On his website, Taona D. Chiveneko is described as “the most antisocial author in Africa.” Perhaps because of this aversion to attention and publicity, the details of Chiveneko’s life are shrouded in mystery. He is reported to be a citizen of Zimbabwe who was born either between the Zambezi and the Limpopo rivers, or along the road running from Mutare to Hwange. He is equally evasive when it comes to questions of his age.
In 2013, Chiveneko published his debut novel, The Hangman’s Replacement: Sprout of Disruption. Told through the shifting perspectives of characters whose lives have been affected by a nation’s efforts to recruit a new executioner, The Hangman’s Replacement was the recipient of a silver medal in the adult horror category at the 2014 Reader’s Favorite Awards.