I base the novel on fact. Little boys and girls forced to watch the rapes of their mothers, sisters and grandmothers by soldiers of a new African government. The questions: What is the psychological effect of this on these boys? How does this affect their future relationships with not only women but also their own penises? I dig deeper: Why do soldiers in conflict resort to rape in the first place? Is this just an army-taught tactic or the result of Me Tarzan you jane social engineering? If it is then does it have to be an endless cycle? If not then who will put a stop to it?
Que David, my protagonist.
Turns out the novel is badly written. As I leave the Commonword office from my meeting with Pete Kalu, he calmly feeds it to the shredder. Sunlight crashes the halo floating above my head to the ground, breaking it. I pick up the pieces and reassemble them. Name: Gift. Occupation: Writer. Double Strike Through. Rewriter.
I rename the novel â€˜Inside the Fourth Chimurengaâ€™ It is not my story.
Chimurenga means Struggle. Those that lead Zimbabwe believe it is in the grips of its Third. History repeats itself. This time the newspapers chronicle it. Reports of widespread rape. Militia going on raping sprees. Bottles, burning logs, bayonets. Why do people do these things?
David initiates the Fourth Chimurenga. The final struggle. We are with him from its conception; as a little boy he watches from behind a school fence as a government soldier rapes the prostitute he is besotted with. We follow him through his personal and political struggles right through to his Fourth. The Finale.