Madibana’s latest offering introduces a different tone that addresses the important issues of GBV, depression, financial (in)dependence and drug abuse that are currently the focus of national discussion. Staff Writer GOSEGO MOTSUMI reports
Book enthusiasts are due for a treat on September 8 when social entrepreneur and published author, Kagiso Madibana, will launch her third book. Entitled “Queen of Mayhem,” this new offering was inspired by the versatility of the modern African woman who has big dreams, vast opportunities and makes a lot of mistakes but doesn’t beat herself up.
“She also does not let society dictate to her what is right or wrong,” says Madibana. “She is perfectly imperfect.”
“Queen of Mayhem” chronicles the story of Reneilwe, a respected, hard-working journalist who is tired of living a double life. To the world, she is the definition of success and inspiration because hers is the perfect life with a wealthy handsome husband, a beautiful home and a luxury. However, behind her smile and humility are way too many secrets, some stemming from childhood.
Tired of wearing a mask for the public and wearied by trying to conform to societal norms, she eventually decides to start taking control of her life. Along the way she comes across heart-breaking obstacles that ultimately lead to her doing something dreadful that ends up changing her life forever.
The themes in the book range from issues of emotional abuse, depression and anxiety, financial security, professional ethics, drug addiction, and Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Madibana says it was important for her to write about these issues because they are currently taking centre stage in Botswana. She was also inspired to write the novel because of her personal experiences as well as those of others.
“We can no longer afford not to discuss these themes because they are tearing families and friends apart,” she said in an interview. “It’s time to address the underlying issues. We are never really aware that there are others who are experiencing what we are going through because we have a silence culture where we don’t want people to see that our lives are not perfect or that we are struggling to get out of bed in the morning due to depression.”
Compared to her previous books, Madibana’s latest offering is different because it addresses many issues and the writing style is more outstanding. Her previous books were reader-friendly for children from the ages of 10 to people in their 60s and even older. Meanwhile, this new book is strictly for 18-year olds and above. “Despite the edutainment element, I think it’s time we speak openly about drugs, depression, GBV and financial independence,” says the author. “It’s also important for women to feel secure in their environments.”
Cartoonist Albert Lekgaba did the artwork on the cover of the novel. Madibana and Lekgaba have worked together before on a short story in her second book, “To Rrangolo with Love.” “We work really well together because all I gave him is a briefing of what I wanted the cover to look like and he brought it to life in less than a week,” she said.