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.
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
Simbarashe Nyamadzawo’s novel Tatenda, a fusion of priceless life lessons and literary creativity.
Book Review by Brian Kazungu, 28/01/2019
Simbarashe Nyamadzawo’s novel Tatenda is a fusion of travel, romance, entrepreneurship, culture, patriotism, tourism and revolutionary thinking coupled with a touch of affluence and modernity.
He also wrote the book as if he was both the tourism and cultural ambassador of his country, Zimbabwe judging by his appealing and true presentation of the country’s treasured tourist attractions.
Some of the sentences in the opening chapter of this novel reads “December had always been a busy month at the airport. It was packed with travellers departing and arriving in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city.
Some were citizens returning home from a sojourn abroad while others were tourists en-route to resort towns like Kariba, Nyanga and Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls was a beautiful tourist town that played host to the falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World named after former British monarch, Queen Victoria.”
This chapter even starts with a travel related quote from St Augustine which says “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”
More so, every of the chapters in the novel Tatenda starts with a quotation that is related to the theme of that specific chapter as quoted especially from speeches by famous philosophers or world leaders.
To anybody who has not been to Zimbabwe, the book becomes a tool for you to navigate the Zimbabwe landscape and experience its cultural and social dynamics through Simbarashe’s artistic literary creativity.
The way that he describes some of the characters, places and circumstances in his novel are very vivid, artistic and appetizing in such a way that the reader gets immersed in the novel itself and it also lures you to continue reading as you would want to see what happens next.
“After 30 minutes, Ellen his personal assistant arrived to pick him up. Ellen was a 22-year old gorgeous young woman, light skinned and with a good sense of fashion. She wore a tight two piece blue suit that hugged her curves. She exuded a sweet perfume scent. As she walked down the corridor in her high heels, men could not help it but ogle at her figure.”
“He stood up when Ellen got to where he was sitting so he could hug her. It was a tight embrace. Then he pulled out a chair for her.” Reads part of the book.
Just by reading from the above statements, a reader would be left wondering what happened next between Ellen and Tatenda.
The writer continues with this creative pattern as he takes you through other various characters involved in other intriguing scenarios that always keeps you hanging as you explore the book.
This novel also showcases a revolutionary challenge on the status quo and traditional approach to life issues especially concerning the way people mostly from Zimbabwe had been used to in their interaction with parents and pastors as well as in their engagement on issues such as courtship.
In one instance, Tatenda takes his usual professional rather than religious approach in handling a request for a speaking engagement which was offered by a pastor who had wanted him to be a guest speaker in his church.
On another instance, we see Tatenda turning down some scholarships which he believed where not in line with his dreams while lastly in the same context we see a girl named Stella seemingly trying to make some daring moves (flirting) on Tatenda.
“I can see you are busy. Can I have your number so that I can keep in touch with you? Stella asked.”
This novel is a suspense filled creative work of fiction which incorporates real life places, businesses and other issues in a way that makes it easy for readers especially today’s youths to blend with the vibe since they can relate with the technologies, places etc. that the writer uses in his narratives.
Simbarashe, in the novel Tatenda talks of real countries and the related places such as Robert Mugabe international Airport in Zimbabwe, OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa and Twinlakes School in Zambia.
He goes on to incorporate social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook in the same way that he talks of Ecocash, a cash transfer innovation by a real life company called Econet Wireless using a style that makes the book relatable to most Zimbabweans as it even helps people from other countries to get a general view of the country in their minds.
Besides the intriguing suspense, the book is also a priceless handbook on how to handle issues of life especially career path, marital issues and managing the consequences of your choices and decisions as you traverse from one decade to another.
After going through some highs and lows, Tatenda who is also the main character in the novel Tatenda ends up attending an Information Technology conference in America with the help of his uncle Sekuru Jonasi where he won prize money for his business pitch, a development which changed his life and that of his wife for good.
The book is a rare piece of literary creativity with a positive message that can instantly transform the lives of the readers by giving hope to those who are going through tough situations and inspiring others to follow their dreams and live their lives with purpose.
Brian Kazungu is a Christian, Media Practitioner, Author, Poet, Technology Enthusiast, Entrepreneur and an Opinion Leader.
For more of his book reviews, other writings and motivation, follow him on:
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