The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
WHEN the list for this year’s Bulawayo Arts Awards nominees came out, those that took a glance at it would have been excused for thinking there had been a mistake, a typo in one of the categories.
Under the category of Outstanding Literary Works – Fiction, was one Disrael Israel, the author of a book titled Elomine.
Those in the arts in Zimbabwe would be more familiar with the name Israel Israel, the sculptor who has made a habit of collecting awards over the years.
So, who was this Disrael? Was it an imposter pretending to be the great artiste or was it just a typo? Had Israel exchanged the chisel and the hammer for the pen and pad?
The answer however, is that there is a new Israel in town. Disrael Israel is the 18-year-old son of Israel Israel, a prodigious writer who was born with ink coursing through his veins.
“This is my first published book. But I began writing when I was young, in grade 4,” the 18-year-old told Sunday Life.
A good reader makes a good writer it is said and Disrael, who counts Stephen King, George Mujajati, Christopher Mlalazi, Nonduduzo Ncube, Danielle Steele, Clare Douglas, John Grisham, LJ smitha and Catherine Anderson as some of his inspirations, loves a good read.
“I’m currently doing my upper six at Sizane. I’m a wide reader, and reading novels together with fashion designing are my favorite hobbies. I aspire to be a human rights lawyer one day,” he said.
A lonely childhood, Disrael said, was all the inspiration he needed to write.
“The book is about an heiress to a throne who’s kingdom is unfortunately stolen from her and her quest to get it back, but in the process, a lot of secrets are revealed to her about her loved ones and the kingdom she so desperately wants back…It’s a very enchanting story, once you start reading the book you won’t put it down.
What inspired me to write it was many things. I was a very lonely child and I spent my time reading novels and glued to the television. So, one day, I decided to write a story by myself and it grew and grew every time I was writing to being the final book it is today.”
Many a father would like their son to follow in their footsteps bit Disrael says his old man is more supportive of his chosen career path.
“My dad is one of my number one fans. He encourages me everyday to follow my dreams and I thank him for that. Yes, I also wish to reach that kind of level of success and I know with hard work and determination, I’ll also make it.”