Imelda Tsumba Shares Secrets Behind Her 46-Book Legacy and Upcoming Release

Imelda Tsumba Shares Secrets Behind Her 46-Book Legacy and Upcoming Release

Celebrated Author Imelda Tsumba Unveils Insights into Her 47th Book Launch: Imelda Tsumba is a professional counsellor, the CEO of the non-profit Legacy Urithi International and a decorated author. Tsumba released her first book titled ‘English To Shona Translations’ and since then she now has forty-five titles to her name including ‘The Unexpected. How I dealt with the sudden death of my son Taffy’ and ‘Abortion Has Consequences’.

She is on the record for saying, “Anyone can be great, our individual potential is a unique divine endowment.”

Her talent has seen her books being selected as recommended reading by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Education and she has been awarded the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Phoenix Book Awards. In the build-up to the launch of her forty-sixth book, “You Reap What You Sow” we caught up with Tsumba to talk about her momentous writing career and the new book. *KM – Kudzai Mhangwa, IT – Imelda Tsumba

Exclusive Interview: “Imelda Tsumba: A Journey of Literary Excellence and Inspiration Ahead of ‘You Reap What You Sow’ Launch”

KM: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us. Please introduce Imelda Tsumba to the readers.

IT: My name is Imelda Tsumba, Founder and CEO of Legacy Urithi International, a non-profit organization. I am an author and professional counsellor who holds a Master’s Degree in Christian Counselling with Logos Christian College (USA). I am a Haggai Institute Alumni (Singapore). I am passionate about raising leaders for the next generation.

I have been married to Pastor Leo Tsumba for over forty years, we were blessed with four lovely children and four beautiful grandchildren. I have written forty-six books to date and there are more to come. Watch this space!

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My 44th book, ‘The Marriage Handbook’ is the first book that I co-authored with my husband. It’s a great tool for marriage counsellors, guardians, singles, couples or anyone who desires to be forewarned before marriage. One of my books is about the worst day of my life, ‘The Unexpected’, it’s about how I dealt with the sudden death of my late son, Tafadzwa (Taffy), who just didn’t wake up one morning and passed on the 10th of November 2010.

KM: Before we delve into your new book, I’d like to talk a bit about your writing journey and other books. You have authored forty-five books, that is more than impressive. When did you start writing and authorship?

IT: I have written forty-six books to date and my forty-seventh book launch is coming up on the 4th of May 2024. I had been playing with writing here and there with little booklets, but nothing serious. Some topics I played with were ‘Poverty is not your middle name’, ‘Excellent Reading for a Woman who dresses in Style’ etcetera. I keep copies for my memories. I started writing seriously when I lost my son Taffy. The pain was so deep I didn’t know what to do with it, that’s when I realised that writing is therapeutic. I edited the book more than twenty times and cried myself out in the process, but felt better after every crying episode. I have never stopped writing since.

KM: In your book “Who Messed You Up?” you say that ‘We are all born originals, but most people die carbon copies.’ When did this revelation come to you and when did you begin to apply this principle into your own life?

IT: John Maxwell says 10% is what happens to you and 90% is how you respond. Meaning the quality of your happiness and your life experience all come down to how you respond to what life throws at you. Our reactions and perspectives play a more significant role in determining our overall experience of life than the circumstances themselves.

I am a Christian. My life turned around when I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. He took over my life and started helping me navigating through the jungle of life. The challenges I went through growing up have fuelled the life I enjoy today. Life is not lived day by day but choice by choice. I chose to turn lemons into lemonade.

Hard times stimulate growth in a way that good times don’t. Facing challenges and navigating one’s way through them builds resilience capacity. Knowing that one can overcome obstacles, learn from struggles and benefit from mistakes lays a solid foundation for success in later life.

Challenges of life can give an individual a sub-standard life less than the best, if not handled properly.

KM: You’ve also written a book titled “Evils of Corruption” where you ever hesitant to release this book with the threat of censorship in Zimbabwe?

IT: Not really. I co-authored this book with a lawyer, so I knew I was covered. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing. Redirect to Edmund Burke “When good men do nothing”. The information in this book can help any country serious about helping and taking good care of it’s people.

KM: One of your biggest titles “Abortion has consequences” was met with a lot of acclaim and the Ministry of Education selected it to be part of additional reading text. How was it like composing this book and how was it like to have it reach the success it reached?

IT: Yes, I am excited about this book. It was an honour for our First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, who supports the girl child, to launch this book. We are encouraging high schools and tertiary institutions to order.

