Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

09 July 2020


The late Nobel Prize in Literature winning novelist Doris Lessing (1919-2013)



Zimbabwe is one of the major beneficiaries of the Doris Lessing literary estate, with her personal collection of 3000 books making up the memorial Doris Lessing Collection corner installed at the Harare City Library in 2014. Thus we are inspired to remember this great woman whose voice still speaks today. According to Wikipedia, by the time of her death, more than 50 of her novels had been published.



We Salute you  Writer!


06 July 2020

Newsletter Coming Soon


is in the making...



(Our Books)


Prosper Njeke

‘Mabhuku Edu’ will be a regular feature in the WIN Newsletter. The column has been initiated by young writer Prosper Njeke to promote fellow Zimbabwean young writers through online interviews and book reviews. Njeke hails from Murota Village, Chadereka, Muzarabani in Zimbabwe. He was born on December 15, 1996. He published two books titled Munongonzwa Imi and The Writers Birthday (Bhavhadhe reMunyori) in 2019 with Essential Books Publishing Co.


Michelle Nakai Maruta aka Michie Nakie

Below is an interview Prosper Njeke (ProNjeke) had with a new enthusiastic writer Michelle Nakai Maruta, also known as Michie Nakie, who has been specializing in online writing. How good it is that young writers engage in writing issues. In this interview Michie Nakie shares her experience, achievements and challenges she encounters in her type of writing.  Born on July 8, 1997, Michie Nakie has been featured in Kwayedza and on ZBC Radio Zimbabwe.

ProNjeke:                When did you start writing? And why did you choose online writing rather than publishing your work in print with some publishing houses?
Michie Nakie:         I started writing in 2016 by that time I wished to have my books published. I approached one traditional publisher with my manuscript written in Shona language. The publisher told me they were not publishing Shona novels, but only new curriculum text books. Then I shifted to online writing where there is no discrimination of scripts, and I’m making money out of it!

 ProNjeke:                  Why didn’t you choose small publishers to publish your work?
Michie Nakie:         Small publishers are good but working with them is costly in the sense that you’ll hire your own editors, proofreaders, illustrators, graphic designers as well as printers and by that time I was experiencing financial constraints.

ProNjeke:                   How many online books have you written so far and how much do you charge per manuscript?
Michie Nakie:          I have written ten books which are in two categories; (i) free books, and (ii) books on sale. Free books are Sad Love Story, Nherera, Tested Love, Tichaona and The Grifters. While list of books on sale is as follows: Moyo Muti, Ndichazovei? Munyaradzi Wangu, Life Changes and Unbreakable love. Each book is worth US$1  or EcoCash transfer which is equivalent to the current rate.

ProNjeke:                You mentioned that you’re making money out of writing, what do you actually have to show for it?
Michie Nakie:         When things were normal before Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown I could get about RTGS$200 per week. I bought a brand new cellphone and a laptop that I’m using for my writing. I also bought myself some clothes and other basic commodities at home.

ProNjeke:                    Wonderful! So what are some of your aims in life?
Michie Nakie:          I am aiming to assist the disadvantaged who are living in rural areas, with the little I have.

ProNjeke:                     Tell us the challenges you are facing as a writer.
Michie Nakie:         Piracy is the main challenge. Those who buy my books could easily share with their friends and relatives for free before I reach my target.

ProNjeke:                   Do you have time to read online books from fellow online writers? If so, please tell us, do you buy them or you just get them free from social media?
MichieNakai:             Yes, I read books from fellow online writers, like Polite Dongorere aka Polytrue and Sharleen Masukutu aka Shaar Moyo. I get their books from different Whatsapp groups and sometimes the authors themselves send direct to my inbox.

ProNjeke:                Tell us any three young writers as wells as three elderly writers that you admire and the books which they wrote.
Michie Nakie:         I like your book (Munongonzwa Imi), Polite Dongorere (Unforgivable) and SharleenMasukutu (Tamar). As for elderly writers, I like Aaron Chiundura Moyo (Kereke Inofa),  J. Kawara (Sajeni Chimedza) and Bissett C. Chitsike (Minista Munhuwo).

ProNjeke:                    May you name some young writers that you are working with?
Michie Nakie:         I’m working with Zimbabwean writers who are based in South Africa, Patie Kasaka and Oxey Chinez. In Zimbabwe I’m working with Polytrue, Shaar Moyo, Rujeko and Boris.

ProNjeke:                Lastly, where can we get your books?
Michie Nakie:         Catch me on my Facebook page, Bookble Michie Nakie Stories.

There is more for you in the forthcoming newsletter. Stay with us!

12 May 2020



Sample of one of the inside pages of the WIN Newsletter print version which is a dream hard to shelf!

We welcome you all to our WIN Literary Newsletter VOL 2, Issue No 12, delayed a bit by challenges we faced due to forces beyond our control. We are glad we have finally managed to bring it to you. It feels us with gratitude, and excitement, to say we have just completed a new blog project, courtesy of our WIN Publishing Unit. The new blog WINZIM POETRY & FICTION will cater for our members and the first installment Survivors Will Tell Part One has taken up the issue of the coronavirus pandemic through poetry, prose and comedy. However, to also see our members shine in print is a vision we will never quit.
Another new development at WIN is the recent setting up of the Editorial Team which will lead the Publishing Unit, the following are the members: Professor Emmanuel Sigauke and Ethel Kabwato will be the Editorial Advisors, Oscar Gwiriri and Tinashe Muchuri as editors of Shona works while Aleck Kaposa and Progress Nigwa will handle English works. Two compilers and assessors have also been selected, namely Rumbidzai Olivia Mubirira and Moira Marangwanda.
Friends and relatives across the world, we are together in spirit in these hard times of the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s stand strong and call out to Almighty for comfort.
Thanks to you all for your continued support.


Winzim Online

Memory Chirere, ZIBF Executive Board Chairperson

In its 2020 Call for Abstracts for the Indaba Conference issued last month, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair Association (ZIBF) said this year the book fair is running from July 27 to August 1 under the theme The Book Industry: The Dynamics Within.

