‘uShaka Inkosi Yamakhosi’ director becomes author with book based on film

DIRECTOR Manzini Zungu has become an author with a written version of his film | Supplied

DIRECTOR Manzini Zungu has become an author with a written version of his film | Supplied

Published Jul 7, 2024


Durban — Director of critically acclaimed international award-winning short musical animation film uShaka Inkosi YamaKhosi, Manzini Zungu has become an author with a written version of his film.

The book, which is also titled after the film, sees Manzini expand his storytelling influence into the world of literature. Following on the immense success and recognition of uShaka Inkosi YamaKhosi, Manzini’s book will look to accomplish similar success in the literacy landscape, particularly within the children and youth categories.

Manzini’s private book launch was hosted on Thursday at Exclusive Books in Rosebank Mall. The author and businessman was alongside his family, close friends and colleagues, and several prominent guests from the business and entertainment world that included business executive Mlungisi Clive Manci, entrepreneur and businesswoman Thembeka Johnson and award-winning songwriter and songstress Siphokazi Mohapi.

MANZINI Zungu at his book launch. | Supplied

The event, which also comprised of a panel discussion which featured Manzini, multi-award-winning artist Ndabo Zulu, who also composed the film’s score, was moderated by Thabani Msibi.

Manzini highlighted the importance of preserving African storytelling through literature and accurately reflecting the cultural impact of uShaka. “As Africans who own their identity, we must be at the forefront of owning our own stories and not rely on anyone else to do so. African stories have always captured the imagination of the world, and this book will look to capture the imagination of our children with a title figure who comes from African soil,” Zungu said.

He also said that he is humbled to have joined forces with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in bringing the vision to life for many children and that as a proudly South African, both he and UJ, a multicultural and vibrant institute, share the common understanding of the potential of African storytellers through educational and creative activism.

MANZINI Zungu at his book launch. | Supplied

Ndabo Zulu also shared his (musical) experience working on the film: “Everything we have done throughout this project has been disruptive. Under normal circumstances, films are often inspired by literature, but in this case we have a book that came from a film. This unconventional approach was largely due to Manzini’s creative dynamism in owning the journey of how we tell this story,” said Ndabo.

The event also saw Msisbi engage with the audience on the philosophy of African identity, a powerful and recurring theme that runs throughout the book, by posing a reflective question in his statement: “African identity has always been under scrutiny. How have we as Africans maintained our identity in the modernity and, more importantly, tapped into our cultural references that form part of our identity when it comes to overcoming the challenges we face?”

The printed version of uShaka Inkosi Yamakhosi is on sale at Exclusive Books.

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