

In this section, Nicholas brings to light the fact that when you really know who you are and what you are worthy, the chances of losing focus is very slim.

While going into much detail to explain the concept of adopting a good strategy as an effective mechanism that can help you to never give up on God, he also highlights that strategy in itself is premised on priorities, focus and resource allocation towards the attainment of set objectives

He further emphasizes that the effective execution of any strategy must include the optimum blending of infinite resources such as time, giftedness, imagination and divine energy which are liberally given to everybody by God himself.

One of the other lessons that we learn from Nicholas’s book which is full of beautiful nuggets of life is to never allow yourself to be defined by circumstances no matter how dark the path may seem.

In this book, we can see that, as you drive to your destination, you should rather focus on the windscreen more than to spend all your time looking at the rear view mirror when you are meant to go forward.

We learn that while you wait for your moment of breakthrough, you must be resolute and you must also strategically position yourself to strike with precision at the right time when opportunity knocks on the door rather than to drown yourself in despair unto death.

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Book Reviews

Audrey’s Novel, Chances, is a Beautiful, Well Written Story Laced with Betrayal, Heartbreak, Pain, Healing, Love and God.

Yvonne Maphosa

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Audrey Chirenje

Yvonne Maphosa, 06/02/2021

Audrey’s Novel, Chances, tells the story of Varopafadzwa “Ropa” and Ralphael “Ralph”. Ropa is a pastor’s daughter, raised by the good book and with strong principles.

She’s a proper church girl but heartbreaks keep pulling her further and further away from the cross. Her first heartbreak was brutal!

When the third man obliterates her heart, she builds the final layer of her walls. She’s almost completely closed off to love… until Ralph accidentally happens.

Ropa is as badass as they come. She can wipe the floor with anyone’s butt on a game of pool and can down tequila shots faster than The Flash can run to the Grand Canyon.

She’s a loner and has shut the world out completely, well at least that’s what she portrays. When she’s alone behind closed doors, we see a different side of her.

She goes from being an ordinary psychologist to being a secret agent for the UNIT, a top CIA – FBI – 24 – SPY type top secret agency that Ralph works for.

I loved the alternating voices/chapters (POVs) of Ralph and Ropa as they put us in their different head spaces. I appreciated the amount of research and attention to detail the author put into the story.

I also loved how familiar places in Harare and Cape Town popped up, it made it feel more real. Personally, I would have preferred a longer story. This was pretty short. (Selfishly so because I love long stories).

I would have loved to read more about their undercover missions, those were lit lit! Like that Nigeria Skulls bust! And maybe a bit about them after they crossed the friendship line.

I also expected more drama around the kidnapping of Ralph’s daughter and the ex-wife’s infidelity. The narration of that particular part was too summarized and not as dramatic as anticipated (for me).

All in all. It’s a beautiful, well written story, laced with betrayal, heartbreak, pain, healing, love and God.

It reminded me that not everything is what it looks like. See how bold and daring Ropa was on the outside but how hollow and terrified she was on the inside?

It’s fiction yes but it was a kind reminder to be kind to people for no reason and to read more books by African writers because they bring the stories close to home.

Book Reviewer: Yvonne Maphosa, An Award-winning Bestselling Author and A Globetrotter. https://www.instagram.com/yvonne_jacquie/

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Book Reviews

From Her First Novel: Life Will Humble You, to the Second One: Chances, Audrey Chirenje Juggles between Romance, Suspense and Thriller

Brian Kazungu

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Audrey Chirenje

Brian Kazungu, 06/02/2021

In the novel, Life Will Humble You, Riko and Ronda had a beautiful love encounter that later on took a lot of suspense filled twist and turns which even gets us to a short stint with secret agents that worked with Riko’s sister who was trying to help save her sibling’s marriage.

As we delve into Audrey’s second book, titled Chances, these secret agents become the main actors in a novel filled with crime scenes, secret service heroism and a touch of romance.

Through a chance meeting, Agent Ralph, a secret service operative specialising in busting money spinning human trafficking syndicates had his heart swept away by a young woman who had become adventurous as she tried to deal with traumatic heartbreaks and the stillbirth of her child.

In the novel Chances, Audrey’s imagination is fascinating and her story telling is mind grabbing as she keeps you guessing all the way until you finish reading the book.

The love story between a once-heartbroken psychologist, Ropa and the mysterious Agent Ralph dramatically shows how far a person can go to get the attention of a soul mate and more-so, it reveals the mysterious happenings that can occur if a secret service agent is falling for you.

Ropa have had three failed relationships and she had developed quite a disliking for the menfolk but the daring agent Ralph had some few tricks to conjure up before this young lady in order to make her change her mind and explore the world of love again.