At the time of going to press, the ZIBF hinted to Winzim Online that it is discussing at board level the issue of dates in the context of challenges that could be posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. That means the dates set so far remain valid until further official notice from the ZIBF.

Memory Chirere, who also chairs the ZIBF Board, said in the Call for Abstracts the choice of theme has been worked up to be a breakaway from previous philosophical themes, hence it will investigate “the internal welfare and goings on of real people and institutions (big and small) in the book industry itself in Zimbabwe and Africa.”

“Having observed that most of the themes from 2011 to 2016 addressed developmental and philosophical issues, the board decided to select a theme that may give us a rare opportunity to look more closely at the internal welfare and goings on of real people and institutions (big and small) in the book industry itself in Zimbabwe and Africa. We want to dwell on the work relations between our writers and publishers, printers, booksellers and librarians, readers for example. We are convinced that a very introspective gaze at both the open and behind the scenes of the book sector may be exciting and enriching. The book industry in Zimbabwe and Africa is currently in a state that demands that we evaluate the perspectives of every stakeholder against those of others, in order to create harmony and cohesion. We have noticed that the book production chain in its various formats seem not to be united to address the opportunities challenges that we have in our daily relations as creators and business people. A positively open and candid forum discussion may possibly allow all stakeholders to get a 360 degree view of the situation, understand and empathize with other groups’ positions, ultimately leading to viable solutions in taking the industry into the future,” he said.

The ZIBF has been one of the important annual literary festivals in Africa, and last year it was held under the theme “Footprints of the Book: Milestones & Opportunities”. In 2018, the ZIBF ran under the theme “The Book: Creating the Future” which sparked a debate at the Indaba particularly Africa’s position in the new world of technology.


Fitzcarraldo Editions, Giramondo and New Directions are pleased to announce The Novel Prize, a new biennial award for a book-length work of literary fiction written in English by published and unpublished writers around the world.
The Novel Prize offers $10,000 to the winner in the form of an adv ance against royalties, and simultaneous publication of their novel in the UK and Ireland by the London-based Fitzcarraldo Editions, in Australia and New Zealand by Sydney publisher Giramondo, and in North America by New York’s New Directions. The judges will be looking for novels which explore and expand the possibilities of the form, and are innovative and imaginative in style.
The Novel Prize will be managed by the three publishers working in collaboration. Submissions will be open from 1 April to 1 July 2020, with Fitzcarraldo Editions reading submissions from Africa and Europe, Giramondo from Asia and Australasia, and New Directions from the Americas. A shortlist will be made public in December 2020, with the winner announced in February 2021. The winning novel will be published in early 2022.

For More Information, Please Visit:


Winzim Online

Takudzwa Chikepe, also known as VaChikepe

Artistic events all over the world have also been affected by the COID-19 as authorities have imposed restrictions or bans on public gatherings to avoid the spread of the disease.

Since June last year a Norton-based group of poets had been holding their regular poetry performance sessions at Pakare Paye Arts Centre under their 100 Sailors project but when the ban on public gatherings was announced as a measure to curb the COVID-19 spread, the poets were left with no choice but to go the virtual channel like the rest of the world.

And they have joined the fight against the pandemic through audio poetry which they record and distribute to various social media platforms.

Speaking to Winzim Online, the 100 Sailors project coordinator Tafadzwa Chikepe aka VaChikepe said the reason they have chosen to focus on COVID-19 is that they now can’t meet because of its impact and hence they have resorted to speaking out online.
“The poems are circulated on WhatsApp as audio poetry and very soon will be uploaded on other social media platforms,” he said.

Winzim Online

Barbara C Nkala, better known as Gogo Nkala, is a celebrated Zimbabwean writer in her 70’s who has moved with the times and embraced new technology to continue with the work of God and promotion of Ndebele language and literature.

Through her blog which she beautifully designed for Ndebele audience, she is inspiring many young and old writers and Christians alike.
While some local writers have used English language for their blogs and social media pages, Gogo Nkala’s blog is devoted to her mother language and has been publishing a weekly online newsletter.
On her blog one finds such inspirational items as writing tips, writing competitions, Ndebele poetry, and recent podcasts of her conversations with young people. She also publishes testimonies of Christians who have been through storms and yet survived through God’s Grace.

Click this link to her blog:


After a long patient process to perfect her first novel Dreams Under The Noonday Sun, Harare-based teenage author Nothando Cindy Usayi can now sit back for a while and feel good for having done justice to her writing journey. The novel, which comes with two bonus short stories, one of which won a prize in a school writing contest, is now published online and is available on

Click Here for more details!


Olivia Christian Paasche, author of The Next of Kin

Words we speak, words we say to each other, and words we say about each other. Why do the words of our mouth have so much power to build or to destroy someone -after all words are just words! Or aren’t they?

Recently one of my daughters broke down in tears - and I so did I. It was the first time she was actually able to tell me what she went through in her high school - being bullied. It was the first time she was able to go through that dark passage and express all the things that happened to her. All the things that the bullies did to her- and it seemed what was even worse and more devastating were the WORDS they spoke to her and said about her.

These WORDS formed part of her growing life and she struggled finding her true identity. These NEGATIVE WORDS practically coexisted and formed the backdrop of her struggles to fit into a world that is ever-changing.
Any child, adolescent and even adult feels they need to fit into a society and be accepted in whatever place they are. As a parent listening to my child as she narrated her struggle, I can tell you I felt sick.

Just last year I heard a tragic story of how a young person not even 16 yet took his own life because of school bullying. That child couldn’t take it anymore and didn’t even have the strength to tell his parents as he feared the repercussions from the bullies.  It was too late when they found out just how bad it was for their child.  The hospital’s Intensive Care Unit had to switch off the life-support machine for that dear child.  There was nothing else they could do to save his life.
This is what bullying did. It took away the life of a child. An innocent child. It took the life of someone’s child, someone’s brother, someone’s grandson, someone’s friend! Now tell me!

