ISBN 9789987084968
Pages 164
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2022
Publisher Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania
Format Paperback

Aniceti Kitereza

An Tanzanian Epic

by Shoonie Hartwig

"Words that are spoken fly like the wind. Words that are written live forever."

Aniceti Kitereza spoke those words while telling Gerald (Jerry) and Charlotte (Shoonie) Hartwig the story of his novel. The year was 1969. They couldn't have imagined that this conversation would inaugurate an eleven-year saga, one of determination and commitment revealed in a significant collection of letters and the extraordinary tale of a man and a book.

The book you are holding is the story of this Tanzanian epic in words written and life lived. Aniceti Kitereza completed his epic novel in Kikerebe, in early 1945 and later translated it into Swahili as, Bwana Myombekere na Bibi Bugonoka na Ntulanalwo na Bulihwali (Tanzania Publishing House, 1980), and which was later translated from the Kikerebe original into English by Prof. Gabriel Ruhumbika under the title of, Mr Myombekere and His Wife Bugonoka, their Son Ntulanalwo and Daughter Bulihwali; The story of an Ancient African Community (Mkuki na Nyota, 2000).

What you will discover in these pages is not only the significant contribution of Kitereza’s writing to African and world literature but also his heroic life as revealed through conversations and letters. It is his personal story captured particularly in the eighty blue aerograms written during his last years that bring his voice to life. He was forty-nine years old when he completed Myombekere and eighty-one when his novel was published. His is an epic life to inspire not only Tanzanians but also the world, particularly as his life passion is encaptured in a question he posed: “What should we teach our children?”.

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About the Author

Shoonie Hartwig

For more than fifty years, Dr. Shoonie Hartwig has lived in Minnesota, North Carolina and Tanzania as a teacher, researcher, program facilitator and as a writer. She taught at St. Olaf College and North Carolina Central University. The Lutheran College Consortium for Tanzania, an exchange program between several Lutheran colleges and the University of Dar es Salaam was operative for thirty-three years. Mwangaza Education for Parthership ELCA/ELCT is in its twenty first year. She has published four books, the most recent - EDUCATION OF A STRANGER (2014) and LIVING WITH DYING - A FAMILY VOCATION (2017). The primary documents, letters, pictures and tapes related to ANICETI KITEREZA - A TANZANIAN EPIC, were collected in 1969 when she lived on the island of Ukerewe. During that time, her husband, Gerald Hartwig, assembled oral traditions from the Bakerebe in preparation of writing their history. Kitereza was one of his informants. The Hartwigs published four articles related to Kitereza's novel - Bwana Myombekere na Bibi Bugonoka.

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