Zinzi ZwaneIt started as a way to create new content for the FunDza mobi site. At a weekly meeting in early 2013, we were brainstorming various options and decided that it would be great idea to have a fictional diary blog.

We needed a character, a background and – most importantly – a name. On 28 February 2013, Zinzi Zwane wrote her first diary entry: The end of my existence.

Yes, Zinzi started as quite a drama queen, struggling to adjust to her new life (and lifestyle) in Cape Town. Her parents were separating and going through huge financial issues. Zinzi was spoilt, had a quick tongue and loads of attitude. She was the girl we love to hate, but all want to be too.

Zinzi was first written by me (Zimkhitha) but then we thought that the blog provided a great opportunity for a talented Fanz writer to test and hone their writing skills. We asked a couple of budding Fanz writers to apply with some sample pieces. Something wonderful happened: Zinzi found her voice! The writer’s name was Anathi Nyadu. For years, Anathi and Zinzi have grown together hand in hand. They have become quite the duo.

Thanks to Anathi, Zinzi has matured, learning to love, sacrifice, forgive and understand others. Throughout it all she’s been trying to find her true purpose and calling.

For the last couple of years, FunDza readers have enjoyed the ups and downs of Zinzi’s school life, friendships, family and love life. Readers loved her because she felt authentic and vocalised what most of them felt as they went through life.

“u knw wat i realy lyk dis story .it talks about reality.good goin cnt wait 4 mre” – Lady P

“Yah life is lke dat, especially wen u dnt expect such things, bt u wil be owk, every place beholds sumthing great n amazing” – Lady Gee

“Wow wow wow am as blown awy as anyone whoz been keeping taps on jah . U r ma inspiration can’t wait for more of your life. Your entries do exist in the everyday of the today life u know. Love your stuff keep doing it my luv” – Setha

But Zinzi didn’t have it so easy all the time. Some readers wanted to wring her neck for being such a loud mouth.

“You sould realy cut ur mom n stop being so bitchy school is wats best 4 you den you can paryt all you want wen ur done” – Thooth

“Wat a snob get a grib of urself gal jst accept that ur mom is nt ur ‘dad’. – Lesego

“If u werent a selfish snob ud b worried abt ur mother no wonder doesnt want u near him u r a real brat” – nhlanhla

Zinzi is stretching her wings and going overseas… There won’t be an opportunity for her to carrying on blogging (for the moment at least).

We are all sad to see her go but it’s not completely the end. FunDza will be turning her blog posts into a series of books so that future readers can enjoy her more easily.

Anathi will now have the opportunity to focus on his own writing, without having Zinzi nagging at his ear. But we know that he will miss her: as Zinzi has been a big part of his life. Together they read books, enjoyed movie nights and reflected on the happenings of the country and world.

So, a big thank you to Anathi for having the courage, endurance and grit to stick with this creative project for so long and for bringing Zinzi Zwane to life. We will miss her!