As a parent, when the effects of bullying visits your home -it is life changing.  As I write my heart is appalled.  I am steeped in sorrow. Thankfully we could walk through the dark past with my daughter. She is beautiful with an exquisite heart. She needed to know that.  A ray of light did come out of her experience:
She realized that she had been living under the shadow of her peers’ NEGATIVE WORDS. With strength she was able to rise up and declare that neither did her peers nor their WORDS define who she was! Also she intends to help children who go through things like that. She also plans to go BACK to her high school as a guest speaker and talk to the teenagers there. She wants them to know about the effects of bullying-and what all bullies in the world should know! Amen!!!

The WORDS we speak, how powerful WORDS are! No child or person should ever have to go through things like that. EVER!
One of the things my daughter said in her sorrow was, ‘Mum, I forgive and actually feel sorry for those girls - they must’ve been so unhappy in their own lives to do such terrible things to others!’

I pray that the healing process has begun in my girl and pray the same will happen for many others who had gone through this terrible suffering.
Please everyone, let us be more attentive to the words of our mouth. Let us be careful about what we say especially over our children and each another. Once a word is spoken good or bad we cannot retract it. WORDS have far-reaching effects.

So let our words pure and lovely and acceptable to the ear. We all have a duty to build each other up and not to tear  down that which God has made so perfectly.
I will be continuing to talk about the power of the spoken WORD.

As we return and flip through the pages of The Next of Kin,  we encounter the doctors working on Fr Angelo.  In Chapter Five Fr Angelo is unconscious and very gravely ill. The doctors are frantically working on him. The junior doctor asks the consultant what Angelo’s prognosis is. The matron gets very upset and tells the medical team that it is not right for them to discuss over Angelo. The Matron says, “Er… maybe we shouldn’t talk over the patient. Whilst a patient maybe unconscious, we must be very aware that they are still able to hear us, according to my training, old fashioned though it may seem to be.”
She adds that, “One can always discuss it outside – but never within the patient’s hearing – because the last vestige of hope, which may still be residing in the subconscious and in his spirit, might just be put out forever!”

Read more on my blog:

God Bless you all!



 Johannes Mike Mupisa aka Chana CheMasvingo

Johannes Mike Mupisa anobva muMwenezi maShe Negari. Nhetembo dzake dzakabuda mumabhuku anosanganisira Gwatakwata reNhetembo, Speak a word/Khuluma Izwi/Taurai Izwi, Best New African Poets 2018, Mukoko wenduri (Royal Press 2019). Mupisa akanyora zvakare bhuku rerugwaro rwechina neSecondary Book Publishers (2018) akabatana nevamwe vanyori rinonzi A Practical Approach to Heritage Studies. Ane rimwe bhuku raakaita nevamwe vanyori rinonzi A Practical Approach to History Studies Book 2. Shukukuviri ibhuku renganonyorwa rake rekutanga. Ane mutambo wefirimu zvakare waakanyora unonzi Gehena Harina Moto. Shingirai Manyengavana (SM) nyanduri ari zvakare munyori anoita hurukuro naJohannes Mike Mupisa a.k.a Chana CheMasvingo (JM) pamusoro pebhuku ‘Shukukuviri’.

 Hechino chidimbu chehurukuro yakaitwa nevanyori vaviri ava:

SM: Chana cheMasvingo, ungatiudzewo here muchidimbu kuti bhuku Shukukuviri rinotaura pamusoro pei?
 JM: Shukukuviri ibhuku rerudo. Rudo urwu ndinoreva rudo rwemukomana nemusikana rwakazadzwa neruchiva uye nemanikidzo yemakwenzi. Mukuvhimana naro rwakasosewa neizvi rwunobura kubhejerana, ngozi nemazangandari ezviitiko zvinosiririsa nekusetsa. Zvitendero zvose zvinowana chekuruma mukutandavara kwenyaya iyi.

SM: Semunyori, chii chakakusunda kuti uzosarudza kunyora bhuku iri?
JM: Vanhu vanoda kuva murudo asi dzimwe nzira dzavanoshandisa dzine matambudziko. Chimwezve ndaida kujekesa kuti zvitendero zvose zvine zvazvinobatsira munduramo yevanhu.

SM: Zvakakutorera nguva yakareba zvakadini semunyori kuti bhuku Shukukuviri rizobude?
JM: Ndingati Shukukuviri rakanditorera makore mana kuti ndizoribura.

SM: Ndezvipi zvimhingamupini zvawakasangana nazvo mukunyora pamwe nemukubikwa kwebhuku iri uye kuti wakazvikunda sei?
JM: Ndingangoti zvimhingamupinyu zvikuru zvandaive nazvo zvakamedzwa nekuva mugungano reWIN. Ndakawana mazano ose kuti ndodii kuti bhuku ritsikiswe.

SM: Ndeapi madingindira makuru ari mubhuku Shukukuviri?
JM: Rudo rwemishonga rwune matambudzo, Mhosva hairovi, Rina manyanga hariputirwe.

 SM:  Mashoko esimbiso aungade kuudzawo vamwe vanyori vachiri kusimukira  
JM: Mashoko angu mapfupi: Njere moto dzinogokwa. Basa risamhanya kuburwa rinoita mbwezhu. Ngaritange rasukutwa risati rapakurirwa rudhende. Chimwezve, mukunyora ngatisadzoke kumashure uye tinyore zvinoumba tsika nemagariro akanaka edu sevanhu.



