Featured Author: Venancio Gomani

My name is Venancio Gomani and I am a 25-year-old Zambian currently living in Lusaka city. Professional, I am an Engineer and Entrepreneur. I currently own and manage my own Technology startup called Active and I am a final year engineering student at DMI-St. Eugene University studying for my Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering. Creatively, however, there is a whole other story. I am a storyteller and an art enthusiast. I am the author of the Dystopia Fiction short novel, Quantos Rising &, and the upcoming Historic Fiction full-length novel, Ghost Tribes. It is my sincere hope and goal to completely change the African cultural mindset within the minds of most Africans through my projects, innovations, platforms, books, arts, and tutorials.

Book: Ghost Tribes

The principal story follows the tale of Likando and the war of the brother kings. Likando is the Lozi tribe’s princess, heir-elect to the throne, and the only legitimate child of the Lozi king, Simasiku Lumeta. However, growing without the presence of her mother, and her father never having told her the story of who her mother is or where she is or if she is even alive today, causes her to begin searching for the truth against her father’s permission and/or consent. She stumbles upon darker truths that result in her to learn that her birth may not have been a result of love or mere chance, but a carefully considered and planned series of events. This leads the princess into taking courses of action that bring her tribe, family, and overall kingdom to the brink of near-extinction.

The second part of the tale which begins eight years before the events of the first novel follows the story of Kaleya, the lost son of nothing who, after waking up alone in the jungle with no memory of his identity or his past prior, goes on a quest to discover the truth behind his stolen memories but entangles himself in a series of circumstances that result in him having to fight for his survival more often than not. The second part of the story simultaneously chronicles the Ghost of Africa, an enigma thought to be a demon that terrorizes tribes around a territory it claimed as its own three years before the events of the novel. Before the Ghost of Africa occupied the territory it occupies, there lived a thriving tribe with an organized structure and an army of possessed soldiers, ten thousand strong. However, when the Ghost of Africa first emerged, it led an army of exiled tribesmen-turned cannibal, who form the population referred to as the cannibals tribeless in the millions, against the growing tribe and thus, overwhelming its army and having the cannibals devour the raw flesh of the men, women, and children of the tribe. After wiping out of existence the tribe that existed in its territory prior, the demon goes on to fence that very territory with the skulls of the tribe’s populist on barbed wooden stakes in the hundreds of thousands all around that territory as a warning for anyone who ever dared to trespass.

The first book in the series, The Ghost of Africa, opens with Likando, the heir-elect to the Lozi throne, preparing for the maturity ceremony, who gets ambushed by a gang of purported ‘mixed-breeds’. This series of events leads her to come face-to-face with the Ghost of Africa.

Where the book is available:

Amazon: https://amazon.com/dp/B07MHG3CK5

Kobo Books: https://kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/ghost-tribes

Website: http://venanciogomani.com/

What sets your book, Ghost Tribes apart from all others?

I can say irrefutably that there is no African-themed book that heavily personifies African culture in as much a historical verisimilitude and fantasy way as Ghost Tribes does.

Ghost Tribes is different from other historical fantasy, historical fiction novels because the focus and subject of its story is exclusively African. However, at the same time, Ghost Tribes is different from other African-themed novels because it tells the story of cultural Africa in a multidimensional sense (i.e. a mix of fantasy, adventure, romance, horror, and heavily mystery). It doesn’t just retell history from a medieval African perspective, it also personifies many African folklore stories told throughout every tribe within the continent. Also, Ghost Tribes isn’t confined to telling the story of a single tribe or a single culture rather, it shows the intersection where all these tribes and cultures overlap and tells the story from that point-of-view.

What is the benefit, above all others, that potential readers will gain from reading Ghost Tribes?

Ghost Tribes is heavily culturally inclined toward African traditions and practices. It boasts so many reasons why African culture is so unique in all its diversity. Though the novel plays around with traditional African concepts and cultural practices, it attempts to do so in both an entertaining and educational manner.

I would say the primary benefit many readers will get from reading this novel is an appreciation for cultural African culture. Many of the fantasy elements and stories that are personified within the novel are culled from authentic African lore and many of the practices are actual authentic practices of African cultures such as maturity ceremonies and their relevance, celebrations of warriors that hunt the most dangerous of beasts, hunting with brothers, drinking of the blood of a slaughtered beast by the chief or executioner, etc.

Who is the target market?

The novel has a strong female-led protagonist in a story told from the perspective of cultures that heavily opposed women empowerment throughout history thus the target gender is mostly female. At the same time, because of the fairytale romance, the age group would be between 12 to 30.

The target geographical area is the US and UK. Though the novel is a story of Africa, it is not targeted toward Africa solely because it is an expression of African culture to the rest of the world and not to itself. Ghost Tribes aims at giving a more non-African-born audience a deeper appreciation for African culture through powerful stories told from characters with deep backstories of their own.

What authors inspired you most and how so?

I would closely relate with George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ because it has historical verisimilitudes tied to fantasy elements, and also J. R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of The Rings’. Each of these pieces boasted amazingly detailed and complex stories. The thing that inspires me the greatest about these two stories is their world-building. Just how detailed it is from the languages to the social and geographical diversity is incredible.

In many of my stories, not just Ghost Tribes, I always strive to create as detailed a world as these two authors did in their amazing pieces.

What advice do you have to offer in support of other authors?

I’ve been a writer for a long time and I’ve been a storyteller for an even longer period of time—as far back as I can remember. With that said, I understand many of the challenges involved in trying to tell a story (especially one as close to your heart as Ghost Tribes is to mine). I honestly think the hardest part about writing novels is keeping yourself motivated in the long run. The greatest advice I always offer to many writers, including myself, is novel writing is a marathon and not a sprint. Don’t focus on getting to the end as fast as you can, focus on making each part of the journey leading to the end as exciting as you can for the reader.

What is your genre of choice and why?

I write historical fantasy, historical fiction and the reason for that is simple. I’m a creative—I LOVE telling stories from as many perspectives as possible. Often times, the world we live in feels inadequate to communicate the stories I often wish to tell so I resort to creating worlds that perfectly fit the ideologies and notions I wish to communicate. Fantasy allows me the creative freedom to bend and sheer the world however I see fit, and historical fiction allows me to retell stories from ancient times past giving me the ability to add my own perspectives to stories that have already been told.

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