Joyce Simango
  • Writer

Joyce Simango is a Zimbabwean writer and first African woman in Rhodesia to write a published novel. She wrote the Shona language novel, Zviuya Zviri Mberi in 1974.


Simango was born in 1948, the eldest child in a family where her father had 8 wives. Her mother was divorced and Joyce was left in the care of the other wives. At 15 she completed her primary education and then married a man from Mozambique. The man taught in the primary school she attended. Simango has said she she had an unhappy childhood.[1]


Joyce Simango stayed at Honde Mission School where her husband taught. She was a housewife and found nothing much to do so she would just read books she got from the mission bookshop.[1]

Simango would listen to a radio program called "Mabhuku naVanyori" run by the Rhodesian Literature Bureau and the Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation where authors would read from their own published works and listeners were encouraged to send in manuscripts to be considered for publication. Her husband helped with hand-printing the manuscript.[1]

Zviuya Zviri Mberi

The book is about a rebellious wife who runs away with her 9-year old daughter to save her from marrying an old man. Zviuya Zviri Mberi was translated into English by Petina Gappah in 2007


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Margaret J. Daymond, Women Writing Africa: The Southern Region, Page 339