As you read through the book, you will find your mind taken on a tour of so many countries such as South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, Canada, Zimbabwe and even the United States of America.

In her writing, Audrey also indulges readers with a sense of beauty and passion for good living with her exquisite description of food, fashion and luxury resorts

As shown in the closing paragraphs below, the exciting story of Ralph and Ropa ends on a beautiful note after their engagement since two months later, they got married and had a wedding at the beach.

We had our very simple wedding two months later by the beach with just immediate family and close friends. The sky was painted turquoise and there was a gentle breeze blowing. As we said our personalized vows, I just marveled at how God had favored me.

It appeared to be by chance, but I knew that the Lord ordered our footsteps and it happened when it was supposed to. We lived in faith ever after. Our house was full of love, joy and noise of our children, whose number increased to four thereafter.

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Book Reviews

Rutendo Gwatidzo’s book, BORN TO FIGHT is a Practical Guide on How to Fight and Win the Battles of Everyday Life

zwnews24 Editor

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Rutendo Gwatidzo

With a narrative that spans across childhood to adulthood, village life to city life, success and failures, poverty and affluence, friendship and deception, in Born To Fight, Rutendo packed her inspiring and yet touching life story in a way that is both educational and entertaining.

She wrote the book in a way that equips readers with weapons of knowledge on how to fight the battles of life.

Going through the pages of this emotion filled and mind-set shifting piece of literature is like watching a documentary of a young female warrior who passes through the twists and turns of the battlefield from one war to another.

In Born To Fight, Rutendo narrates how she survived dangerous wild animals in the rural areas as well as how she handled teenage peer pressure at school and how she also withstood corporate sabotage in pursuit of a better life.

Every chapter in the book starts with a relevant Bible verse, followed by a wise quote and then ends with life lessons that can be drawn from the story so that readers can learn and be entertained at the same time.

In order to find out more about Rutendo’s personality and inspiration behind the book Born To Fight, below is her interview with zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu.

Zwnews24: Briefly describe yourself (background, personality, passions, dreams and aspirations etc.) so that readers (audience) can have a clear picture of who you are and what you stand for.

Rutendo Gwatidzo: I am a family centered woman who is proud to describe herself as a wife and a mother. I am passionate about serving people in society and in the body of Christ. More-so, I am very vocal and relentless in inspiring hope to my listeners. 

My faith, Christianity, is at the core of who I am and it defines everything that I do and more-so, at Celebration Church, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe, I am honored and privileged to serve in a leadership capacity.

As an entrepreneur, together with my husband, we co-founded Astromobile which is an award winning software and mobile phone business which grew into five African countries. It also won a continental award in 2015.

I’m also the managing director of MRTG Trust, an organization that supports orphans and underprivileged children with educational assistance. My vision is to extend this to millions of kids in Africa, starting with all the countries that Astromobile operate in.

I am a motivational speaker, mentor, and writer, and I have now recently added the title of author to my sphere of work since launching my debut book: Born to Fight. 

Zwnews24: What is the motivation behind your writing career? What do you seek to achieve and why? Do you think you have already achieved your goal as a writer or do you see yourself achieving those goals through your literary work?

Rutendo Gwatidzo: The motivation behind my writing career was sparked when I was asked to share my story in the Woman Excel Publication entitled: Book of Successful Zimbabwean Women Volume 2, in 2018.

In the process of writing my story and then sharing it with others, I found that many people found my background interesting and were curious to know more about my experiences. 

That encounter made me to realize that I had something powerful to share which could help others especially those of a similar background like mine as well as other people who are trying to find victory in tough situations. This gave birth to the book – Born to Fight.

In my writing, I seek to motivate, inspire and encourage people to reach their greatest potential through helping them to see different perspective on issues which then helps them to come up with effective tools to fighting the common battles of life and come out as victors.

Personally, I haven’t reached my goal yet; this is just but the beginning but I am glad that I am in the right direction. My book has already started to transform lives, and so, I can see myself achieving all the goals behind my literary work.

Zwnews24: When and how did you start writing and what has been the impact of that move on you and on the people around you, including family and friends?

Rutendo Gwatidzo: I started writing my first book in August 2019 and I completed it in December 2019. I then submitted it for editing and the process took about 3 months for us to come up with the final book.

I am happy to say that my husband and children were always supportive of this dream right from the time I told them about it. 

They helped to edit my book, gave me ideas on who I could ask for endorsements and they were also my cheerleaders all the way through. It felt like we were going through the process together.

Zwnews24: What are the titles of the books that you have written so far? Would you describe what each of these books is all about and the intended benefit of each of these books to your audience? 

