Photo courtesy of Nobubele Nhlope

Nobubele Nhlope from Zimbabwe stands holding her book which she co-wrote in her first language, Ndebele. On the left is her photo taken when she was an IVEPer in 2011.


I come from the Ndebele tribe, which is a minority group in Zimbabwe. The majority of the population are of the Shona tribe. The Ndebele tribe is discriminated against such that jobs and opportunities are mostly given to Shona people, therefore the Ndebele language is at risk of becoming extinct as people are forced to learn and speak Shona to get opportunities and jobs. That drove me to write a story in Ndebele so as to preserve our language and culture. 

Most people in Zimbabwe don’t have a reading culture so the story I wrote is a modern one tackling current issues to attract many readers and be relevant to people. The story is intended for anyone who can read. The book is a collection of six stories by five authors, so I am a co-author of the book. 

After my return home from the IVEP program I haven't had a job yet, so it’s been five years of job hunting. Writing is a way of keeping me busy and it makes me feel useful somehow. I do plan to write more in the future. I am hoping my next work will be published will be a novel. There are very few publishing houses in Zimbabwe and the ones available do not want to publish novels because they do not make money out of novels. They prefer publishing school textbooks, but despite all these challenges I will continue writing as I have a passion for it and it’s something I enjoy.


By Nobubele Nhlope – IVEPer from 2011-2012 – Lutheran Children and Family Services, Colorado Springs, Colorado (Central States)