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Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa’s latest book ‘Gungunhana’, published by Porto Editora, will be launched at 5.30 pm on Thursday at the Minerva Central bookstore in Maputo, with a presentation by writer Marcelo Panguana.
This is the second book that Ungulani has written about to the reign of Ngungunhane, emperor of Gaza in the second half of the 19th century – the last to resist Portuguese colonisation.
‘Gungunhana’ brings together two books by this renowned Mozambican writer: ‘Ualalapi’, one of the hundred best African books of the 20th century and the new novel ‘As mulheres de Ngungunhane’ [The wives of Ngungunhane].
This novel tries to recover a part of the history of Mozambique: the reign of Ngungunhane and the decline and fall of the Gaza empire, as represented by the capture and exile of the emperor to Portugal, the scene with which the narrative closes.
The valuation of tradition and the historiographical treatment of Ngungunhane, obtained from oral data, is structurally interconnected with the presence, explicit in some cases and implicit in others, of Western literary models.
The academic and essayist Fátima Mendonça recalls that the numerous studies dedicated to this work have highlighted its anti-epic and questioning history.
Ana Mafalda Leite, another academic and essayist argues that it is the demystification of the history of Ngungunhane provided by both the colonial and post-independence revolutionary currents which “invites us to reflect on the validity of written and oral sources, and of those that the narrator calls upon in his own speech”.
Historian Aurélio Rocha considers that the work of Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa, pseudonym of Francisco Esaú Cossa, “makes him one of the most intervening and committed Mozambican writers. His books, his pronouncements both in lectures and in interviews and writings in newspapers … have made him a master of the art of romance and fictional historical narrative”.Source: Notícias
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