Updated: Sep 19, 2020
You're going to wish you met Emelda N. Gwitimah and her writing years ago. Creative, hardworking, determined, and overridden by wanderlust. Gwitimah says she's inspired by the late Jackie Collins who possessed a true "pulse in her stories", as well as Dan Brown's deep research and excellent dialogue- something she believes is her strong suit.
"I am actually very good at dialogue and am constantly fighting to become more descriptive... It's easy for me to connect with the inner workings of my character's mind, so it's easy for me to develop dialogue to express their feelings, hopes, triggers, etc.. It's easier for me to have them say 'I'm pissed off' than describing the witch in his forehead or his flaring nostrils."
As a copywriter, one has to note the difference between that and being a creative storyteller. "My creative writing is where it all flows and I don't have to try too hard, whereas in advertising you really have to be strategic and pull out all the stops to make the copy 'effective', with rationales that translate to selling the product/service."
"My whole existence has been characterized by the desire for independence and escape..." Says Gwitimah while answering what draws her to the field of fictional writing. "I believe fiction is the safest place for a creative (person)- where you can travel, stretch reality and really think laterally. I think writers generally are just hiding a type of multiple personality disorder, and how we heal it putting those characters on paper. Living in Zimbabwe is dealing with constant wanderlust, so give me ALL adventures."
Girls College Literacy Competition, Bambazonke magazine, Willowherb review. These are these publications that have had the honor of publishing works written by Emelda Gwitimah. In her senior year, her hard work resulted in honors prize from a prestigious festival in Zimbabwe- Girls College Literacy Competition- for her poem 'On a Night Like This.'
Among her stories and poems alike, there is one message Gwitimah says constantly shines through. "I think self-awareness is a big motif for me. I love 'aha' moments where characters make life-changing realizations, and in turn, the reader begins to question their own thinking. I think personal growth is a theme of note in my words."
Often, the best stories are those you stumble upon when you least expect it. Emelda Gwitimah is someone whose story, once you find it, will quickly become a dangerously addictive read. "I want readers to get the full spectrum of the African contemporary experience – we have such unique stories, especially those of us in post-colonial urban societies, those that have never been heard before."