In less than a month, my much-awaited book Tizistwar Nou Pays will be launched. This has to be one of the most momentous moments in my life. The idea of writing a book about my childhood memories was first proposed by readers on my Facebook page more than 5 years back. I had just written a post for my mum’s birthday recounting her life and struggles as seen through my eyes while I was growing up. I was surprised by the response to that post where many people started asking me to publish a book. From then on, I began writing stories on my memories about cyclones, about going to the barber, and each time, it got a great response.
In 2018, I was approached by La Sentinelle to write a weekly column in their newspapers called Bonzour. I thought it was an excellent idea to write these articles in the form of short stories and I did so for a few months because the newspaper was stopped being printed. By then, I had started a routine of writing a story every week. I thought it was a habit worth keeping, so I kept writing a story every Sunday, even though it was not being published.
After some time, I had a list of stories in a folder on my computer. I tried to approach a few companies for sponsorship to publish these as a book, but none of them showed much interest. At the close of the year, I realized that I was not making any progress with this project and decided to create a Facebook page called Tzistwar Nou Pays to publish these stories. I first got a friend to illustrate each story, and another friend designed the logo of the initiative. I posted the first story called Lavey Lane, meaning New Year’s eve, on the 31st December. The post was an immediate success and was widely shared across Facebook. The week after, I published a second story that again garnered much attention. From then onward, it became a weekly feature on Facebook and got a massive following. The idea of recompiling these stories cropped. However, this time, even though I still did not have any sponsor, I had the support of the fans on the page. The texts and illustrations were already done. I only needed to get the book designed and the pages mounted. And here we are with the book ready to be published.
Throughout the different stages of this project, my focus has been to contribute something of value. I put in a lot of effort and worked till late into the night to write every story that I published. And the response of the fans on the page has been overwhelming. It has been a journey of change and transformation for me, learning the value of sharing things that matter to me and connecting to people. Through these moments shared, Tizistwar Nou Pays exists for real in the hearts and minds of people, long before the book is even out on the market.
XTM Mirror ; 2019