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Familiarity by Violet Masilo

About

Full Name: Gertrude Zhuwao
Country Represented: Zimbabwe

Violet Masilo tells a story of how she had the propensity to want familiarity in her life. After having to move to a foreign country, she had to muster up the courage to look at her life with a new lense.

Why did you enter this storytelling contest?

I write fiction under my pseudonym Violet Masilo. My 3 published works are a novel that won a National Art and Merit Award, a short story that was published under the Caine Prize anthology, and a novella. So I recognised that I love language as a tool to express myself and hopefully entertain and enlighten others.

I saw this competition as a way to learn another medium of communication and self-expression. Lastly, at 47 years of age, I love learning and conquering new things.

What does storytelling mean to you?

Storytelling to me is a means for us all to learn from others whilst they learn for us. It is a way to pass on and communicate feelings, emotions, and experiences from generation to generation. It builds bridges as you get to see things through another person’s eyes and you have all these “ah-hah” moments. I personally also find it fun and liberating as there is no right or wrong story. We all have a story.

Why did you tell this story?

Moving to a foreign country in my 40s was not part of my life plan. So rather than feel sorry for myself I have found myself thinking more and more about displaced persons of Africa and the impact it has emotionally and mentally on them. Especially those with few financial and educational resources. I think about it a lot so I spoke off the top of my head and uploaded it. It’s just a non-rehearsed thought.

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