Catching Up with Lukhanyo Sikwebu Author of NINE HOURS

By Uyanda Mjanyelwa

Author Lukhanyo Sikwebu is a film producer and screenwriter who is originally from East London. He wrote and directed a film called Umalusi which was shot in East London in 2019 together with the film director Jahmil Qubeka. In 2013, Sikwebu also wrote for Generations for a year or so. He is a council and treasurer of the Writers Guild of South Africa and he also produces a couple of drama series on television.

Lukhanyo Sikwebu is the author of the book titled NINE HOURS which has been recently published on September 23. His inspiration of writing the book pertains to what happened in 2014 with the Chibok girls in Nigeria. 276 girls were abducted from their dorms in Chibok Nigeria by the Boko Haram rebels and taken into captivity, vile things were done to them and that story is particularly sad because it still continues today, said Sikwebu. “When that happened in 2014 I felt so drawn to the story because I always had a sense that how does this happen? How are terrorist rebels so powerful that they run rampant and do whatever they want especially in an economy like Nigeria?” said Sikwebu.

“I was drawn to that story of the Chibok girls in Nigeria and I just followed it just wondering what the government is going to do, what the international aid is going to do, whether the girls will be rescued,” said Sikwebu.

Sikwebu felt passionate about what happened to the Chibok girls and that is why he wrote the book. The book is about a platoon of 12 soldiers who are tasked to go to the Mozambican forest to rescue 40 girls who have been abducted. The title NINE HOURS refers to the fact that these platoons of soldiers who are assigned to rescue the girls only have 9 hours within the forest to rescue them.

“As much as there’s guns the story is not about guns and military war fare and soldiers and fighting in aggression, for me the story is about family, it is also about justice. This story is about an emotional kind of attachment to something tragic that has happened, 40 girls have been kidnapped so something drastic must be done against this gender based violence,” said Sikwebu.

The book is available at Exclusive books, Graffiti, Reader’s Warehouse, CNA, Bargain books, Amazon books etc.

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