Photo by Marina Cavazza via Shelf Awareness

Earlier this year, Petina Gappah tweeted her translation into Shona of the first three paragraphs of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. To date, the novel has been translated into at least sixty-one languages. Within the African continent itself, Things Fall Apart has been translated into Afrikaans, Ganda, Northern Soto, Setswana, Swahili, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu. To date, there isn’t an official published translation of Things Fall Apart in Achebe’s native language, Igbo.

Gappah gave no reasons for her decision to undertake this task, but does one really need a reason? If anything, Gappah’s translation has opened a gateway for readers to appreciate Things Fall Apart in Shona, and for that we are thankful.

A couple of Gappah’s followers suggested an alternative translation for the title and for character names. Gappah explained her choices.

Overall, Gappah’s followers were thrilled with her translation and asked her to continue.

Could we possibly be looking at a translation of Things Fall Apart into Shona, possibly also by Petina Gappah, in the future? Fingers crossed!