- A domestic worker has written a fictional novel inspired by her life
- The book, Ngoneni, is written in Ndebele, and has been selling more copies than expected
- The author, Siphetheni Ncube, wants to use her writing to inspire others
Siphetheni Ncube, is a domestic worker in Johannesburg, who has just gone viral for publishing her debut novel, Ngoneni.
Ncube is from Zimbabwe, and originally had dreams of becoming a doctor, but she had to drop out of school in Grade 8 when she was orphaned.
"I wanted to become a doctor but I had to leave school."
Her book is loosely based on her experience in Zimbabwe as well as those of other women from the country.
"Many women in Zimbabwe are suffering," she said.
"I wrote this book in Ndebele so that they could be inspired by my story and the story of other women.
"This is why Ngoneni borrows from my experiences and of other women I know."
Briefly.co.za learned Ncube wrote her book in Ndebele because there is not enough indigenous writing.
"It is a matter of pride in my language," she said.
She feels it's important to give people access to literature in their mother tongues, because not everyone can write and read English.
Ncube is part of a group of women in Hillbrow called Izimpande Zomdabuko, who come together to support each other's writing.
"That's how I was able to publish my book. We are self-funded and assist each other," she said.
The group expresses their different experiences through drama, and writing stories and books.
Thanks to all the social media attention, she's experiencing a greater demand for her book.
"My old school friend, who is now the vice-principal of the primary school we attended, called me to order a few of my books," she said.
Her employer, Siphesihle Vazi, a presenter on Selimathunzi, is assisting her in promoting her book. They've received so many unexpected orders, they're experiencing a backlog in printing.
"I was getting messages from people who are interested in the book and we've been sending two or three books back to Zimbabwe a week," he said.
Ncube said her dream was to become a successful writer "... to provide a better future for my daughters. I'm working hard for them."
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