In addition, she closely followed the goings-on at farms during the fast-tracked land reform programme and gave eyewitness accounts to the country and the world; in this book, she allows the reader to experience what she saw and appreciate how difficult it must have been to cover such sensitive stories. One becomes naturally affected by these harrowing tales, like she was.
It was staggering to read that Mutandwa had decided to be a single parent when she realised that marriage was not on the horizon. Can you imagine this woman’s guts in a society where some women stay in loveless and abusive relationships because it would be embarrassing to be labelled a failure when one has left one’s cheating, lying and unhelpful husband?
Grace’s story is about a woman’s multi-faceted life as a mother, lover and journalist but it is also a historical account of how far we have come as a country, and perhaps how far we can still go. It interrogates those aspects of our history that we would rather forget. It is one woman’s story but it is also every woman’s story; each chapter speaks to each one of us.
Mutandwa’s style of writing is remarkable in that I felt as if she was talking to me over tea or coffee on a girls’ day out in a very relaxed atmosphere. However, this in no way diminishes the lessons she teaches to women.
Left: Grace Mutandwa
So what are these lessons?
To be strong, to not expect favours from anyone, that the world does not owe you anything; to take risks at some point in your life. To be yourself.
The Power and The Glory is a valuable addition to any Zimbabwean woman’s collection of literature because it will make you interrogate your own decisions, your own life and your dreams. I found myself questioning what I would write about my life. What would I say I had achieved? What would I be remembered for? Am I now just part of the furniture in my organisation? Do I still have something to offer to the company?
Additionally, Mutandwa takes us back to a period in our country’s history, which some of us would prefer to forget about, and reminds us that we have to face the demons from our past.
This is a must read for all women, not just those in the media. Mutandwa knows she can write and so she writes. How many of us used to write excellent essays at school but now do not even write a letter to the editor of a newspaper to complain about poor service delivery in their areas? How many of us used to be good athletes but now cannot even run at our children’s school sports day; or used to be the leader of the church choir but now cannot sing to save our lives?!
Mutandwa challenges women to be the best that they can be. And I salute her for that.
For more information about how to get copies of the book, please get in touch with Grace Mutandwa on +263 772 414 482