A novelist, an artist, a dancer, writer, poet who writes equally well, Deborah Nyasha Kabongo is Zimbabwe’s young finest writer based in China. Her book project has been to interrogate the culture of love, dance and rape. In her ground-breaking novel ‘Scented Coffins’, she unfolds her journey of love and the unexpected experience of events during her journey. Besides this book she has written a collection of poems. Deborah was born and raised in Zimbabwe but is of Congolese origin and is currently studying Computer Science in China.
What Inspired The Title of the Book?
The world we live in has evolved too fast too soon and no one is real anymore because of goals and hashtags. Social media has taken over and life outside of the spotlight has become very plastic. We walk around spraying perfume on our caskets hoping no one sees the brokenness inside of us but truthfully we are all walking dead.
What Is The Book About ?
The book is about my personal experience with love, dance and rape. My country of origin Congo was labelled the rape country of the world. My journey through falling in love with dance and human beings and the heartbreak that came from both inspired this book.
How Has Your Dance Experience Influenced Your Novel?
Beginning of 2016 I was at the peak of what seemed to be my dance career. Then enrolled at the AFRIKERA arts trust of Zimbabwe, I was growing tremendously as a dancer and it was my life until it was taken away from me. I had an unfortunate accident and had surgery that benched me for 3 months and. It was during this time that I wrote my novel and my poetry collection (I AM OBLIAGE). I developed a lot of self-hate as I was judged a lot based on my weight and the standards set by society for what a dancer must look like. I bounced back almost a year later and now currently based in China I and overcoming all odds as a dancer and artist.
What Is The Message?
The idea is to impact at least one person because alone I cannot save the world. As I quote my spoken word piece “Why I love Boko Haram”, “they say there is comfort in numbers so would I find comfort if there were many girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. If I did manage to escape would I run back to a world where we would rather talk about Kim Kardashians’ ass than find a cure for cancer or save the girl next door who has been told that her father rapes her because he loves her?”
I speak out so that other young girls can speak out as well and I have been blessed enough to have a platform and a voice.
Where To Contact Deborah?
Instagram : iamdeboh
Medium.com : @iamdeboh
Facebook : @iamdeboh