Tinashe Muchuri

Pfungwa Ngadzitambanuke, Mataurirwo Enyaya Ngaatambanuke

Tisongane zvakare mugore ra2020 iro radai kunetsa nehutachiona hweCorona (COVID-19) uho hunonzi hwabata vanhu vakawanda huchikonzera kufa kwavanhu vakawanda uye kuvharwa kwezvikoro nenzvimbo dzemabasa akati wandei. Hutachiona uhu hunonzi hwakatangira munyika yeChina kudhorobha reWuhan. Zvakakosha sevanyori kuti tinzvere nyaya yehutachiona uhu tichikurukura pamusoro paho tichirega kufambisa mashoko ekunyepa ekuti vanhu vatema havabatwi nechirwere ichi sezvo tichigona kuzopera kana chatisvikira munyika medu sekupedzwa kwakaitwa hama dzedu tichiramba dzidziso yechirwere chemukondombera tichiti yaive shamhu inorova varume vanodanana nevamwe varume pamwe nevakadzi vanodonana nevamwe vakadzi kwete vakadzi vanodanana nevarume kana varume vanodanana nevakadzi. Zvino kune vamwe vari kuparadzira manyepo ekuti chinongobata avo vanodya zviremwaremwa, imbwa nenyoka nezvimwewo zvipuka zvisingadyiwi kuno kwedu. Zvakakosha kuti titaure taita tsvakurudzo kuti ndezvipi zvatingaita sevanhu venyika ino kuedza kuderedza ukasha hweCOVID- 19 kana hwatisvikira. Nyaya yehutano inyaya yakakosha saka tati titangire ipapo nekuti tinoda hupenyu hwavanyori kuti tigone kuwana vanotipanga mazano nevuchenjeri.
Shoko rangu muchikamu chino rinobatawo rimwe dambudziko randinosangana naro semupepeti wezvinyorwa zvavamwe. Asi handisini ndega ndinosangana naro nekuti variyowo vanopupura kuti iri dambudziko ririko. Achitaura nezvenyaya yeukama pakati pemunyori nemupepeti pakuturwa kwemuunganidzwa wenduri dzaHope Masike unonzi, ‘Ask Me Again’, Memory Chirere uyo anodzidzisa uvaranomwe hwemuAfrica mubazi reChiRumbi paYunivhesiti yeZimbabwe (Department of English at the University of Zimbabwe) uye ari mupepeti anozivikanwa hweuvaromwe hweChiRumbi neChiShona akati, “Zvakanyanya kukosha kuti semunyori ugashire muitiro nemufungiro wemupepeti, uye kuti wese anopinda mune zvekunyora anofanira kunzwisisa mukuona kwangu kuti kunyora kunyoronora nekunyoronora. Kana mupepeti akatarira zvinyorwa zvako akati, ‘haufungiwo kuti dai wadukupisa chinyogwa ichi chaibva chasimba’ unofanira kugona kuona kuti pane mazwi asina kunyatsosungana anoda kuti asunge ugodzoka nazvo uchimuratidzazve kusvika ati hongu, tinogona kuchienda mberi.”
Mumwe munyori ane mukurumbira zvekare anonzi Ignatius Mabasa anovawo zvakare nhungamiri mukambani yaakavamba yekutsikisa zvinyogwa zvemitauro zvakarerekera kuChiShona anoti vanyori vazhinji vechidiki vari kuita dambudziko rekuda kunyora, asi vasingaverenge. “Dambudziko iri idambudziko guru kwazvo zvekuti unonzwa munhu achiuya oti, ‘Mudhara ndinonyora zvisingaite. Ndiri kuda kuti mundiverengere zvandakanyora because…mubva manditsvagira publisher because ha-a, ndava nemapoems akawanda nemashort stories akawanda.’ Ndobva ndoti uri kutaura zvakana rega ndimboona ndiverenge zvawakanyora. Ndipo pandinochikatyamara zvikuru, ndoti a-a, zvinhu zvinenge zvichinzi ndakanyora, ndinenge ndakamboverenga nekuona nhetembo kana nyaya dzinotodarika idzodzo dzakanyorwa pamwe nevana vechikoro chaivo. Dambudziko riripo nderekuti kana tichinyora, ngatiedzei kumbotsvaga kuti matingindira atiri kubata kana kuti nhau dzatiri kunyora nezvadzo dzakambonyorwa navana ani, vakadzinyora nemutoo upi. Nekuti kana tikaramba tichingotaura nyaya dzedu nemutoo umwe chete tisingamboratidzi kuti ndadenhwa nemunyorere unoitawo VaMuchuri, ndiri kudawo kuti ndi… nekuti ndicho chinangwa chikuru handiti patinoverenga mabhuku ngatibei pfungwa dzevanhu kana dzevamwe vanyori tidziite dzedu. Ini kana ndichinge ndaverenga chinyorwa chakanaka, chinondidenha nemudenhere wachinondiita nekuti ndinotangawo kunyorawo zvangu zvasutswa kana kuti zvabva mukunge ndanzwa zvaverengwa kana zvanyorwa nemumwe.
Mabasa anoenderera mberi achiti kana achiti vanyori vaverenge zvinyorwa zvavamwe haasi kuti munyori ngaachiba fungwa dzavamwe vanyori, “Handidi kuti nditi tevedzerai zviri kuitwa nanhingi asi pane kanongonokupa kugadzira imwe nzira yekuti a-a, waverenga bhuku raMungoshi, unobva watoona kuti munyorere waMungoshi wandivhurira nzira yandanga ndichishaya kuti ndingataure sei nyaya yandagara ndinayo nenzira ipi.”
Anopamhidzirazve Mabasa achiti iye munyori anofanira kutsaura nzira yake kubva mukuverenga zvinyorwa umo anoona mikaha yakasiiwa nevakatanga kunyora kwete kutsika matsimba avo atsikazve, “Mukunyora kwedu pfungwa dzevamwe dzinotibatsirawo kuti tizive kuti vamwe pavakataura ndepapi pavakasiidzira, ndepapi pamwe pavangadai vakandoti bate nemutoo wakati siyanei. Chatitiri kutsvaka kana inovhero kana nhetembo, tiri kutsvaka chitsva chisati chambonzwikwa.”
 Chirere anowederawo achiti mukukurukura kwemunyori nemupepeti, zvakakoshawo chose kuti munyori asvikewo pamwe paanogona kumira achiti izvi handishanduri naizvozvo ngazvive sezvazviri nekudaro mukunyora kwedu vanyori nehukama hwedu navapepeti hama ngative nemeso anoona zvitsva uye kutambira mazano kubva kuvapepeti nekuaramba kana taona kuti iwo haaiti. Zvazvinoreva kuti titeererana nekudzeya mashoko ehurukuro dzedu mukuvaka zvitsva uye kuvhara maburi panyaya dzakanyorwa navamwe vakatatitangira kufamba rwendo rwekunyora urwu
Dzamara tasangana zvakare tichiti ngatinyorei tave kungoyeuchidzana zvakare kuti tive vanhu vakatsvinda vanofarira kugeza maoko edu mushure mekuashandisa munzvimbo dzakasiyana. Zviya zvekukwazisana tichibatana maoko ngatimboregerai, kana kungoungana zvisina mwero ngatimbomirai. Iwo maoko edu anoda kugezwa nemushonga hunomisa kupararira kwezvirwere. Tsvagai chokwadi kubva kune vane ruzivo nemiwo muruparadzire kune vamwe vasati vave narwo kuti naivo varuwanewo. Kana zvichibvira kuvatumira nduri dzeCOVID-19 zvakanaka chose nekuti zivai vanyori vadzidzisi naizvozvo paradzirai ruzivo rwechokwadi kwete mahwirahwira kana zihwawakahwa.
Naiwaya mashoma ngatisanganei muchikamu chinotevera tichimbokurukura nyaya yaMarechera. Kufa nekurarama kwavanyori. Tichibvunzana mibvunzo yekuti chiiko chinouraya munyori uye kuti chingava chii chaizvo chinoraramisa munyori? Zvinyogwa zvake zvimbori zviiko nhai? Rufu chiiko kumunyori? Ko iwe semunyori unei chaunoti chichakuraramisa? Ipapa tichabatanidza navamwe vanyori vakaita saana Yvonne Vera, nevamwe vechidiki vakaita saana Elseworth Nenhura, Rueben Pakaenda, Kimpton Dangirani, Never Chimheno, Stephen Alumenda nevamwe vazhinji.

