Ngozi : a novel
Thesis DisciplineCreative Writing
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Fine Arts
Living as a white Zimbabwean in the 1990s meant a near-perfect life: your clothes were always clean and ironed, there was always tea in the silver teapot, gins and tonics were served on the verandah, and, in theory at least, black and white lived in harmony. As Mugabe’s presidency turned sour, however, this idyllic and privileged world began to crumble into anarchy. My family and I left to escape the political violence in 2002, and moved to New Zealand. My novel Ngozi draws on these experiences to tell the story of one troubled white family who struggle to stay afloat in the collapsing economy and escalating horror of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. The story is told through the eyes of a young white girl, who is partly based on myself. When the farm invasions begin, the violence threatens to destroy the family’s way of life forever. They eventually leave Zimbabwe, but escaping the vengeful ghosts (‘ngozi’) of their past still seems impossible.