The Yearning – Mohale Mashigo (@blckporcelain)

Long before I held a copy of this book in my hand, my sis (B) had already harped on and on about it. So I’d like to insert a huge shout out here to EXCLUSIVE BOOKS for sending through a copy to us for the 2016 Homebru campaign (see our 29 June post about the annual Homebru campaign here)

At the time I was reading another book and I couldn’t wait to get tucked into it. It took me two days to read this book and it only took that long because I actually had to do some work it was damn near impossible to put it down!

Marubini, whose name means ‘’Ancient Civilisation’’, is a stubborn, headstrong young woman that has experienced a lot of loss in her young life. The friendships she had forged in her young life and her experiences have all moulded her into the young, (wine-loving) woman she has become and it is often said that with age comes wisdom but Marubini has an equal amount of confusion as that of her younger self. She was born into a mixed family, her father umZulu and her mother a Pedi. Fortunate enough to have grandparents, she spends most of her time with them, learning from them and experiencing love’s true form – kind, patient, full of warmth and more.

Her younger brother, Simphiwe, is partly raised by Marubini. They have a strong and very close relationship. Though young herself and in need of guidance, she gives her brother that child-like love, attention and security. Their mother, not completely out the picture, but made somewhat bitter by a family tragedy that struck them when she herself was young, in love and with dreams and ambitions of her own as a young woman and still young in their marriage. The connection that Marubini and Simphiwe have is one that is special, beyond both their imaginations. In their lack of understanding and the many questions they have, they don’t trust what they perceive as just dreams and a cloud of confusion; not knowing that the key to their being and reality lies in their dreams.

The central question of the book is asked with clarity within the book’s blurb as follows:

How long does it take for scars to heal? How long does it take for a scarred memory to fester and rise to the surface? For Marubini, the question is whether scars ever heal when you forget they are there to begin with.

As an African child, this read was somewhat sacred because we are brought up having a ‘relationship’ of sorts with our ancestors. This read not only pulls you closer to your roots in understanding more of the world opened up in this book but also to never stop questioning as life is a long wave of learning both in and out the classroom setting. As humans, we all have a gut feeling and most don’t trust that nagging feeling you get about something and some overly trust it, close to paranoia – this book explored that fine line between your reality and the dream world and that the two may not always be worlds apart. A fine read indeed, poetic in most instances.

-Phumzile Z

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