Interview with Teen Author Nicole. R. Mundondo
Nicole. R. Mundondo is a fifteen-year-old junior member of parliament (MP) for the Gweru constituency. She is the Junior Minister of Mines and Mining Development (2022-2023). Mundondo is due to release a book in April and gave us some time to discuss the upcoming book titled ‘Play it Safe’. [KM – Kudzai Mhangwa; NM – Nicole Mundondo]
KM – Congratulations on the book! Do tell us what the book is about.
NM – Thank you for the congratulations, it can only be God that my second book is coming to life. ‘Play it Safe’ is what I call the children’s handbook to traffic safety rules. It’s all about teaching children more than the basic Red means stop, Green means proceed if it’s safe to do so but rather diving deeper into road safety to ensure children and young adults are always safe on the road.
KM – Why have you chosen to write a book of this sorts?
NM – I thought to myself, we are the future motorists and again we are all road users as pedestrians and passengers. We need to know how we can keep ourselves and all other road users safe when it is our turn behind the wheel, so why not start now? Start with the basics and build our way and knowledge up the traffic safety radar.
KM – What was your inspiration behind the book?
NM – The desire to impact my community and nation made me dream of this traffic safety initiative to teach young road users about road safety through their first traffic safety handbook. That was my ‘aha’ moment. I thought me doing something like this would be me, a child, doing something for children.
KM – How are you feeling about the launch? Are you nervous?
NM – I’m a tad bit nervous because this is my first-time hosting and attending a physical book launch. My first project ‘Destiny’ was launched on radio as it was COVID-19 restrictions period. But I’m mostly excited so I guess you could say it’s 80-20; 80% excited, 20% nervous.
KM – I hear you are only 15 years old! What drove such a young girl to be an author?
NM – Lockdown was a breakthrough moment for a lot of people even if it was a knockdown for various countries including Zimbabwe. I among those people, found peace and joy behind my computer screen. It started off as nothing but passing the time during a time when I had nothing else to do but read and watch TV. When I finished the book, I told my parents and I thought to myself, I don’t know who would want to read this but let’s give it a try and a few years later here we are. So, like Saul (who was later christened Paul) COVID-19 was my Damascus moment – a time to focus and make a meaningful investment of my time.
KM – Tell us a bit about Nicole. Your hopes, your dreams and what you envision for the future.
NM – Runako Nicole is a 15-year-old who thinks age is just a number but never a limitation to how one approaches life. I’m the current Junior MP for Gweru Urban Constituency and Child Minister of Mines. Juggling these roles with school and house chores is a big ask for any kid but I chose to be different and believe I can do anything and everything through Christ who strengthens me. I for sure have no idea what the future holds and I’m not going to say I’m the least bit ready or prepared, but I know with God and a loving family by my side (Kamurayi Mundondo – Dad; Gloria Mundondo – mom; and Takudzwa Mundondo – brother), I can take on whatever it is that the future throws at me. I hope to keep writing and changing perspectives, tackling day to day issues, and spreading a sense of joy through my work or art that includes film, quotes and novels.
‘Play it Safe’ is due for release in April of 2023. Mundondo is also the author of ‘Destiny’ which was in released 2021 when she was only 13.