Ivan Zhakata-Arts Correspondent – The Herald
A ZIMBABWEAN author based in Germany is on cloud nine after his book, Changamire Dombo —The Legend, has been adopted into the country’s Advanced Level Literature set books.
People are more often well versed with the history of the western countries, remodelled and remade for global appeal.
However, most Zimbabweans will attest to having been glued to the television throughout all seasons of Game of Thrones, Vikings and Spartacus, among others ,which were fantastic tales of the West’s historic journeys.
Only a few have taken the great African history and put it on the same pedestal, among them Phillip Gwatidzo’s book “Changamire Dombo — The Legend”, which reincarnates the Changamire Dombo and got accepted as a set book for the Advanced Level English literature syllabus.
The book has been chosen for A Level English Literature and sits alongside the legendary Charles Mungoshi’s “Coming of the dry season”.
Though “Changamire Dombo — The Legend” has been set for A Level, it is also recommended for every Zimbabwean from primary to tertiary level and for social reading too.
“Changamire Dombo — The Legend” is not just a story, but an explosively visual read that takes a person back into the 1600s and makes them feel like they were physically present in the timeline, serving the King’s first hand,” he said.
Gwatidzo said it was his desire to see content that he had illustrated become pillars of Zimbabwe’s education system from a young age to mould proud adults into the global society.
“After the book was published, I met Dr Arthur Makanda, Director of Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, and to this day I am inspired by the work ethos and the professionalism the man conducted in the evaluation process,” he said.
“As a diasporan, social media funnels you to being sceptic of engaging public office, but I have to commend the level of professionalism I encountered with the Ministry regardless of whether my material had made the cut or not.
“The selection of the book is an honour of highest magnitude, a dream that was followed by hard work to see it come true.
“It is a passion project that I am excited to share with the students. As a proud, patriotic Zimbabwean and African, it was always a desire to get to share what I feel inside for my country and continent with the rest of the world and this book became that platform.”
Gwatidzo said he now hopes that part of Zimbabwe’s great history sets the same spark to every single person that gets the opportunity to read the book.
He was excited to have reached a publishing agreement with Consultus Publishing Services who are distributor of the book in the country.
“This allows me to focus on phase 2 of the project which is to dramatise the book for screenplay. The intent of phase 2 is to make a global blockbuster of “Changamire Dombo — The Legend” that will screen worldwide.
“It is my wish and intent to reach agreements with production companies that will shoot the movie in Zimbabwe, using the original sites such as Great Zimbabwe, Mosi Oa Tunya, Mana Pools, Gonarezhou.
“The majority of the workforce on set to be Zimbabwean, not only showcasing our beautiful country in the process, but also creating workforce during the filming process and opportunity to showcase local talent to the world,” Gwatidzo said.