Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

23 March 2011

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 15


The Board, Founder & Director, members and friends of Writers International Network Zimbabwe wish to extend heartfelt condolence to Fungai James Tichawangana, the man behind the award-winning arts and culture website, the Zimbo Jam (http://www.zimbojam.com/), for the untimely loss of his wife Shingairai Chimuriwo who died in a car accident on March 15, 2011.  Her supportiveness to the arts and culture industry will be greatly missed. Popularly known as Shingi to friends and artists, she had great taste for the local arts and even volunteered to cover events when the Zimbo Jam team was time pressed. She brought a certain spirit to us all, and that spirit will be remembered forever. To Fungai, the Zimbo Jam team, family and relatives, we say be strong, for we know how painful the moment is.
We also wish to announce that we have postponed the official launch of our 2011 Calendar of Events which was scheduled to take place next month (April) at the Book Café, Harare. The launch will now take place in May. This has been caused by forces beyond our control.
(From Win-Zimbabwe)

US EMBASSY MARKS WORLD POETRY DAY

Mbizo Chirasha reading his poetry at WIN-Zimbabwe 2010 End of Year Get Together

Harare, March 22, 2011: The United States Embassy hosted Mbizo Chirasha, popularly known as ‘The Black Poet’ in performance circles, for a discussion of the “metaphor of voices and rhythm of words” featuring a scintillating recital of his works to mark World Poetry Day.
“The Embassy is pleased to mark this important day. Poetry calls forth those voices in society that would otherwise go unheard and gives them a powerful tool for expressing their deepest feelings, thoughts and beliefs. Poets have the power to influence hearts and change minds,” said Michael Brooke, Public Diplomacy Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Harare.
In typical poetic form, Chirasha told his audience, which included students from Westridge High School in Harare, that, “metaphors are the lotion drying political syphilis from the manhood of the state, my pen is a broom sweeping vendetta pebbles from talk tables, and my ink is a detergent cleansing political stains from parliament overalls.”
Describing his works, Chirasha said the common theme in most of his poems has been respect for women and recognizing their suffering and endurance. “It’s a coincidence of creation and creativity, that’s what I believe in,” said the poet whose work is featured in over 40 journals and anthologies around the world.
However, Chirasha’s poetry cuts across issues to include children’s rights, politics, social lives, gender issues, praise and protest, culture and African pride.
Chirasha read some of his published works, including “Identity Apples,” published by the Memorial University English Department in Alberta , Canada; “Anthem of the Black Poet” and “Decade of Bullets,” published in India; “Haiti My Generation,” published in United Kingdom; and the popular, “African Names.”
“This poem reshuffled cabinet; the rhythm resigned the president and its metaphors adjourned parliament,” said Chirasha reciting his poem, “Letter to my daughter,” published locally.
Asked why he preferred publishing outside the country, Chirasha bemoaned the lack of structures to support writers in Zimbabwe, and said he was thinking seriously about writing his poems in Shona for local audiences.
“We lack that administrative connection in terms of writing. We lack consensus as writers, and publishing houses are closing shop,” he noted. Contributing to the discussion, another poet, Thando Sibanda, said the study of literature should be made compulsory at all levels of education in Zimbabwe so as to promote an environment that supports writers and poets.
World Poetry Day is celebrated on March 21st, as declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999, to "give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements."- ZimPAS © 2011
ZimPAS is a product of the United States Embassy Public Affairs Section. Queries and comments should be directed to Sharon Hudson Dean, Public Affairs Officer, hararepas@state.gov Website: http://harare.usembassy.gov/
(Source: US Embassy Public Affairs Section, Harare)

Extract from the poem ‘Haiti My Generation’
Haiti, crimeless generation
I am on your lap,
from somberness to the day when laughter laugh again
To the dawn when flowers bloom again
Smiles triumph shadows
Haiti, Haiti, Haiti
Rise and see the smiling sun

