The first book by media personality Bonang Matheba, titled Bonang from A to B was officially launched last week Thursday at Sandton City’s Diamond Walk. While Queen B revealed in the ‘success’ of conquering yet another milestone in her career, social media was equally abuzz about the book, but the tone was far from congratulatory.
Instead of celebrating the book with Queen B, the Grammar Nazis of Twitteratti came out in their throngs to highlight the erroneous grammar and inaccuracies in the book. Screenshots of various pages of the book where there are missing words, poorly constructed sentences, and unnecessary repetitions, flooded social media, sparking some serious debates about who should be held responsible for the clumsy and avoidable errors. While polls were divided with some arguing that Ms. Matheba should have as ‘author’ made sure that the book had been sufficiently proofread before release, others argued that Bonang was indeed not a qualified author and therefore her editors should be held wholly responsible for the poor language and grammar.
The publisher of Black Bird Books, Thabiso Mahlape, according to Times Live has since come out and said she would take full responsibility for the errors. She admitted that she should have done better and went on to challenge critics to point out any more than the two mistakes she knew where in the book, one being the incorrect date of Bonang’s birthday. Obligingly the ‘critics’ of the book decisively met the publisher’s challenge, with several snapshots of pages where there is bad grammar, typos and other mistakes that should have been picked up had the book been properly and carefully proofread.
The clumsy writing and poor editing of Bonang’s book have for the second time this year, raised serious questions about the roles and responsibilities of editors and authors in South Africa. First, our eyebrows and curiosities were raised by the ethical breaches surrounding Dr. Vejay Ramlakan’s book, Mandela’s Last Years and now Bonang’s book has us questioning the credibility of not just her editors but also her and her co-author, Radio 702 talk host, Gugu Mhlungu, as evidence shows that the book skipped the process of vigorous proofreading and fact checking.
Despite, her book failing to receive a resounding applause and public stamp of approval on the oh so critical Twitter streets, the book has already enjoyed the number one spot in its first two weeks since release at Exclusive Books and die-hard fans can look forward to seeing Matheba in a city near them as she continues her book tour. This clearly indicates the confidence Bonang has in her fans and the loyalty of her followers who will buy and read the book despite its underwhelming use of the English language. As for those who bought the book out of curiosity, hoping to get first hand detail of the triangle that is Bonang, AKA and Dj Zinhle, Exclusive Book has announced that it is offering full refunds to those who bought the book and will be removing the book from its shelves as a better edited new edition is printed.