Nwelezelanga: The Star Child by Unathi Magubeni
With a rich vocabulary that is poetic and uncluttered, this debut novel is nothing short of a masterpiece. It is both a well-written and philosophical book. The story begins with Nokwakha giving birth at her village home, and when it is discovered that the child is an albino the midwife convinces her that it is a curse and she should snuff the life out of it before it takes another breath. The dreadful deed is done by the river, but the ‘all-knowing one’ has other plans … With an assured voice and eloquent prose, Magubeni invites us into the life of this extraordinary being, Nwelezelanga, the child who should not have been, contrasting the themes of darkness and light, embracing the unknown and unseen in a way no one else has – or can.
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