Rutendo Gwatidzo: Born to Fight is my first book, but watch this space…a new book is loading as we speak even though I can’t share too much about it yet.

Born to Fight is basically a book that talks about the struggles of life and how we can overcome them when we use winning strategies. 

It highlights the importance of changing your perspective on various issues in a way that helps you to come up with effective tools that you can use in the different battles of life. The book is an eye opener on so many aspects.

I wrote this book in order to share the principles that I have learnt on how to overcome challenges in the right way. 

Personally, I faced a lot of difficult challenges in life and I believe that I have so much to share from my experiences, and so, I am convinced that this book can be of help even to the next generation.

I wrote it so that I can show readers that the struggle is real and to help them realise that it will be unrealistic to think that one can go through life without facing fights, struggles or conflicts. 

In this book, I focussed on showing readers that in every phase of life, you must overcome some obstacle or hindrance in order for you to get to the next stage. I wanted my audience to understand that the struggle is real but we don’t need to live in fear, since with God and with the use of winning strategies, we are destined to greatness.

I also wrote this book in order to share the secrets of living a victorious life. We were created to live a victorious life and sometimes, all we need is to journey with someone who helps us to see how we can achieve a victorious life. 

So, please, come on the journey with me through the pages of this book. Together, we will smile, laugh, learn and be victorious. You don’t want to miss this.

Zwnews24: If people want to buy your book or invest in your work, where can they find it and how do they get in touch with you either for feedback on your work or any other related correspondence? 

Rutendo Gwatidzo: People can give feedback concerning this book or get in touch with me to invest in my work or even to find current information on where my books are sold through the following platforms:

Facebook: RutendoGwatidzo_Official or Rutendo Gwatidzo Mugwara. 

Instagram: rutendo_gwatidzo

Twitter: @RGwatidzo

Purchases can be done online as well as in the following book shops and other designated places: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/rutendogwatidzo

Wordwide Bookstore, Celebration Centre, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe

Innov8 Bookstores, Harare, Zimbabwe

Best Books Bookstore, Harare, Zimbabwe

Woman Excel Offices, Harare, Zimbabwe

Astromobile Offices, Belvedere, Harare, Zimbabwe

Zwnews24: What are your guiding values which determine what and how you write? Are there things that you do not write about at all or is there a certain approach to writing which you do not use because of these values? Share your insights. 

Rutendo Gwatidzo: My values are shaped by a Biblical Worldview.  I believe that all answers to life’s troubling questions start with Christ and can be found in the Bible. I also believe that working hard and doing so with integrity are important values for anyone aspiring to be a writer.

As writers we must aim to be honest in what we share about ourselves and to point our readers towards life-giving principles. That’s why my key message is that we were born to fight but we are destined to win. 

In that regard, I will not write about anything or use an approach to my writing that does not align with a Biblical Worldview since I believe in building up the next generation. 

I am mindful of the fact that what we write is not just judged by today’s readers but by future generations as well, and as such, I always aim to write something that will leave a generational legacy.

Zwnews24: How did you feel when you got published for the first time and what has been the effect of that moment on your writing career now? 

Rutendo Gwatidzo: What I felt when I got published for the first time was incredible and indescribable. Seeing a printed copy of a book that I wrote made me to realize that, yes, I can do it, and that anybody else can do it also. All what is needed is to act upon that thought.

Now, I can say that my writing career has just begun and I will not stop. I will not even allow the sky to be my limit: it can only be a dwelling place. I’m already pregnant with many other books.

Zwnews24: What has been some of the most cherished and memorable feedback that you have received from your readers so far and how has it impacted you in your pursuit of literature, either as a profession or as a hobby? Please share some of the priceless feedback that you received from your readers.

Rutendo Gwatidzo: Every piece of constructive feedback is something that I cherish. I value feedback from ordinary people who can relate to my experiences especially those who come from the same background. 

Life can really be a struggle and it means a lot to me to be able to relate to and inspire people facing hardships and pain. 

I have also received amazing feedback from people that I admire and look up to, including those who endorsed my book. To find out more on what they said, grab a copy of the book.

More-so, I consider myself very honored to get a lot of good public feedback especially on Facebook from different readers. Both my private page and my public page have overwhelming good feedback.

It is such feedback that keeps me going, and therefore, I would like to say ‘thank you all for the great support, I appreciate you so much.

Zwnews24: What are some of the challenges that you face in your writing and what is it that makes you to continue writing regardless of these challenges?

Rutendo Gwatidzo: Balancing time between being mother, wife, entrepreneur, philanthropist, leader at church, sister, friend etc. is just so challenging.