Aleck Kaposa

The Grey 
Scorpion’s Day 

One morning, just as Papa kicked off his big black boots at the door, a fat, grey scorpion quickly crept past him and disappeared into the house.
“Anybody inside there?” he shouted at once.
“There is a creepy grey scorpion that got in there just now. Please watch out”
 At once everybody came running to the door.
 Bongani was the first one to reach where Papa was standing.
“Papa where is the scorpion?” asked ten year-old Bongani, with the confidence of a Matebele warrior.
“Papa where is the creepy grey scorpion?” asked Sphiwe, Bongani’s elder sister, clearly disturbed by the news of the scorpion that had got into the house that Sunday morning.
“It just got in through the door.” Papa said pointing at the open door.
Mama, Sphiwe and Bongani’s mother was the last to come out of the house.
“Papa, where is the scorpion?” Mama asked, looking as frightened as a hunter who has suddenly come upon a pride of lions in a dense forest. In all her life, she was always afraid of all creeping creatures, especially millipedes, snakes, chameleons, the praying mantis snails and frogs.
Sphiwe was just like her mother. She even feared the lizards that lived in the old, rusting blue Ford truck at the back of the house.
Bongani was not afraid of some of the creatures. One day he once took a blind worm he found in the garden on a long stick and took it to his mother. She was so scared and almost collapsed onto the sofa. With goosebumps all over her body, she angrily ordered Bongani out of the house at once.  
“Now, let us all start looking for the scorpion.” Papa’s voice thundered at the door.
“Otherwise I am not going to sleep in a house that has that a creepy, crawling thing in it.”
“Me too.” Sphiwe said.
“Even me” Said Bongani.
“Creepy Scorpy where are you?” asked Bongani, starting to compose a poetic song about the fat grey scorpion.

“Creepy Scorpy
Creepy Scorpy
Where are you?
Creepy Scorpy
Creepy Scorpy
Come to me
                                                                              Everybody laughed at the song.
 Soon the whole family was busy pushing, lifting and removing things from their places in the kitchen and other rooms but the scorpion was nowhere to be seen.
By mid day they had still not found the scorpion. They had searched all over the kitchen, dining room, Sphiwe and Papa and Mama’s bedrooms without any luck.
Towards evening Bongani found the scorpion in one of Papa’s shoes.
“I have found the creeping scorpion” he shouted punching the air like a footballer who has scored a penalty in a tightly-contested soccer match. With gloves on his hands, he held the scorpion by the tail and stood there smiling.
 “What a day!” He shouted. “The grey scorpion’s day.”
‘It is good you found it sonnie” Papa said happily.
“We thank GOD you found it Bongani.” Mama and Sphiwe said together.” You better kill that thing.”
“No, I won’t.” Bongani said as he took the grey scorpion outside the house. He threw it into the orchard a hundred metres from the house.

“Creepy Scorpy
Creepy Scorpy
Go away?
Creepy Scorpy
Creepy Scorpy
Don’t come back

He sang merrily as he skipped back to the house.



 Mimi Machakaire

Stay Home, They Said

I am someone who loves to stay home. I like to stay home especially during weekends. I am someone who loves to watch TV series, read books, and spend quiet days in my room, in my bed. No outings, parties or clubs for me, not unless the invite is extended in advance. I even love to stay home every night after working hours and I’d only leave that comfort if it was an emergency.

 However, something changed this year. The world started to shut down and suddenly staying home was our only option. I did not know what to feel, I did not know how to react. There is a new disease, they cried. People are losing their families and friends and loved ones. This disease is making us all weak.

We were told to stay home. No visits to your loved ones, they said. No hugs, no kisses either. No touching, no handshakes, no human contact whatsoever. On the other hand, how can you not hug your mother who loves you? How can you not kiss your loved ones goodbye or hello? How can you not greet your friend when you meet them in the street?

We are only allowed to go out for essentials, they said. Food, toiletries, medicine and fuel, they said. Stay home, they said. How do I stay home, without the option that I can leave? How do I not see the people I would like to visit? How do I live my life knowing that there are restrictions? We used to travel freely. We used to shop daily, no questions asked. Now we have to come up with an excuse as to why we left our homes. Stay home, they said.
For someone who loves staying home voluntarily, it’s different when someone forces you to do the thing you love to do. Stay home, they said. Until when I asked? It is a 21 day lockdown, you can leave the house but only if you really have too. Maybe I took it for granted, this thing we call freedom. Now there’s police stationed at our favourite hangout spots, now there’s police stationed at my friend’s house, now there’s police stationed outside where there never used to be. It is a 21-day lockdown; it will end eventually. Stay home, they said. Stop complaining. You will visit your loved ones soon, they said. You will shop again for no reason, season after season, but for now just stay home, and it is for your own good. I will be fine I replied. I like to stay home anyway.