By Mbizo Chirasha ‘The Black Poet’, Zimbabwe

THE REGULAR WRITER
With
Tinashe ‘Mutumwapavi’ Muchuri

World Poetry Day: Remember the Children Also

World Poetry Day is the day to appreciate and support poets and poetry around the world. It is held on 21 March each year and is an initiative of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).   
Many local poets will very well remember the unforgettable commemoration of this Day in 2000 when poets from various writers associations came together to share their poetry with shoppers and workers at the First Street Mall, thus taking poetry to the people. Poets like the late Kimpton Dangirani aka The People’s Poet, Chirikure Chirikure, Albert Nyathi, Shumirai Nhanhanga, Audrey Chihota, Baba Shupi, this poet, and others, took turns to entertain the audience. 
If there were other observances of the poetry day in the years that followed, not one was as memorable as this one. Thanks to the US Embassy for putting weight behind this important day locally. We hope that other larger organisations will follow the trend.
World Poetry Day is a day set aside to promote the reading, writing, publishing, and teaching of poetry throughout the world. This is the day that children should be introduced to poetry in classrooms and at home. This is the day that teachers and parents must be busy with lessons related to poetry.
Children should be given the opportunity to examine and enjoy poetry in its entirety. They should learn different types of poetry, origins and current trends of poetry. Poets must be invited to schools to have poetical fun with the children. The children will then have a chance to meet, question, and share their emotions with the poets whom they only see in certain books or magazines. This is the time that children should be given the chance to understand the inspiration behind the writing, reading and performance of poetry. 
On this day blogs and websites should also devote much space to poetry the world over. In Zimbabwe there are blogs that publish poetry. Such blogs as ‘KwaChirere’ (belonging to renowned author/poet, Memory Chirere), WIN-Zimbabwe blog, Poetry Bulawayo, Munyori Journal, among others, have done a commendable job in publishing and promoting poetry. It will be interesting to see these blogs come up with advanced strategic ways of further promoting poetry.  
Isn’t it interesting as well to note that our Deputy Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, Lazarus Dokora, and his Principal Director of Arts and Culture, Rev Paul B Damasane, are talented poets themselves? My hope is that they will hear our plea and make it possible for poets to get in schools and make poetry available to school children. Poetry is a way of life. Poetry can be taken out of oneself into other selves!
Zimbabwe has a culture of poetry that date back to the establishment of humanity. Every life is immersed in poetry.
So please let the children play poetry. Until we meet again, write, write, write, and keep writing, and don’t forget to give your children a poetical surprise gift!

POETRY

The Dreadful Month

 
By Hosea Tokwe

We could not talk as we did before in our village
Our little voices were in whispers
Our lips were dry, speechless,
We feared for our lives even worse than in war

No more could we freely chat, or even laugh
The sky grew black like a dark cloud every day
And early to sleep went both parents and children
And we all lay closed in our huts

Our village and countryside were strange
Life so uncertain, love gone
Trees and rocks looked still
None of us dared to go to the borehole

So water was scarce for both men and livestock
We dreaded the strange and the unexpected
Even the fish swam deep down
In the deep night of despair

And now, let us thank our God,
There will be joy and plenty to eat
With the dreadful month gone, there will be hope
and a new life to live again

 (Mr Hosea Tokwe is a Chief Library Assistant in the Special Collections Department at Midlands State University Library, Gweru, Zimbabwe. He has worked as Assistant Librarian and College Librarian at Mkoba Teachers College from 1991 to 2005. Mr Hosea Tokwe has been a member of American Library Association, Academic College and Research Libraries, and Library Administration and Management Association from 2002 to 2007. At present he is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and an individual member of the Zimbabwe Library Association and Librarians Without Borders. He is active in voluntary work and works with School Libraries, assisting and helping in their establishment and development. Mr Hosea Tokwe has a passion for short stories and poems, and has written short stories and poems which are awaiting publication.)

FREE YOUR POTENTIAL, KEEP WRITING!







2 comments:

  1. thanks Mutumwa for the refreshing poetry vision, win-zimbabwe is growing! Thumbs up to bev

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for noticing my pen.

    ReplyDelete