South Africa: Serving Up Truths About Being a Migrant, a Student - and That Person Taking Your Order


Tafadzwa Taruvinga intended to write a book about migrants who are in positions they shouldn't be in, mostly due to circumstances. Two years later, he has launched his memoir, The Educated Waiter, telling his own global journey to redefine the student, the waiter and the immigrant.

Tafadzwa Taruvinga would arrive home at three in the morning after waiting tables in Johannesburg. Like clockwork, he would sit down to write. He wrote to remember. He felt that one day the world should know how the restaurant boss treated the employees.

During those early-morning sessions, he could never have known that a decade later those notes would be stitched together as The Educated Waiter - Memoir of an African Immigrant. He couldn't have dreamed that he would launch it in South Africa and Zimbabwe to audiences sharing tears and laughter with him as they related and empathised.

Taruvinga poses with audience members after the launch of his book at Exclusive Books in Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg on 3 October 2019. Photo: Supplied. Tafadzwa Taruvinga signs a copy of his memoir The Educated Waiter in Harare, Zimbabwe on 19 October 2019. Photo: Supplied.

For Taruvinga, becoming a published author is a "placeless endeavour" -...

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