“Windhoek has three temperatures: hot, mosquito, and fucking cold.”
After years of flirting with the idea of writing a novel I finally sat down and committed in June, 2016. I did not know how to start the story that had been floating around in various notebooks and daydreams, less than half-formed but always present. I decided, like most writers do, to go with instinct: Windhoek has three temperatures – hot, mosquito, and fucking cold.
What followed from that line is my debut novel The Eternal Audience of One which follows the intersecting lives of Séraphin, the main protagonist, and a host of eclectic characters from pre- and post-1994 Rwanda, colonial and post-independence Windhoek, Paris and Brussels in the 70s, the crowded public schools of Nairobi, as well as the hormone-saturated clubs and streets of Cape Town. Early reviews (from non-family members) have been enthusiastic and I cannot wait for it to hit shelves in June, 2019.
Seven years in the dreaming.
Three in hesitant limbo.
Two in writing
And one running the rejection marathon.
But I am here now, in the endgame so to speak. Only a few threads need to be tied up (availability dates, outlets, and launches) before I become Rémy Ngamije, “like the author, not like the drink!”
The novel finally has a cover. It has been dressed by the talented Sindiso Khumalo, a South African textile designer.
Looking back at everything—at the hoping, dreaming, reading, writing, stopping, starting, and simply carrying on—I guess it is like the Menahan Street Band said: you make the road by walking.
One foot in front of the other like this.
And then like this.