Taona Dumisani Chiveneko


Taona Dumisani Chiveneko is the author of “The Hangman’s Replacement” series. The Zimbabwean citizen was born either between the Zambezi and the Limpopo rivers, or along the road which runs from Mutare to Hwange. Mr. Chiveneko has refused to confirm which option is true. He is also equally circumspect about his age, which he has pegged at: “More than ten, but less than a hundred-years-old.”

Mr. Chiveneko is widely regarded as the most anti-social African author. He is rumoured to have based the Luxon Hurudza character on himself. Even as a child, Mr. Chiveneko was not personable. The boy ignored anyone who tried to start a conversation with him. This behaviour won him the nickname, “Hombarume”, the Shona word for “hunter”. According to the village elder who gave him the name, the young Taona was destined to spend his entire life hunting for a sense of social etiquette. The elder’s prediction turned out to be wrong. The boy never embarked on the quest at all. As a recluse, he spent his life hunting for something else: solitude.

Mr. Chiveneko is rumoured to live in a remote location with a hypertensive pangolin, three shrews, and a termite colony (enclosed in a large glass tank). He is also the half-proud owner of two cats. Apparently, he only loves one of them, but is compelled to keep them both. The creatures are inseparable companions.

In fact, when Mr. Chiveneko sold the cat he did not like, the remaining one went on a three day hunger strike. Eventually, Mr. Chiveneko was forced to buy back the tubby feline for thrice the price he had sold it. As a miser, this incident was highly traumatic for him. This unusual sacrifice for another living creature reflects a tender side of this enigmatic writer. Nevertheless, that part of the man is very small indeed.

During the only interview he has ever granted, Mr. Chiveneko confessed that his childhood dream was to become a taxidermist. However, this ambition was shattered when he realized that taxidermy had nothing to do with replacing the bodywork of taxi cabs. In grief, he bought a diary and vented his sorrow on its pages with a feather quill. The experience was refreshing. Through tragedy, he found his calling. The rest is history. To this day, he still writes with feather quills that he picks up along a popular flight path of migrating geese.

There are only two pictures of Mr. Chiveneko in existence. Neither image portrays his features clearly. In the first, he wears a thick scarf to hide a recurring case of mumps. He is also wearing an ill-fitting hat that he bought at a second-hand store thirty-two years ago.

The second image is a drawing of the author’s alter-ego. The picture depicts the mournful face of an unnamed man with thick dreadlocks. When asked whether this face was a self-portrait, Mr. Chiveneko said it was not. The face came to him during a dream in his youth. For reasons he cannot explain, he felt a strong and instinctive bond with it. “I felt like it was an alternative expression of me.

Mr. Chiveneko only communicates with the wider world through his long suffering lawyer. Any demonstration of courtesy expressed in his novels, (including the acknowledgements), are the work of his tireless legal representative. Therefore, any questions about the author and his novels should be sent directly to:

lawyer@chiveneko.com. No hate mail please. It only emboldens the author. However, words of consolation and support for his poor lawyer are welcome.

Where to find Taona Dumisani Chiveneko online


This member has not published any books.