Charles Mungoshi Biography

Charles Lovemore Mungoshi, born on the 2nd of December in 1947, was a Zimbabwean fiction writer.

Unlike other classic Zimbabwean novelists, Charles Mungoshi wrote in both Shona and English.

Makunun’unu Maodzamoyo, Inongova Njakenjake, Ndiko Kupindana Kwemazuva (How Time Passes), and “Kunyarara Hakusi Kutaura?” are the Shona fiction novels that stand out most. One of the unique things on his works is the catchy title of his novels. Novel titles like “Kunyarara Hakusi Kutaura?”, which translates to “Is silence not speaking?” would compel would be readers to want to read his books.

“Makunun’unu Maodzamoyo” is a novel of note, very popular among Shona book readers even till now.

His offering in English includes books like “Coming of the Dry Season”, “Waiting for the rain”, and “The Setting Sun and The Rolling World”.

Charles Mungoshi – Career and Life

Mungoshi was born on 2 December 1947 and died at 71 on 16 February 2019, was married to Jesesi Mungoshi. The couple has a son named Charles Mungoshi Junior.

Charles Mungoshi

He attended Daramombe Secondary School.

Mungoshi said he developed a taste for narrating short stories at an early age while still at primary school. And so he began to write poems and short stories and one of his short stories, The Love Story was published in the school magazine and by this time he was in high school.

Later on, the story was published in a commercial magazine in Salisbury (now Harare).

Charles Mungoshi attended All Saints Mission and then Daramombe where he skipped Standard 2. After completing his studies, he joined the Forestry Commission.

In 1970, Mungoshi published his first novel, Makunun’unu Maodzamoyo.

During this time, he was employed at the Textbook Sales and later he joined the Literature Bureau up until 1981 as an editor.

Mungoshi worked for three Universities, University of Zimbabwe, University of Durban, and University of Florida (USA).

At both The University of Zimbabwe (1982 – 1985) and University of Durban he was writer-in- residence.

At University of Florida, he was also a lecture in the department of African Studies (2000).

Thus, Charles Mungoshi’s work saw him working in many regional and overseas countries, having also worked in Netherlands (1966) as a Resource Person at Groningen Children’s Book Year

In 2003, Mungoshi was honoured with an honorary doctorate degree (Doctor of Letters-Dlitt) from the University of Zimbabwe.

Mungoshi also acted and was part of the casting crew on three local dramas.


Makunun’unu Maodzamoyo (1970)

Coming of the Dry Season (1972

Ndiko Kupindana Kwemazuva (How Time Passes) (1975)

Waiting For the Rain (1975)

Inongova Njakenjake (1980)

Some Kind of Wounds (1980)

The Milkman Doesn’t Only Deliver Milk (anthology) (1981)

Kunyarara Hakusi Kutaura (1983)

The Setting Sun and The Rolling World (1987)

Stories From A Shona Childhood (1989)

One Day Long Ago (1991)

The Axe (1995)

Gwatakwata (1995)

Walking Still (1997)

Writing Still (2004) an anthology in with Mungoshi’s poems

Branching Streams Flow in the Dark (2013)


International PEN Awards (1975,1981 and 1998)

Noma Honorable Awards For Publishing in Africa (1980, 1984, 1990 and 1992)

Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best Book in Africa for The Setting Sun and The Rolling World (1988)

Received 7 awards at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair’s 75 Best Books in Zimbabwe for 7 of his books (2004)[6]

National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA)Silver Jubilee Award (2006)

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