As I mentioned before, I have a circle of friends (who are also colleagues) that I share books with. They, more specifically Lungie, introduced me to the Hlomu Series. It wasn’t my turn yet but I couldn’t resist the temptation to take it and read it. So I did. And read it in three days! It was somewhat of a sad read because of the realisation that it was the last of the books and Dudu, if you are reading this, it’s a NATIONAL CALL – you have got to write more books! We need a book on how the Zulu brothers see things, we need more. We’ve read about Mqhele’s Hlomu (who was the first wife and a very impactful figure in the lives of the Zulu brothers), Nkosana’s Zandile (with an unreal kind of beauty, inner strenghth and stubborn), the last is about Naledi, Qhawe’s queen.
Naledi is a Tshwana Princess, her father the village chief. They meet with Qhawe, over a parking spot and as they say, the rest is history. In the previous book, Qhawe had made a strong connection to Oleta, whose life ended abruptly and Qhawe didn’t quite recover. It seems Naledi has big shoes to fill. Like any woman, Naledi feels she will live in the shadow of a former lover, who would’ve made it to the aisle had her life not ended. ”Chawe”, as is lovingly called by his Tshwana Princess, because she can’t quite get the ‘Q’ in his name, is very similar to his brothers. He’s all about family, loyalty, honesty and love but Naledi doesn’t get to what level. As with all the wives to follow (except Zandile), Hlomu’s approval is important to the brothers and without her approval, no girl will move from girlfriend to wife. Naledi is in the moment she meets the family at Qhawe’s mini birthday celebration. She’s a medical doctor by profession and is as stubborn as both Hlomu and Zandile.
Naledi comes with baggage, mother issues. Her mother walked out on her and her sisters when Naledi was just one. She was raised by her sisters and her dad especially, his status as chief didn’t make it easier. With Qhawe in her life, she is forced to make amends with her past and to forge a stronger relationship with her sisters, all of them, especially the one who has not gotten along with them all. Naledi goes through many ups and downs in her relationship with Qhawe and finds out just how important loyalty is to this family and that she’s not only dating Qhawe but the entire family and that she no longer has as much privacy as she had and would like to have. Because of love, she overlooks a lot of things and like the wives, is introduced to a completely new way of life that she never thought was possible.
This was a beautiful read. Dudu is a brilliant writer and her conversational style makes the reader feel part of the story and you go through the emotions the character goes through.
I found myself towards the end of the book and wanting it not to end. When it finally ended, I held it for a while hoping that there is a forth, fifth and sixth books that are hidden somewhere waiting to be discovered and would somehow find their way to me. If you still have not read these books, you have to. Add them to your bucket list!