Issues and Implications in Staging Mungoshi's Inongova Njakenjake (Each Does his Own Thing)
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Charles Mungoshi is one of the most prolific writers Zimbabwe has produced. As with any attempt at categorisation, it proves futile to bunch Mungoshi with most Zimbabwean writers in the same cauldron of realism, as some of his works operate beyond that realm. His Shona novel, Kunyarara Hakusi Kutaura (1983), for example, employs multiple narrators who rely on the stream of consciousness technique to tell their stories. The spaces explored are psychic as opposed to the real, tangible and concrete spaces that form the hallmark of realism. These techniques employed by Mungoshi are predominantly used in avant-garde writing. However, the bulk of his work, including the playtext under study in this chapter, Inongova Njakenjake (Each Does His Own Thing) (1980), uses realism as a creative method. This chapter testifies to the ethical sublime in Mungoshi's Inongova Njakenjake (Each Does His Own Thing) (1980) by way of thematic interpretation including a discussion of the quality and validity of ideas expressed in the playtext. This chapter will dissect and analyse the playtext, attempting to give insight into Mungoshi's writing technique highlighting the creative talent, craftsmanship and those constituent elements that are worthy of special consideration. As Pushkin succinctly puts it 'criticism is the science of discovering the beauties and shortcomings in works of art and literature' (cited in Chiwome 2002: vii). The real crux of the matter is how the above issues relate to the visualisation or staging of the play, Inongova Njakenjake (Each Does His Own Thing) (1980). The argument presented is that Mungoshi has always taken recourse to poetry, the short story and/or the novel as channels to unload his obsessions and his experiment with a play, which is a different genre, has been unfortunately characterised by the domination of the word at the expense of the visual dimension creating serious technical problems for the prospective director and performer. This diagnosed problem is traceable to, among other things, Mungoshi's ‘panic’ without the narrator (a tool he uses in novel writing) and textual structural fragility.
Additional Citation InformationRavengai, S. (2006). Issues and Implications in Staging Mungoshi's Inongova Njakenjake (Each Does his Own Thing). Harare: Prestige Books
Book chapter in Vambe M. T and Chirere, M., eds. 2006. Charles Mungoshi: A Critical Reader. Harare: Prestige Books, pp. 223-236. ISBN 0-7974-3087-3.