She does well at her mission boarding school, and goes on to obtain a scholarship to attend university, but the change in the economic situation in Zimbabwe destroys the old system where hard work and a degree guaranteed a good life. Out of university, Tsitsi finds herself in a position much lower than she had set her sights on, working as a clerk in the office of the local politician, Zvobgo. With a salary that barely provides her a means to survive, she finds herself increasingly compromising her Christian values to negotiate ways to get ahead.
Sweet Medicine takes place in Harare at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic woes in 2008. Tsitsi, a young woman, raised by her strict, devout Catholic mother, believes that hard work, prayer and an education will ensure a prosperous and happy future.
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Panashe Chigumadzi is a novelist and essayist, who was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in South Africa.
In 2015, her debut novel Sweet Medicine, was published to both critical and popular acclaim. She writer of non-fiction in my capacity as founding editor of Vanguard Magazine, a platform for young black women coming of age in post-apartheid South Africa and contributor to a number of other South African titles including City Press, Sunday Times and The Star. She has also been a commentator for international media such as the BBC, The Guardian, Netherlands’ Niews Uur and Germany’s Spiegel.
Prior to this, she gained media experience both as a journalist for CNBC Africa and columnist for Forbes Woman Africa, and as a project executive for the Africa Business News Group.
In 2015, she became a Ruth First Fellow and is currently completing a Masters Degree in African Literature at Wits University, Johannesburg.
She is curator of the inaugural Abantu Book Festival taking place in December 2016.
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