THE SINS OF THE FATHERS by Charles Mungoshi -s Zimbabwe
About the author:
Charles Mungoshi was born in 1947and raised in a farming family in the Chivhu area of Zimbabwe. After leaving school, he worked with the Forestry Commission before joining Textbook Sales. From 1975 to 1981, he worked at the Literature Bureau as an editor and at Zimbabwe Publishing House for the next five years.
In 1985-87 he was Writer in Residence at the University of Zimbabwe, and since then, he has worked as a freelance writer, scriptwriter and editor. Charles Mungoshi has written novels and short stories in both Shona and English and two collections of children's stories, Stories from a Shona Childhood and One Day Long Ago (Baobab Books, 1989 and 1991); the former won him the Noma Award.
He has also continued to write poetry and has one published collection: The Milkman doesn't only deliver Milk (Baobab Books, 1998). He has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa region) twice, in 1988 and 1998, for two collections of short stories: The Setting Sun and The Rolling World (Heinemann, 1987) and Walking Still (Baobab Books, 1997). Two of his novels: Waiting for the
Rain (Heinemann 1975) and Ndiko kupindana Kwa mazuva (Mambo Press, 1975), received International PEN awards.
Episodes / sub-episodes
The Sins ofthe Fathers, by Charles Mungoshi, is a post-colonial story set in rural Zimbabwe. It takes place between Borrowdale and Bulawayo.
Rondo is the antagonistic character whose revenge world opens at the story's very beginning. Rondo's father, Rwafa, is an ex- minister but still influential in the political world of Zimbabwe. This is evident from how a fraction of mourners just come to take pictures with him, for such photos would soon 'open doors for them.
Rondo has a wife, Selina, daughter of Basil Mzamane, who is also into politics as an M.P. and a businessman. In fact, he's a political rival of Rondo's father, Rwafa. Rondo's two children, both daughters (Yuna and Rhoda), are in an accident as they are driving home from a birthday party with their grandfather, Basil Mzamane, where, Rwafa takes to the podium to condemn his son for marrying from his enemy Basil. This has all along created bad blood between him and his son that this accident makes Rondo believe that his father has a hand in it. In their many stories, a revelation of what his friend, Gaston, alludes to: "Have you ever wondered about the Second Street accidents?"
On their way to the birthday party, the trio - Rondo, Rwafa and Basil Mzamane - meets a group of youths (Chimurenga) chanting political songs. At a point, they meet a white woman whose car has broken down, and they charge to attack before Basil intervenes. Rwafa disappears, and Rondo remains confused about what is actually going on.
Rwafa's speech leaves people surprised and shocked. They start going one after the other. This is where Rondo decides to send the children back with their grandfather as he remains with Selina. The two children and Basil, their grandfather, finally die in a crash. People are here to mourn. Then with utter suspense, Rondo and Selina come to finish Rwafa, who directs them out of the room, then a soft muffled plop is heard from Rwafa's room.
Questions for reflection on "Title of the story" and themes
The points of discussion and analysis include:
Political Bigotry and machinations
Racism/ colonial hatred
Parental resentment /child discontentment
Love and Friendship
Ethnic tension / negative ethnicity
Rwafa, Rondo, Selina, Mzamane, Gaston and Mrs Quayle
Questions for reflection on characters
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