As a result, I busied myself with books, TV shows, exercises, and all the things I liked to do when staying home was a luxury and not a necessity. I would find excuses to leave the house. My mom needs this, my friend needs that, I need to do this or it is never going to get done, I convinced everyone. I left the house every other day. I never came back sick and I never came back with anything but essentials. I thought those where the rules? I thought that is what they said.

See? Nothing happened. Its day 15 of 21 and I am still alive. Its day 18 of 21 and I am still alive. The world out there may be dying right now but I tell myself that I will die one day but not from this, not from COVID-19.

Still, I send a prayer to those who were affected. To those who had families they could not see because of COVID-19. To those who had friends they could not see because of COVID-19. To those who could not wed their beloved because of COVID-19. To those who knew someone who died because of COVID-19. To those who died because of COVID-19. And to families in grief.

Some time has passed and I have adjusted but not my peers. The youth are bored. I am fine because I like my home but some fellow youths are bored. There is nothing to do, they tell me. Read a book, I suggested; or watch something new on TV, I added, just as I do. There is still nothing to do, they cried. The youth need to go out and have fun, then come home, only to go out again later but now that is not an option for most of them anymore. Stay home, they said. For how long? Asked the youth.



By Edwin Msipa (Black Mampara)

Book Title: Tinosvika here?
Co-Authors: Ashley Murove and Lazarus Sauti©2020
First Published 2020
Harare, Zimbabwe
ISBN: 978-1-77929-460-9
Shona Poetry Anthology
Printed pages: 69
Editor: Tinashe Muchuri

It would be unjust to pick a couple of readable materials from the bookshop shelves without casting a penetrating eye on one of the promising philosophical works loaded with questions, assumptions and answers on topical issues facing the people of today.
Edited by the renowned arts educator, cultural practitioner, poet, writer, actor and award-winning journalist Tinashe Bob Muchuri, Tinosvika Here? is a Shona poetry (nhetembo) book which when out soon will provide answers to questions often asked by almost every living individual on issues pertaining to challenges besetting them in life journeys.

Muchuri in his foreword after a positive critical analysis of this bunch of well thought out poetic voices, posits that one needs a true and strong companion for life journey to be fulfilled or accomplished since there will be a sharing of ideas. He further puts across the idea that humans face difficulties as they endeavour to make ends meet and may end up with splitting ideas when the tough gets going unless the said beings put their heads together or get back to the drawing board.

Evident in Ashley Murove's poetry are the words of affirming the importance of oneness and unity. By walking a journey with a colleague(s) in life you obviously come across setbacks and hardships. This young writer who is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Shona and Linguistics (University of Zimbabwe) and is pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma in Education with the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), warms up this masterpiece with the poem, 'Rwendo' (The Journey), which chronicles the trials and tribulations one faces when on a mission. It is not as easy as saying A, B, C or as a stroll in the park. He writes:

Mutunhu wareba

Tsoka dzanzwa nemaduhwani
Muviri wati tapatapa neziya...

He bemoans the thoughts we often carry in our minds that the journeys we usually traverse are arduous and often filled with hunger, sweat and injuries.
He ends the piece, though, by giving hope:

Chivimbo ndichocho chimwe
Kuseri kwekupambara kune upfu
Ndizvo kashiri kasingapambari hakanuni...

      Again, Murove goes on to give hope to the hopeless, that one has to stick to his or her initial goal of reaching the target because after a struggle one will definitely achieve the desired objective even if the chips are down.
      The writer reminds us that in all aspects when doing whatever is upright, teamwork and hard work is necessary. As opposed to the late Marshall Munhumumwe's song, 'Rwendo' where he affirmed that in all our journeys we undertake, we can walk together but the journey when one dies is solo. Therefore, there is a lot to share, do and redo together whilst still living.

         Lazarus Sauti, a holder of two degrees in the media circles and a couple of other diplomas, throws his mournful voice into the fray with similar title, 'Rwendo'. This time, contrary to Murove whose persona agreed that even if the journey may have been torturous we have to fulfil it and join hands to cross the bridge, Sauti brings in another dimension of disunity among fellow compatriots who are embarking on a journey for survival yet their bags have time bombs set for each other. The poem tells a story like the proverbial town crier and the biblical Prophet Jeremiah whose people in his priestly village of Anathoth plotted against him, he lamented:

Rwendo rwacho rwurefu asi tiri kunanaira
Kuzorora kwacho kwanyanya kupfuura kufamba
Tichimbomisidzana semachongwe
Tinosvika here?

      Throughout this well-crafted poem, Sauti, also like the biblical Mary who was Lazarus' sister (who cried that the absence of Jesus was the main reason for Lazarus' demise), asserts that without unity there would be no joy. His noble and apt questions urge all to examine their life whether it is worth living. How can people travelling in the same boat plot against one another. He goes on to say:

Patawana fuku mumwe anopfiramo
Patawana uchi mumwe anodira jecha

     If people come together, life would be easy.
     The two poets' story is incomplete without picking some of their great pieces in this compilation. Like a hot knife cutting through butter, they summoned their artistry in articulating issues challenging societies such as gender inequality and domestic violence.
      Murove in 'Usandibata Kumeso' says,

Usandione kunge ndakakotsira…
Nguva dzose kungondimara
Chandaida pauri rudo…
Asi taingomarana semakudo

    This young writer also speaks against divorce as is shown in his piece, ' Kwamuri Varambani', which brings to the fore its effects on the offspring. The parents may part ways but the children will obviously bear the consequences. When two bulls fight, the grass suffers. He encourages parents to find a lasting solution to their differences with a suggestion for a counsellor to chip in.            
      Murove, however, gives hope and encouragement to women in his short piece, 'Mukadzi Kwira'. He urges them, like in 'Tungamirai Vakadzi veAfrica', (J.C Kumbirai, Mabvumira eNhetembo, Mambo Press), to climb up the ladder and sit on high thrones or take high posts without hesitation.

