With her new novel, Nyathi tells the tale of an unravelling family torn apart by terrible secrets. Behind their carefully manicured façade, which is made up of traditional values, Christian faith and duty, the Mafus are complex and compromised. A Family Affair is a romance-packed story that features truly memorable characters and explores some finely drawn societal concepts.
“My creative-writing process begins with me wanting to tell a story. I call myself a storyteller by passion and an analyst by profession. Once I have decided on the story, I then decide who are the people to carry it. Characterisation is an important part of my process, which begins with me giving birth to the characters”. – Sue Nyathi, Mail and Guardian profile.
A Family Affair
Pastor Abraham Mafu and his wife Phumla occupy a prominent place in Bulawayo society. As leaders of The Kingdom of God, an influential church, they have a great deal to do with their community. At the same time, they also have to keep their own family in order, keeping its various branches united and presenting the right sort of image. But, on top of the horrifying secrets that are about come to light, the three Mafu daughters have their own changes to endure. Xoliswa has recently returned looking for a new start and hoping to channel her natural fire into the family business. Yandisa has recently fallen in love and is looking to stabilise. Zandile, recently married, is already struggling with her new life.
As things grow more and more complicated, the Mafus have a harder and harder time maintaining their perfect image. And then, new revelations render that almost impossible.
You can read an excerpt of A Family Affair Here
Nyathi’s Previous Book
The Gold Diggers
Nyathi here delivers an emotionally fraught but ultimately heart-warming novel set during the darkest days of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse. Walking a path somewhere between desperation and hope, The Gold Diggers is a candid and bold story of immigration, of the often perilous journey to better things, of escape and progress impelled by darkness and dreams of light.
It is 2008 and a diverse group of passengers, each with their own aspirations and ardent hopes, is huddled in a Toyota Quantum preparing to set off for a new life in Johannesburg, City of Gold. Gugulethu wishes only to be reunited with her mother, young and ambitious Dumisani has fervent dreams of striking it rich, twins Chamunorwa and Chenai want simply to flee their traumatic past and mother and son Portia and Nkosi are desperate to reach the husband and father that they barely see.
They have invested all that they have in this last-ditch attempt a better life, at a life far removed from the dangerous whims of Bulawayo, but what awaits them in storied Johannesburg may not be the gold that glitters in their minds.