Character-driven plot drives Amanzimtoti self-published author’s new book

LOCAL author, Zanele Njapha (24) has self-published her first book, ‘An Eye for Love’ and assures her fiction fans that she still has much to accomplish.

The ex-Kingsway High School pupil invites the community to attend her book launch on 14 June, at Howard College.
Born in Umlazi, Zanele attended Umbogintwini Primary School before matriculating in 2011 through Kingsway High School.

The author grew up hidden in the pages of good books. From mystery to romance, she enjoyed the great escape offered by the turning of pages. As a young girl, she began to write children’s poetry and short stories.
Although she now enjoys both fiction and non-fiction reads, fiction holds a special place in her heart. She aims to create stories that readers can escape into, even for a moment, to live simultaneously side by side with her well-developed characters.

Zanele is also the founder of Zutifil, a company which specialises in upcycled corporate gifts and is the chairman of ACADAID, a non-profit that focuses on improving academic results among primary and high school pupils. Zanele is immensely passionate about working with the youth and empowering others through delivering talks and speeches on various platforms.

In between working with people and her many other passions, writing still remains her first love. Zanele described herself as a ‘young body, old soul’.

“After matriculating I completed my four year degree in education, foundation and intermediate phase at UKZN, Edgewood. I then went on to start my masters in diplomacy and international relations, majoring in international law and human rights at Seton Hall University, New Jersey. I have not yet completed my masters, but aim to do so in the future,” she said.

Zanele’s ‘An Eye for Love’ was self published with SelfpublishSA. The novel tells the tale of Amanda Elizabeth Nene, a successful young lawyer who thought she had her whole life figured out until she met her prince charming, Damien.

 

“This tall, charming, green-eyed gazelle turned heads when he waltzed into any room. Surely he couldn’t be interested in a plain Jane like her? Either way, she was besotted beyond her wildest dreams. His emerald eyes seemed to draw her into his elusive world of unspoken promises,” explained the author.

“Contrary to popular belief, Prince Charming caused her life to turn on its head. She was forced to confront her past, question her values and face the grim-reaper head on. Her relationship with Damien tests her bond with her mother and childhood best friend, April. Through it all, they laugh together, cry together and try to exist without chipping nails.

She goes on a rollercoaster ride of discovery and unspeakable growth in a short space of time, all in the name of sweet love. This growth comes through facing her fears and confronting them by walking boldly into an unknown future.”

Zanele explained that the book has the pivotal themes of loss and love under the umbrella of connections.

“It revolves around the idea that loss is painful, yet necessary for something new to be born. This is covered both in the death of loved ones and the passing of habits, old ways, experiences, career paths and so on,” she said.

“The main character, Amanda Nene is a young, introverted legal practitioner with a limited social IQ. She is convinced, however that life with her pet cat is as good as it gets until she meets a mystery man. Her life takes a turn and she begins to relearn and recreate herself by allowing sleeping dogs to lie and trudging forward in love. Romance, drama and sheer comedy is embedded in the pages of this gripping novel.”

Asked about her favourite author, Zanele is unable to pick one but enjoys the writing styles of TD Jakes and Jodi Picoult.

She recommends these five books to read:

  • Indian Horse – Richard Wagamese
  • Picture Perfect – Jodi Picoult
  • Soar – TD Jakes
  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  • The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren (The book that introduced the author to herself)

Zanele advised fellow young authors out there to always follow their passion and that passion will always be the thing which comes naturally to them, the thing that is effortless.

“If you feel whole when you write, then write to the best of your ability. There are multitudes of people in the world aching to hear what you long to write. It is important to remember that when we write, we mainly write for others, so your work is somehow not really your own. It belongs to those you share it with,” she said.

Zanele explained that she hopes to have this book chosen as the book for the One City One Book Campaign, through various communities nominating it. Zanele further explained that the book that gets chosen is read by the city of Durban for a year. “All you need to do is go to your nearest municipal library and fill out a nomination form, naming my book: An Eye for Love, and list me as the author,” she said.

“I’m working towards having my books available at a range of libraries so that people of various ages can engage with my work. I see myself as an unique author who produces work of not only a high standard, but which is original and causes my readers to fall in love with life,” she said.

The author thanked the Almighty for His constant guidance and favour. She extended her gratitude to her family for being her biggest fans and an unending source of support.

“I also thank all language teachers I’ve encountered since primary school, for teaching me the beauty of words,” she said.

“To everyone who’s supporting me, encouraging me, recommending me and vouching for me, I’m forever in your debt.”

A book launch will take place on 14 June at the UKZN Howard College campus. All who wish to attend should visit www.zanelenjapha.com and fill out their request on the contact page. The author would appreciate support from her local community.

 

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  AUTHOR
Holly Konig
Journalist

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