Valerie Tagwira


The Uncertainty of Hope
Publisher(s): Weaver Press, 2007; Jacana Media, 2008.

the-uncertainty-of-hope3The Uncertainty of Hope aptly captures how precarious the future is for the inhabitants of Mbare, Zimbabwe in 2005.

Through the rich and complex lives of Onai Moyo — a market woman and responsible mother of three children – and her best friend Katy Nguni — a vendor and black-market currency dealer – we are given an insight into the challenges that face those who only survive by their wits, their labour and their mutual support.

The stories of these two close friends are situated in a high-density suburb. However, the author, Valerie Tagwira also introduces to a much wider cross-section of Zimbabwean society: Tom Sibanda, a young business man and farmer, his girlfriend, Faith, a university student, Tom’s sister Emily, a health professional, and Mawaya, the ostensible beggar.

With depth and sensitivity, Tagwira pulls these many threads into a densely woven novel that provides us with of some of the many faces of contemporary Zimbabwe.

An astonishing debut.

— Charles Mungoshi.

Valerie Tagwira says of The Uncertainty of Hope

[The novel] began as an exploration in creativity. However, because of my interest in health-related and developmental issues that affect women, The Uncertainty of Hope became a way of exploring issues close to my heart … the challenges that underprivileged women face in their day-to-day lives, and the obstacles that they encounter in trying to make life better for their families.

Through Onai and her best friend Katy, the book examines domestic violence, poverty, homelessness and lack of control that disadvantaged women have over their sexuality, which among other things, makes them more vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. It is also a book about surviving against the odds, and the value of true friendship. Onai and Katy’s interactions with other characters from a different social class reveal the intricacies of modern day Zimbabwe.

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  1. Hi Valerie

    I am also an author like I have written The Endless Trail,which you can view through My number is [withheld]. I will order your book soon.

  2. As an aspiring writer, I was inspired. I loved the fact that Onai’s character bares a disturbing resemblence to so many Zimbabwean women that i know personally. Faiths character(and Emily’s as well i suppose) represents a new woman that is starting to emerge. I stumbled across your book quite by accident but i’m very glad i bought it. Its a great read and i recommend to all African women, young or old, we can all relate.

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