Masimba Musodza ascends the literary ladder with his brand of “intelligent pulp”, fast-paced thrillers with a serious underlying theme. He has also been described as a “Rasta Hemmingway”. When he writes in his own language, he explores the dark themes of his people’s lore in a style that is both original yet revealing the strong influence of Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells etc. At home, he is often compared to another thriller writer of emergent note, Chris Mlalazi. At any rate, Masimba Musodza is a major feature of what some are calling a Zimbabwean Renaissance; a revival of Zimbabwean art and entertainment at home and abroad following over a decade of political, economic and social deterioration.
Julius Masimba Musodza was born in 1976, as independence and all it offered to an erstwhile-disenfranchised Black majority dawned on the country now known as Zimbabwe. He was educated at Avondale Primary School, Harare, and St Mary Magdalene’s High School in Nyanga. At a time when eductators and social commentators bemoaned the lack of a reading culture, Masimba was privileged to have been brought up in a home where reading was valued and the purchase of books and magazines was part of monthly household expenditure.
Musodza’s early work appeared in the school magazine and in The New Generation, a youth newspaper published in the late 80s and early 90s by Jamaica-born Ben Hanson. In the mid-90s, he enrolled at the now defunct Vision Valley Film, Video & Television institute, learning ScreenWriting and became a professional screenwriter.
In addition to the Dread Eye Detective novels, Musodza is the author of The Man who turned into a Rastafarian, Muna Hacha Maive Nei? and Shavi Rechikadzi. The latter two are in his mother tongue, ChiShona, and usher a whole new genre in the development of literature in that language. MunaHacha Maive Nei? holds the distinction of being the first science-fiction novel in ChiShona and the first in that language to be published through amazon Kindle. MunaHacha Maive Nei? was nominated for the 2011 Zimbabwe Music & Arts Award Book of the Year, with Musodza actually walking away with the Writer of the Year Award.
Musodza also contributes articles to various magazines and newsites on a wide range of issues, including his Rastafarian Faith. He has featured on Story Time, the widely acclaimed e-zine devoted to contemporary African literature. His politically-themed short story, “Yesterday’s Dog” appears in African Roar, a print and Kindle anthology of Story Time works voted for by readers.
Musodza lives in the town of Middlesbrough, United Kingdom, and is an active member of its literary scene. Among other projects, he is working on a horror novel, Cursed shall be thy kine, that melds his interest in comparative folklore and issues of immigration, identity and belonging.