By A Correspondent- Dairai Lyn Chirimumimba is a Zimbabwean born frontline worker based in Ireland who today 27 October 2021 is celebrating her birthday.
This year, the celebrations are even more special because the occasion is coinciding with one of her childhood dreams.
Chirimumimba’s wish to see her works on the shelves has finally come true.
“I have always been an author. As a child, I wrote short stories and poems. The challenge is that everything that I wrote as a child was never published.”
I am thrilled that my book has been published. This is just the beginning. I am going to write and publish more books. Writing is my passion and because I have always been a friend of the pen and paper, watch this space.”
So far, she has two completed books to her name, one of which has already been published.
Chirimumimba speaks to ZimEye and we publish below excepts of the interview:
ZimEye: Who is Dairai Lyn- Mary Chirimumimba?
Dairai: I am a Zimbabwean by birth and I also grew up here. To be precise, I was born in Murehwa and grew up there. I went to school at Morris school in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) from grade 1 to 3. The whole family then moved to Chitungwiza where l completed my primary education at Seke number 7 school. l went on to do my secondary education at Seke no 2 high school where l did form one to form four.
After my high school education, I trained as a general nurse at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and qualified in 1992. From Parirenyatwa Group of Hospital, l went on to work in Hwedza before I returned back home and worked at Chitungwiza Referral Hospital before I moved to Masvingo Hospital until 2 October 2002.
At the end of October 2002 I relocated to the republic of Ireland where l am currently based.
ZimEye: You are a qualified nurse, how did you start writing?
Dairai: When I was a teenager and doing my secondary education I was in the debate club and we used to do impromptu speeches. That kind of inspired me. In the Debate Club, you are just given a topic and you have to come up with a story and say something about it. Since that time, I realised I had a passion for writing too.
I would write and go places if an event is happening I would just write a short story, compile a small poem or something like that. I would do this while growing up but everything that I wrote was never published, because the publishing was not there.
I was just doing it out of interest I can say. So when my brother passed away, Dr Chirimumimba, may his dearly departed soul rest in eternal peace, I thought of writing his bibliography. So whilst I was doing that, that’s when it clicked that I have to be writing something.
I felt the urge to communicate and connect with the readers through my writing. I wanted to share my stories, so that is when I said to myself, I have to publish. I started working on my first book.
ZimEye: Can you please share the journey until you published your first book?
Dairai: Her Brothers’ Choice is the first book that I published because my brother’s bibliography was the first book I wrote but unfortunately, to date, it is still on the shelves. I didn’t get to publish it.
Her Brother’s Choice is a romantic fiction novel based on seeing and hearing stories about life, about love and what goes on around us. It is published on Live Life Academy, which is my website.
The story is about a young girl who fell in love but could not marry the man of her dreams because of culture and expectations. The girl was forced to marry someone she didn’t love. However, the marriage broke down and in the end she reunited with the love of her dreams. I urge you all to read and enjoy this beautiful romantic tale.
ZimEye: After the first publication, what next? Have you written more?
Dairai: The second book is Dementia Journey Walk With Me. This book is more like motivational or educational. It is about ways of coping with dementia if one member of the family has the condition, be it the parent, brother or sister. The book advises on how you can cope as a family.
I wrote this book because I felt the need to advise people on how to cope, what challenges families face and the existing choices. It enlightens people on how to make it when a family member has the condition. Because I am trained as a nurse and I am still working as one, when I started working in Ireland, I was exposed to people with dementia and I have seen how families were distraught and struggling to cope.
Through reading literature and talking to people, I decided to write this book just to give tips to people, to families and even those who already have dementia. Those that do not have the condition can also read it so that they may know more about it. So this book is for everyone. Anyone can use it because those who do not have dementia but may have friends should also know and have the knowledge of what support is out there.
Most of the time, coping with the condition is a challenge, how can the affected work around it when it’s like the end of life. It’s like because people are grieving, people are angry, people are in pain, it can be really tough. So that’s how I came to write this book. It is going to be edited and published by a publishing company in the UK. It will be available soon. It should be out this November or December.
ZimEye: How have you balanced work and writing? What challenges have you faced as an author?
Dairai: It has been hectic balancing work and writing. My main challenge was time to sit down and write my content. As a nurse who is now at a more senior nursing position, I am an assistant director in nursing so my work demands are high. I also have a family that needs me, so to try and create time to write was my main challenge and it still is. Although, I can safely say now this has improved, that has been my greatest challenge.
Of course, there are other challenges such as establishing who will edit my book and the financial demands that come with editing to get it published.
ZimEye: What lessons have you learnt from these experiences?
Dairai: What I have learnt with my writing is that being an author is a full time profession. I have learnt to respect all authors. Writing requires a lot of commitment. I salute all the authors. I have read so many books from primary school when I was young including Kusasana Kunoparira, Akanga Nyimo Avangarara, Waiting For The Rain and Coming Of The Dry Season. I appreciate all those authors because my experience has taught me that it takes a lot of commitment to come up with a book.
ZimEye: Any future projects?
Dairai: The book My Brothers Choice was written in 2018 and rewritten in 2019 and completed in 2021. Dementia Journey Walk With Me was started in 2020 and it will be ready soon. It is my hope. For future projects, there are plenty to come. I have one that is set to come out early 2022, it is a christian book.
This upcoming book is a religious book centred on Jesus. It is a good book. I am a christian so I believe in Jesus and I also believe in sharing the word of God. Because of my background, this book will really be instrumental for me
Because Her Brother’s Choice is a small book, the second part may be coming soon. I should continue with the story. It will be different but it will be a continuation of this family. So watch this space. There may be other projects to come too so who knows there may be a third part of Her Brother’s Choice.
ZimEye: Your words of advice to aspiring writers?
Dairai: When you commit yourself to your project, you will definitely succeed. The sky is the limit. It is a laborious journey but worth it. Dreams do come true when you persevere.
All those wishing to read more about Dairai can visit her website Livelifecademy.com