Matthew Kunashe Chikono can be and should be referred to as “a collector of Gems”. Hailing from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, Chikono is a Writer who has published several short stories such as a collection entitled Dreams of Paradise and two novellas entitled Shreds and Invisible Trails. He runs a blog called The Passion of A Writer’s Pen with the tagline “spreading the ink henceforth.”
The Rules of the City is a collection of contemporary short stories featuring five Zimbabwean Writers including Matthew Kunashe Chikono who also doubles as the Editor. The collection was published on July 15 2021 in South Africa. The ten short stories tackle day-to-day issues in modern cities touching themes such as love, betrayal, hatred, poverty, religion to mention but a few.
The opening story by Tafadwa Chiwanza titled “ A numb of the heart” will leave you in awe, not by the fact that it is so captivating a story but because it is written by a University of Zimbabwe accounting student. Literature knows no profession, once the talent is there, it’s manifested freely. Tafadwa’s “A numb in the heart” talks of a popular rich young man who falls for a plain beautiful girl and even loses his leg pursuing her only to lose her too in the end.
With the Christmas period almost at the door, the second story in the collection will provide food for thought-especially to those who do not practice giving. “The Christmas Bonanza “ by John Gambanga is a tale of poverty-stricken men who search for survival in the rubbish heap of the city. Lady luck happens to visit them out of the blue as “ A short, thick-set man, with a bright blue cap which could not cover his Scruffy black dreads, dug out a heavy green bag from the heap.”
As if not enough, the big man himself Matthew presents the third story of the collection which is the main title of the collection “The Rules of the city”.
Have you ever fallen in love with a person whom you have never seen except for the talking done on phone? A Youngman whose Aunt thinks he was “bewitched and destined to be poor and unemployed” falls in this kind of situation and the end is not what he dreamt of.
Later on in the collection, John Gambanga through his story “The Anointed Water” touches the topic of religion. How certain religious Leaders mislead the congregation. In an era where Corona Virus is whipping out a huge number of people, “Prophet Jacob saw a huge gap for him and his hundreds of followers to make money. He sold what he termed Holy Water, also called Anointing Water, which he claimed was a vaccine against Covid 19 virus.”
Lastly, the editor carefully chooses Charlton Nyoni’s “Mhinduro” to be the closing act. A story about “Answer Reply Mhinduro”, a hitman whose job is to end lives. His story is used to end the collection. During one of his errands, Mhinduro receives the shock of his life. The man he has gone to kill already knows about him and even calls him by name. “No one had used that in forty-odd years.”
The Rules of the City is available Online and can be found on both Amazon and smash words. Grab yourself a copy and read the intriguing stories wonderfully selected by a man whose mission is to “spread the ink henceforth”. Let that mission be fulfilled by you getting the book on your reading shelf.