“Reading is what inspired me to write a book, especially books written by black women for black women,” says Lizeka Maduna, speaking to The Daily Vox from China where she is currently teaching. Maduna, a former journalist at The Daily Vox, is now a published author. Her self-published book Regards, The Wife released earlier this month.
“He didn’t choose her, he chose himself. Men choose themselves over anyone, at the end of the day it’s about him and what he stands to lose if he loses his wife. There’s a chance that wherever he is he can’t stop thinking about you and the worst part is that his wife knows that her husband is in love with you, but she believes that she has won. She might be thinking that he chose her while in reality he chose himself.”
Her book is based on personal observations happening around her as a black woman living in South Africa. The book is about marriage, extramarital affairs and culture amongst other themes. Maduna says she chose to concentrate on marriage because she grew up in a community where marriage was encouraged and women got married at a young age.
It wasn’t something that she took seriously when she started writing in 2017. It started off as a blog which she would update whenever she had the chance or when she needed to destress. However, after receiving positive feedback from people who read her work, she realised her work was actually good.
A central theme Maduna explores in her debut novel is culture and the role it plays in influencing people’s perceptions about marriage. “Marriage was thought of as the only thing that could define a woman,” Maduna says. However, she grew up in a household where her parents, while happily married, didn’t teach her that marriage was everything.
She also chose to focus on extramarital affairs after she noticed that men having affairs is considered normal by societal and cultural standards. When it was done by women, Maduna says it was considered wrong and an action carried out by desperate women who need money. In her book, she aims to amplify the nuances of extramarital affairs and show that it doesn’t have anything to do with background and position in society.
Maduna says she doesn’t think she did much justice to the question around the patriarchal nature of culture but thinks that’s up to the reader to decide. “I’m not speaking on behalf of all women and all black women. That’s not the case at all,” she adds.
Moving slightly away from her book, Maduna explains how she was able to work as a journalist, move to China and work on her masters degree while writing a book. “That’s the question I’ve been asking myself,” she remarks when she’s asked how she managed to accomplish all of this. She says because she wasn’t fully invested with time and emotionally in the writing project, she was able to finish it.
“Sometimes I would be in a taxi to Durban and I would start typing. By the time I got there I would have written 4000-5000 words,” Maduna remembers. She was able to get a considerable amount of writing completed when she moved to China because she wasn’t busy for the first few months.
Now that her book has been published, and Maduna has joined the ranks of being a published author along with the people she looks up to, she says she feels very overwhelmed. While she might not be able to reach a large number of people with her book, she hopes to reach even a small number as long as they learn something new.
As for her advice for other young writers, especially young black women: Maduna says to write. Whether it’s in a book or through social media, “it’s your right to be heard. Don’t let anyone suppress your voice. Shake the tables.”
The book is available via PEP Delivery and available for purchase as an e-book on Amazon.