     Murove and Sauti also touched themes of love, moral uprightness, money, dangers of avenging spirits of 'ngozi', child abuse and religion.
The poem ‘Marara Kwete’ which speaks on the importance of keeping a clean environment is outstanding too. It has a message  in tandem with the President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa's clean-up programme for a better environment in Zimbabwe.
The two poets are exponents of the recognition and promotion of their mother language, Shona. In 'Rurimi rwaamai', Sauti probes:

Chitema here kudada nerurimi rwamai vangu?

Murove in the poem 'Chishona', puts the blame on the white settlers who colonized Africa and brought about second languages which seem to relegate the mother languages into dustbins.

      In our Shona culture it is believed that when one faces life setbacks there could be a bad spirit causing. This needs cleansing. Murove and Sauti added their voice too! Their pieces, 'Ngozi' and 'Gadzirisai Musha' examine this theme.
The book surely has a lot in store for any avid reader of Shona poetry. It has all the ingredients of being a supplementary text for the new curriculum because the language used is simple yet rich with the ingredients needed for good poetry.

By Beaven Tapureta

Penda, My Panda, recently self-published by Tabeth Ruvarashe Manyonga, is a celebration and powerful acknowledgement of motherhood. This one long emotional poem is based on real experience and dedicated to the poet’s lovely daughter Akatendeka Penda.

It’s a mother’s reflection of the joys and agonies experienced before, during, and after giving birth to a baby girl who, now in the mother’s arms, stand out as a spiritual victory against the devil of abortion.

Yes, in this one long poem, Manyonga bares all that her heart had kept hidden when she alone decided to give life instead of death.

Abortion is the painful memory which the poet describes with spirited emotion in the poem. For her, having to decide against it was a real cusp of a moment and she expresses the depth of it with questions.

How can I let the innocent soul die?

Now that Manyonga understands how it feels to be put under pressure to abort when an unplanned pregnancy happens, she has a word of advice for fellow young women in a similar situation.

She told Winzim in an interview that women who are being pressured by circumstances to abort should really think twice because there are other women in desperate need for a child and therefore a child must be treated as a gift from God.

“Abortion is never an option; children are a gift from God regardless of how they may be conceived. It is wise to keep your baby; God will always make a way. When put under pressure to abort, think of all those souls out there crying for babies. You will surely realise it’s not worth it. Abortion won’t save you from the shame, the lifetime guilt and it will haunt you for the rest of your life,” she said.

Like a lullaby, Penda My Panda echoes with the emotional attachment between a mother and her unborn baby. One of the rights of the unborn child, that is the right to life, is honoured in this poem which, although personal, is a gift for every child, every mother, and every man.

Tabeth Ruvarashe Manyonga is a poet and entrepreneur residing in Harare. She is the author of Passage of Life, a collection of poetry and stories, published in 2018.


Title: Shukukuviri
Author: Johannes Mike Mupisa
Publisher: Pearl Press Media
ISBN: 978-0-7974-8427-6
Editor: Tinashe Muchuri
Reviewer: Chenjerai Mhondera

Despite my distant relation with Shona works, Shukukuviri woke me up one afternoon. I had retired early from other errands, and there were multiple manuscripts on my laptop and my mobile phone primarily calling for my attention.

I was desperate to take a break from the soft copies and a hardcopy this time seemed preferable to anything else. The fingers were tired of tapping and scrolling the gadgets. Some flipping of the pages was noble at this moment.
I certainly can't tell how I reached page 62 in one go. Shukukuviri is quite engaging, and I could not resist the intimacy magically unfolding between me and the book. It was like the spell was cast on me.

The book amazingly captures daily realities and struggles in a way that leaves a reader wondering what could their University times be like - their relations and marriages. Fellowships, belongingness and family! What a reader cannot miss is Johannes Mike Mupisa's ability to bring such a captivating narrative alive. Mupisa, who is identifiable in literary circles as Chana CheMasvingo, seems to be a direct offshoot and/or heir of what Mordekai Hamutyinei, a known Shona literature legend, inspired into the world.

Masvingo has hatched this young genius mentored by another well-known Shona novelist, actor and award-winning journalist Tinashe Muchuri.

The novel is a fair story with balanced characters. There is not a moment when you may be tempted to think the character Max over-assumes the stage. Thelma, Ruth, Joe... It is very easy to familiarize and identify with all the characters in this novel as they perfectly play their roles.

It touches on societal ills overstepping our culture, vice and its repercussions.
It is a mirror in which each one of us has to look introspectively and optimize our escape before falling into the traps of a dramatized reality such as circles of revenges, retributions, grudges, bitterness and fixation.

At some point, not for a moment did I thought I would board a bus from Zimbabwe to South Africa in company of two interesting strangers – the characters of Max and Ruth. They ushered me through the journey which I thought would last me until it ached my bottom. However, it was the shortest distance ever in all my travels to Cape Town because Shukuviri was my best company.

Reading the story, one would be tempted to think Madzibaba Phil would make it with Thelma. But in such twists and turns, Boltcutter is roped in. What will be Joe's fate, now that he is banned from visiting Max’s place?

 Shukukuviri is that novel where you witness fair role play among characters. How the author achieves this balance is a question I also cannot answer. The reader is kept wondering who the main character is in this story. Maybe it's Thelma! Maybe it's Ruth! Maybe it's Madzibaba Phil! What about Sekuru Chovha? You can't scratch off Mbuya Chipeneti from the list. Even Boltcutter might not be left out too!

Nonetheless, the book although it touches on such contemporary issues such as challenges and misdemeanors at University and elsewhere, it does not surprise. Although sometimes it passively repeats the single stories of developing world – corruption - that alone, cannot be one's greatest reservation.

