Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monica Cheru wins a Femrite Writers-in-Residence post

Zimbabwean writer Monica Cheru’s short story, My Fault has been selected for an anthology being compiled by the organisers of the fourth Regional Residency for African Women Writers. This means that Monica is one of 12 African women writers selected for a Femrite Writers-in-Residence in Uganda from November 19, 2012 to November 30, 2012.

The 12 selected stories and the country from which the submissions originated are: Guilty Association (Cameroon); The Day Dalilah Left Ghana (Ghana); Simsim Halwa (Kenya); Cat’s Cradle (Nigeria); Narrative Of Emily Louw (S. Africa); There’s Nothing To See, Here (Uganda); Ohemba (Uganda); The Sun Bared Its Biceps (Uganda); Little Differences (Uganda); Unemployment (Uganda); Tighten Your Belts (Zambia); and My Fault (Zimbabwe).

My Fault is a story about a woman who is always being reminded by society of her faults… “It’s your fault for making me this angry,” complained my husband Ray. This was after he had beaten me black and blue yet again…

Later on: “It’s your fault for not reporting that brute to the police,” my doctor told me as he was treating me for yet another injury…

Then: “It’s your fault,” pointed out my mother when I showed her my injuries. “You should not challenge your husband like that. ..

And: “It’s your fault.” Ray’s sister told me when I went to tell her that Ray had taken a second wife. “You are obviously not enough of a woman for my brother. Otherwise he would not be forced to turn to elsewhere for happiness.”

Finally: “It is not your fault.” I heard those words for the first time from the counsellor at the New Start Center after I broke down when I tested positive for HIV...

A mother of three, Monica Cheru is the author of Chivi Sunsets: Not for Scientists, a collection of short stories published recently by Diaspora Publishers in the UK. These stories are about the supernatural forces that grip a community, revealing that even reality itself is the dream you have when you are awake.

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