We’re very proud to be publishing Futhi Ntshingila’s second novel, Do Not Go Gentle which will be out in early August, and for Cape Town readers she’s on this year’s Open Book Festival programme.
Life wasn’t always this hard for fourteen-year-old Mvelo, who lives with her mother, Zola in the shacks on the margins of Mkhumbane township. There were good times when they lived with Sipho, Zola’s lawyer boyfriend. But when the beautiful and mysterious Nonceba Hlathi arrives, Zola has to make a choice. She also has her pride. Now their social grants have been discontinued: the one for Mvelo being underage reared by a 31-year-old single mother, and the other for Zola because of her status. And there is also an elephant growing in their shack as the terrible thing that happened that night in the revival tent remains unspoken.
In her second novel, Futhi Ntshingila once again introduces us to a cast of strong women who have little, but are determined to shape their own destinies.
Futhi Ntshingila was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg. After finishing school, she worked with young people on leadership training and women empowerment. Eight years later enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she completed a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution. While at the university, she worked as the news editor of the student newspaper, Nux. She moved to the Eastern Cape where she completed a postgraduate diploma in Media and Journalism Studies at Rhodes University.
In 2008, she published her debut novel, Shameless, the gripping story of Thandiwe, a young woman, who, having grown up in a rural village, moves to the city and sells her body on the streets of Yeoville. But as Margaret von Klemperer of The Witness points out: “Ntshingila has not written a gloom fest. Her characters – Thandiwe, Zonke who is her childhood friend and narrator, and Kwena, the young documentary film maker who wants to tell Thandiwe’s story – are feisty, determined young women, making their own choices in life and living with, even relishing, the consequences of those choices.”
Of her writing Ntshingila comments: “For a long time a large population of South Africans have not had stories that reflect their everyday lives written by people they can identify with. So I try to write stories that can entertain, madden, horrify and affirm.”