Mordekai Hamutyinei Biography

Mordekai Abenia Hamutyinei was a well-known author of Shona novels and poems. He is arguably one of the best Shona fiction authors of all time in Zimbabwe.

He wrote the gripping and enthralling detective Shona novels Chinamanenji Hachifambsisi and Kusasana Kunoparira.

Other popular fascinating novels written by Mordekai Hamutyinei include Ndikandei Mugehena and Musango mune Nyama.

Maidei, a story of two lovers, is also one of the most famous Shona works of fiction.

Apart from fiction Shona stories, he also wrote educational books in the Shona language, such as Mabvumira eNhetembo, Tsumo-shumo, Zvakanga zvakaoma muZimbabwe, and Chiparurangoma chamudyanadzo.

He also published the book Chakachenjedza Ndechakatanga which was a one-act play.

About dating, “Kana Wamutanga Musikana” is short poem which narrates how a girl would play hard to get and at the same time give hints that she is interested, until finally succumbing and confessing the same feeling of love.

The quality of his narrative skills saw most of his novels making it to the educational curriculum as set books for Shona literature.

kusasana kunoparira
kusasana kunoparira

Mordekai Hamutyinei: Work & Writing Career 

Hamutyinei was a schoolteacher in Gutu for 8 years before he joined Mambo Press, a publishing House in Gweru. He worked as publications editor.

In 1970, he won the first Literary Competition prize in the Shona Category.

His wife, amai Hamutyinei would later shed light on his source of inspiration, sating he was a sharp observer and derived his stories from observing the surrounding. For instance, when he wrote “Musango Munenyama” – which means there is game in the bush, he had met with hunters and that had inspired him to pen the novel.

The wife praises the man of being a fair and just man.

Reading his books, one can see the consistent moral lessons contained within. For instance, “kusasana Kunoparira” is a tale of an illicit affair gone terribly wrong, in which a detective (detective Chinovava” was leading a double life and cheating on his wife. He later learnt a lesson of his life as the investigations of the death of her lover put him through torrid times before the murderer was finally caught. But his writing was so well-crafted that one could hardly put down the novel once started. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority Television, ZBC TV, has made a movie based on the novel.

According to Mambo Press, novels written by Mordekai are still in demand until this day.

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