EXCLUSIVE: Carla-Ann, the 3rd grader award winning poet, now published author
We recently had an interview with South African based Zimbabwean poet and writer Carla-Ann Makumbe. Makumbe recently announced the release of her first novel ‘Here’s To Knots & Ties’. *CM – Carla-Ann Makumbe; KM – Kudzai Mhangwa
KM – Congrats on your new novel! Tell us a bit about Carla-Ann Makumbe as a person and a writer.
CM – I am the editor of ‘She Glows Magazine Africa’ and I am also a single mum. I started out as a poet. Poetry is what launched me into the world of writing though I have always been passionate about writing. I won my first writing contest in Grade 3 so one could say it was always in me, but I started taking poetry seriously in 2016. I have poems published in anthologies such as Loud Thoughts, Dwala, The Tsongo Mukololo the one poem book, and the Mukana Press Old Love Skin. I also have an anthology that I self-published titled ‘And to Patricia: I had to Man Up’.
KM – What do you enjoy most about writing?
CM – Honestly anything. I write from the heart and from the mind. The two must be in sync for me to enjoy the writing.
KM – Tell us about the journey that has led to the launch of your new book.
CM – So this book has a bit of history. I started writing the book in 2015 or at least the idea of the book but I didn’t have much to write about as it dabbles on issues to do with marriage, and I was a bit uninformed in the area. I then restarted working on it in March 2020 in the first lockdown. I was alone, my thoughts collected and that’s how I began writing this book. 2020 was also the year I launched my solo anthology.
KM – What is ‘Here’s to knots and ties’ about? What will we come across as we read?
CM – It’s a social commentary on a marriage and it also touches on traditional concepts of marriages. Trying to fuse the traditional concept of marriages in this new age. It’s the journey of a married couple finding love again. I am trying not to spoil (Laughs).
KM – How hard or easy was it to get the book published?
CM – Initially I wanted to get traditionally published because I felt there isn’t enough respect for self-published books. The whole of 2022 I was looking for a traditional publisher. I got rejected by most and the ones that had offers for me wanted us to go halfway with the costs and I felt it was not ideal to what I wanted.
After sitting on the book last year, I then decided to self-publish this year and this was fairly easy transition. I have been working with Tatenda Zimbandu of Epitome Press. They designed the book and the cover too. Although I have to say self-publishing is a lot of work. It’s worth it if you ask me.
KM – What inspired you to write the book? Any specific experiences or origin of the story?
CM – Not really, as I said the idea has always been in my head since 2015 and I was always playing around with it. One would say I wrote the book when I had fully grasped the concept of marriage, at least where Africa is concerned.
KM – What can we expect from Carla-Ann in the future?
CM – I have an anthology that I am a part of being published this year. It’s a prestigious one this one and I have already started on another novel. So, give me three years. (Laughs)