The book seems to be an apology to a sect of the Apostolic Church dispensation, popularly known as "Masowe enguvo chena/Masowe eChishanu). Such relative subjectivity throws the book into spiritual dilemmas. Although, a balance is somewhat sought to be struck by bringing diverse religions into play, Mike seems to suggest that this Apostolic sect, is a one stop centre - and zone of rescue (salvation).
Be that as it may, you won’t regret reading Shukukuviri. His mastery and constant ability to keep the plot in control is more than a marvel.
What I perceive as a major disappointment is lack of availability of the book in bookshops countrywide. The determined novelist is making Shukukuviri available on a print-on-demand basis while efforts are also being made to make the book is available on Amazon.


By Beaven Tapureta

Phumulani Chipandambira is a new kid on the block in poetry circles but his well-polished writing could march the professional. He conjures up a familiar but differently illuminated world for children (and adults) in his NAMA-award winning children’s poetry collection Songs of the Little Creatures (2019, Chipandambira Archives).

The book won the Outstanding Children’s Book NAMA award this year.

Not only does Chipandambira captures the children playing in the school or home grounds, but also displays their inner inquiry into things they see around them as they play around, for instance, such things as a simple candle flame:

Yours is a short life
Full of light

Or, in another poem, a child’s spirit is uplifted by the personified star:

I’m a star,
On cloud nine,
All is fine,
Let me shine.

Through the poems, children discover the poetry and humour in the flowing rivers, in the behaviours of both wild and domestic animals, in the grass and in the skies. From these things there is a streak of wisdom the child draws.

Friendship, forgiveness and compassion, as shown when two friends meet and chat about leaves and flies, or when the animals gather for a funeral of the Elephant, are such beautiful representations of a better world for children.

However, as an editorial statement says at the back cover, that this book “is suitable for all ages”, one finds in some of the poems a much broader world, seemingly an adult world. This world is chaotic, not as chaotic as the world of children playing…

around the yard,
jumble and
disturb the setup
of everything.

But a wilderness comes to disturb the children’s imaginative and beautiful world, a wilderness about which the persona in “Don’t Be Wild” says:

Don’t be wild,
Out there in the wilderness,
It is dangerous.

Indeed dangerous is the reality to which a Zimbabwean child is being exposed these days. By planting poems such as “Queues in Zimbabwe, 2019”, “The ABC’s of Money”, “The Devil’s Creation”, “R. G Mugabe St” and others in this collection, the poet reflects the fast world that surrounds the child’s delicate haven. The disgruntled animals, the protests in the poems “Placards”, “Silly Talks”, and “Chef”.
One sees a portrayal of a depressed city in which young children participate against their rights. They, the ‘urchins litter and tout’, ‘destitutes suck/the glued papers’, ‘beggars display their placards’, ‘flies parade ‘n march/ to a heap of rotten apples’, ‘little babies cry/startled by the ambulance’s hoots’, and vendors and the police officers are engaged in a war of their own. The street, though busy, exposes a child to hopelessness.

Every child grows into a young adult, and there is a time when he/she realizes that the reality in the world contrasts with childhood joy. Suddenly, he/she concludes, as the persona in the poem “This World”, that in this real world of today:

all seems
to be
to a

And the dot is in bold type for emphasis!

By Beaven Tapureta

Last year when Oscar Gwiriri published his Shona novel Hatiponi (Progressive Booksellers and Publishers), it excited memories of the old world narrative.
The novel was nominated for the Outstanding First Creative Published Book NAMA award this year.

There is no doubt that the modern world is experiencing a global cultural shock due to many reasons, and each cultural group today yearns for a return to the past. Africans are questing for their roots, their culture, as it was before the arrival of colonialism.
Is it too late to rescue culture? Gwiriri, and thankfully, a large part of his generation of Shona writers, have taken it upon themselves to demonstrate through literature, the beauty of the past, how problems were resolved and how blessings were communally shared.

The drama, however, develops from the internal and external conflicts within a society that is not yet clouded by colonialism.

In Hatiponi, Gwiriri conveys a powerful piece of cultural history, the Shona life before the settlers arrived in 1890. However, a cultural historic novel it may be, the author drops in the arena a dramatic inter-play of events and characters that carries you through to the end of the story. He makes us live in that period which many of us only hear or read about in history books.
 Hatiponi, the protagonist, is a young man with dreams, dreams to be a person of power and influence, but he has to cross many rivers and climb high mountains to get there. When he gets there, he finds not ‘gold’ but what his own actions had been attracting – a dark fate.

 As the story begins, the author does his magic of making you sympathize with the hero-figure ascribed to Hatiponi. When he becomes aware of the shamefully incestuous relationship between his mother and Nhundurwa, surely the reader shares his deep disappointment. Yet in African culture, a mother deserves utmost respect. The Shona say “Amai havarohwi”, meaning that no matter what wrongs your mother does or say to you as her child, never ever raise your hand against her or openly disrespect her sacred status of motherhood.

This is a hard traditional principle to follow for Hatiponi, so hard like loving and praying for one’s enemy. In his case, will he tell his father about his mother’s infidelity? What is he going to do? Uncontrollably emotional, he does not seek counsel but gives his own judgment and acts upon it. He shames his mother! And he is traditionally punished for that.

The village of Jinga, in which the story is set, is fast becoming a place of chaos, especially after a hunting mission during which the hunters rescue a strange woman and bring her home. The woman’s presence unsettles certain things in the village. Nhundurwa needs the beautiful strange woman, Chakona is contriving to make the woman become wife to her son (Hatiponi), and Hatiponi’s father also lusts for this woman.

  Hatiponi, as an ambitious man, has other dreams. He disappears from his village and goes to settle in another where he marries Chamuningwa the woman he loves. His dreams seem to be fulfilled but alas, the past haunts him and it reveals his true colours. Just when he is about to start a new life in a different place, just when the reader thinks he deserves to be a hero, his downfall begins because of what he did in the past.

What today is called feminism existed long back in Africa before the coming of the Western definition of it. The women long ago in the villages were aware of their rights. We see this awareness being spread in the dialogue between some female characters in the novel – an awareness of freedom and equality.
What Oscar Gwiriri has done with his Shona novel is awakening the desire to know the potential and weaknesses of the Shona way of life in the past. Apart from the rich language, indigenous knowledge is abundant in the novel such that the book is a great aid to cultural history and education.


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