Charles Mungoshi Jnr. is one of those young people in Zimbabwe that you should know if you are interested in books or just young Zimbabweans with incredible potential and already doing amazing things not just for themselves but putting Zimbabwe on the map for all the right reasons. ZimShoppingMalls caught up with Charles for a sit down and this is how the interview went…
Question: We are glad to have you for this for this interview Charles Mungoshi Jr. Briefly, tell us who really is Charles Mungoshi Jr?
Answer: Well, I am the fourth son of the author Dr Charles Mungoshi and the film actress Jesesi Mungoshi well known for her role in Neria as Neria. That is the biological set up of being – I am married and have two boys. Other than that I am a simple going person I would love to believe.
Question: We understand that you are into authoring – what motivated you to be a writer seeing that is the same field your father is in?
Answer: Well as much as I would like to deviate from my father being an influence I cannot. I hated writing but the moment I put my thoughts on paper using ink I got this relief within me and I never stopped since then, which was 2008.
Question: How many publications do you have?
Answer: To date I have about six titles published, including my recently launched anthology, Destroy The Box.
Question: We know that this is a question that must have come your way. How are your works compared to your father’s?
Answer: Wonderful question, there is not a single time or moment I ever sat down to write with a thought of competing or writing like my father. In my family we are almost all writers – on the recent NAMA awards my older brother Farayi Mungoshi’s; Behind The Wall Everywhere, scooped an award. So for me to be comparing my works it would be a wrong focus of my energy. I am my own person.
Question: We are aware that there is also a book your family published which was written by your father. Care to share on what the book is about?
Answer: Yes , that is correct. Upon my father’s ill condition we set up a publishing house called Mungoshi Press. We set it up in 2011 and we managed to publish BRANCHING STREAMS FLOW IN THE DARK, which is a book that took Charles Mungoshi Snr 21 years to put the final full stop to. This is a story told from the heart and has twists and turns that keep the reader glued to the pages. A story set up in the era of none Anti-retro viral therapy, with stigma painting the picture of existence.
Question: What can you say have been the challenges you have faced in the industry?
Answer: There are so many challenges arising in this career – which is the slowly dying reading culture due to technology which we can hardly control. The worst of all is the issue of piracy which leaves the artist with nothing to write home about. Our works are being photocopied and being sold on the streets for close to nothing, and leaving us in need. People hardly walk into book shops to buy a book if it’s not prescribed by the program one is in engaged in. People have diverted from self-development to existing or managing survival.
Question: Dr Charles Mungoshi hasn’t been well for some time, not so many people are aware of this, what really is the situation at hand?
Answer: My father fell into a comma in 2011 which had him bedridden for about three months. The doctors said he suffered from hydrocephalus – where water lodged in the head and pressuring the brain, which led to him having to operated for them to insert a shanty. He had an initial operation that failed in 2015. We then had consultation of a private neurosurgeon who practised an operation on him which went on successfully early this 2017, which he is recovering from. The operation and the post operation which is the stage we are at now are very financially involving. We have thus far spent over thirteen thousand dollars to get him where he is now, and we are on the road to raise more monies. We had a fund raising team that got him in to theatre and I would like to show my gratitude for that team and say thank you so much for your love and support, same to those that partnered with us. This led us to start a book sale campaign of his book, Branching Streams Flow In The Dark, all to raise funds to get him to have extreme physio therapy. I believe he will write again.
Question: How has been the response of the masses to the Book Sale Campaign?
Answer: We have about a thousand copies we are selling at $10 each, a book which was initially $18 all in a bid to raise funds quick. People are responding but it is not as much as I personally thought it would be. I think maybe not many people are aware of the issue at hand. The purchase of this book goes a long way in supporting Dr Charles Mungoshi’s recovery.
Question: How does it feel being son of two great icons in the arts industry in Zimbabwe?
Answer: It is very challenging but much manageable because I am also on my feet behaving as an artiste.
Question: Is there anything Mrs Mungoshi is working on in line with the Film industry or has she retired from it?
Answer: My mother is still in the film industry. She recently completed a movie titled Makunun’unu Maodzamwoyo a book my father wrote and was adopted for screen by Farayi Mungoshi my brother. The Movie stars the noise and crowd pulling artiste Jah Prayzah, the late Fidelis Cheza (Mudhara Danger), Nothando Nobengula and herself Jesesi Mungoshi. This will blow people’s minds when it screens in theatres.
Question: Is there anything else you are doing besides authoring?
Answer: I am a motivational and inspirational speaker. I have recently started a movement called MaDhiri eCash which focusses on teaching or building a mind-set of positive attitude in face of the difficulties in our economy. The vision is simply; gathering like-minded people to generate a positive force field to shift and effect progressive change in economies.
Question: Finally what would you like to say to other artistes in your industry?
Answer: If you are an artiste your heart will speak more than your eye for profit or material gain. People are moved by what comes from the heart and are ready to invest more in it. Keep at it and have your mind set on passion mode. Thank you.
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University of Zimbabwe graduate, Honors in Sociology. Former model, TV Presenter and MC. Blogger, lover of food and all things artsy. I am loving my role in Social Media Marketing in Zimbabwe and educating clients on the ecommerce ecosystem era. Wife to one, mother to two and friend to many 🙂