This is my first novel and a narration of a true story. It is my desire that this book gets into the hands of every young person. I am encouraging high schools, tertiary institutions, counsellors, guardians and librarians to get hold of this book so we can save a generation. Sponsorships are welcome.

Abortion takes a child’s life. From the moment of conception, every person is a distinct and living human being with intrinsic worth, who possesses the basic right to life.

Abortion harms women. Abortion poses serious short-term and long-term risks to women’s physical and emotional health. Abortion harms all of us. It has created a culture that disregards the dignity of human life, endangers women, demeans motherhood and denigrates men’s role as fathers. 

KM: Your newest book is titled “You Reap What You Sow” tell us more about this book.

IT: “You Reap What You Sow” is a book that needs to be in the hands of every young person because the Seed you are sowing today will determine your future harvest.

Seed is a tiny beginning with a great future. It is the unit of reproduction of a flowering plant capable of developing into another such plant. Seed is the single most important input in crop production and determines the ultimate productivity of other inputs. If you have no seed, you will have no crop. You may have the latest tractors, the best land, fertiliser, pesticides and manpower but if you have no seed, you will have no harvest.

Galatians 6 verse 7, “Do not be deceived”, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.” The seed carries all the genetic information that a plant needs to be what it was meant to be. So if you don’t like what you are reaping, change what you are sowing. If you don’t like what you are getting in life – change what you are giving.

KM: Are you one of those writers who want people to take away something from reading their book? And if ‘yes’ what do you want readers to tale from your latest book?

IT: In my latest book ‘You Reap What You Sow’, it is important to note that life is not lived day by day but choice by choice. This book is full of wisdom nuggets. Future consequences are inevitably shaped by present actions. If you were to hit the person responsible for your problems, you would not be able to sit down for weeks. It’s yours truly. Sow good seeds today and enjoy a great future, this book teaches us how to do that.

KM: In 2022 you received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from Phoenix Book Awards (awarded by Phoenix publishing). Are there more books we can expect from you?

IT: Definitely, I am already on my 48th book. For as long as there are people and God is willing, I will continue writing books that are practical and relevant to day to day living until I transition to the other life.

KM: What do you do to get inspired to write?

IT: I listen to worship music. Prayer and reading the word of God. I am a learner and I enjoy learning new things. I sit alone in the garden quietly. I read a lot daily. I watch a lot of movies to learn how stories are constructed. My life lessons are there to help others. I journal the ideas that come into my mind. I keep myself healthy and exercise daily by walking and cycling. Just to name a few. Hope this answers your question.

KM: Which writers/books do you enjoy reading?

IT: I read the Bible every day, it gives me the basic instructions for daily living. I am a ‘readaholic’, any motivational and educational books are good for me. I read books from the likes of John Maxwell, Pastor Tom Deuschle, Myles Munroe and many such books.

KM: What challenges have you faced as an author in Zimbabwe? What can we do both as writers and readers to improve it?

IT: Marketing our publications is one of the biggest challenges authors in Zimbabwe face hence, people not earning from their work. I believe things will change. I stay focused and do not allow such to distract me as I continue doing what I love.

KM: What other dreams do you have in your life?

IT: In a nutshell I would share a scripture that sums it all up. Titus 2:3-5. New King James Version “3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things – 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

I am a people helper and it is my responsibility among those helping young people to make sure the next generation does not make the same mistakes we older folk did.

KM: Your book is coming out in May. What can people expect from the book and the book launch?

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IT: We have a special gift for the first three hundred people who register. The fellowship, ‘swallowship’ and entertainment will be good. It’s good to relax on a Saturday afternoon. We also have a dance competition – good to see the talent that we have in Zimbabwe.

Myles Munroe in his quote said “The graveyard is the richest place on the surface of the earth because there you will see the books that were not published, ideas that were not harnessed, songs that were not sung and drama pieces that were never acted.” So, we are looking forward to the talent competition and a fun-filled afternoon.

KM: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us. Any final words for the readers?

IT: The two most important days in life are the day you were born and the day you find out why. Follow your passion unapologetically. Give yourself the time and space to really dream, no limits, no judgement. Get clear on what you’re truly passionate about, not what your peers are doing, not what your family thinks you should do, not even those unhelpful expectations of success we often put on ourselves.

Thank you for this great opportunity to share my work. I am eternally grateful.

Tsumba’s books vary in topics and subjects spanning substance abuse, spirituality, marriage, finance, event management, grief and more. Her books are available online on Amazon.

Kudzai Mhangwa

Kudzai Mhangwa is a writer, actor and musician. He writes poetry, plays, essays and short stories. His work has been featured on House of Mutapa, Atrebla Magazine, Ka'edi Africa, Poetry Soup and elsewhere.

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