UNIMPORTANCE ist the gripping account of twelve hours in the life of Zizi, a University student and SRC presidential candidate - a position that, should he win, would make him the most important person on campus.
It's the night before his presidential manifesto presentation, but as he works on his speech, a squabble with his girlfriend Pamodi turns ugly, and she disappears. Suddenly, everything is at risk: his reputation and position on campus, the election, even his freedom.
Zizi wanders the campus all night, searching desparately for Pamodi, reflecting on past trauma and relationships, and meeting a range of friends and foes. The next day, he stands before the entire university communtiny and makes an extraordinary declaration.
This timely and hypnotic novel explores what it means to be a leader, the relation between integrity and status, and the tension between public and private life. Witty, scathing, bawdy and tender by turn, it combines astute political and gender commentary with an insider account of twenty-first century student life.
Thando Mgqolozana is a novelist. His books include A Man Who is Not a Man (University Of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009), Hear Me Alone (Jacana Media, 2011), and Unimportance (Jacana, 2014). He was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans (2016), awarded the Mandela Rhodes (2006) and Canon Collins (2018) scholarships. His is the co-author of Inxeba: The Wound (2018), an Oscar-shortlisted, record breaking film; and he is the founder of Abantu Book Festival, a hallmark annual literary event staged in Soweto.