‘Sometimes I wish Baba was still alive. I loved him before and after he became a snake. He always seemed to know the story that lurked behind my eyes. ‘You are going to be stuck between green and blue one day, Marubini. The past and future will stalk you. Don’t choose either of them; always choose today.’”
These words are from Mohale Mashigo’s debut novel, The Yearning, an intricate tale about Marubini, who goes on a journey of self-discovery.
She is torn between her present-day life as a marketing executive at a prestigious Cape wine estate and her younger days growing up in Soweto.
The font differentiates past from present, making it easy for readers to identify Marubini as she is now and as she was then.
The protagonist is presented as a strong-willed, independent, thirtysomething black woman who experienced heartbreak at a young age, when her father passed away.
As the reader is drawn into her life, we learn that he had transitioned from an ordinary man to a traditional healer, having heeded his ancestral calling. The victim of a callous murder, he passed away when Marubini – or Rubi, as she is called by her friends – was just eight.
It is while living in her modern world of deadlines and marketing strategies that her cultural roots and traditions start to hold her in thrall unexpectedly, even affecting her health.
Rubi finds her ... Read Full Review