However, the feedback that I receive from my readers keeps me going and the impact the book has had so far even to high school students has kept me motivated. 

The phone calls and transformational testimonials that I have received so far made me to realise that my purpose is indeed greater than my pain, and as such, I will not stop.

Zwnews24: What are your words of advice and motivation to other writers, both established and aspiring ones in their pursuit of literature, either as their hobby or profession?

Rutendo Gwatidzo: My advice to other writers is that if you can’t fly in your writing, then you got to run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, if you can’t crawl then roll…. whatever you do, keep moving. Don’t stop.

In simple terms, if you can’t write plenty of pages, then write a few, write a paragraph or even a sentence as long as you keep on writing. ACTION, ACTION, ACTION is all you need.

Zwnews24: What do you think is the relevance and impact of literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Do you think literature should be recognized, celebrated and be promoted? 

Rutendo Gwatidzo: Literature is very relevant in our lives and it has a huge impact on how a society understands its environment in a certain time and space. People learn and make sense of life through story telling. Even our own ancestors were known to tell stories to younger generations at the end of each day. 

All the academic achievements that we have are a result of literature, since someone had to put it in writing for the benefit of another. As such, I believe that we should always be on the lookout for literature that educates people and moves generations forward. 

Such literature is what I want to promote, celebrate, and recognize. This is because literature is powerful and can do more than just entertain people, it can influence people positively. Literature that influences people positively is always truthful, it values the dignity of life, and it seeks to avoid harming others through hate. 

It helps the reader to learn new things about themselves or their worlds and it enables them to relate to that world in a healthy and productive way. I don’t believe we must all like the same things in literature, but I want to be intentional about supporting work that builds us up as a society. 

Zwnews24: How deep is your passion for literature? What have you already done, what are you planning to do and how far would you go to promote literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world?

Rutendo Gwatidzo: I am very passionate about local authors of today. I see many bright young people publishing books on their own and I get interested to read their books and learn from what they share. I also tend to read from African motivational authors and quite often, I buy their books and share. 

As I have already mentioned before, I work with a Trust that seeks to provide educational support to underprivileged children and orphans and this usually involves making sure that they have access to educational content. It is therefore my wish and vision to extend this across borders and even beyond.

Zwnews24: Besides writers, who are the other active players that you can think of in the field of literature? In that regard, is there a person, group of people or organization that you know which is helping to develop and promote literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Who are they and what is it specifically that they are doing in this context and how is it inspiring you and positively impacting individuals and communities?

Rutendo Gwatidzo: You might have heard that my first platform for sharing my story was the Woman Excel Book: The Book of Successful Zimbabwean Women, Volume 2.

I find that Woman Excel, as an organization is taking the initiative to find and publish these stories and is doing an important job of chronicling our modern history and telling untold stories of women heroes. Woman Excel also takes the extra step of launching each volume of their books with schoolgirls in attendance as this is their target market. 

It’s amazing to see young adolescent girls and women in the same room with women entrepreneurs, CEOs, movers and shakers as they gather to celebrate women and their success. I believe that this goes a long way in helping young girls build their self-confidence and to find the courage to pursue their own empowerment in meaningful, productive, and healthy ways.

Zwnews24: What has been some of the best works of literature that you have enjoyed so far (Books, blogs, poems etc.)? 

Rutendo Gwatidzo: I have enjoyed many books from the different local authors including those of people who endorsed my book. Sadly, Patson Dzamara was promoted to glory and is no longer with us but his books will forever be of great impact.

Zwnews24: What has been some of the best platforms for the development and promotion of literature that have been of help to you as an author? 

Rutendo Gwatidzo: The Writers Clinic platform has been a wonderful source of learning. In this group, we learn, we laugh and we grow. I greatly enjoy the teachings from this platform. Seasoned authors, new authors and aspiring authors are all found in this platform. You can imagine the diversity of learning that the platform offers.

zwnews24: What are some of the literature awards that you know of and what do they seek to reward or promote? What is your take on their criteria? If you were to give awards in literature, what would be your prizes and the related criteria for selecting recipients and awarding such rewards?

Rutendo Gwatidzo: NAMA is the most popular one in Zimbabwe even though it doesn’t focus on literature only. When it comes to awarding the works of literature, personally, I would give prizes for “edutainment” – the ability of an author to entertain but still educate. My criteria would be based on how interesting and dramatic the story was and how educational the content is. 

For prizes, I would give a trophy, because you can keep a trophy for life. It will always remind you of the victory.

The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, General Emeritus – Wisdom, Mysteries and Dark Sayings, a poetry anthology written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/2T8sEQX

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