Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

04 June 2011

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 25

At 25, the newsletter is grown up! Welcome, welcome, once again. Has our newsletter benefited your writing? We really would be interested to know. This is your platform to share ideas. In this issue, Hosea Tokwe reminds us of the need to be innovative to improve reading culture. By the way, he recently told Win-Zimbabwe that he turned 49 years a few days ago. We say, happy birthday and continue the great job you are doing from the perspective of a writer and librarian. On another note, lest you forget, contact us for next month online workshop if interested. Please enjoy.



25 -30 JULY 2011

Theme: Books for Africa’s Development

Venue: Crowne Plaza Monomotapa and Harare Gardens

A chance to catch up with latest literary discourse


By Hosea Tokwe

Today in Zimbabwe, the role of the School Library has taken a back seat. Not enough lobbying and advocacy has been done for establishment and development of School Libraries.

In the early eighties the Zimbabwe Library Association had played its part by creating clusters in different provinces, with schools being encouraged to promote library usage among pupils. The Zimbabwe Library Association collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Culture and operated a School Library Service, ensuring that libraries were an integral feature of the schools’ programme. Alas, the momentum has hardly been maintained. Perhaps the under-performance of the book industry has negatively impacted on the availability of books in school libraries, thus undermining and diminishing their roles. Whatever the reason, I found myself motivated to play my part to return school libraries to the mainstream of learning by organizing the first International School Library Month celebration here in Gweru, Zimbabwe. It was always going to be an immense challenge. Apart from getting everyone else motivated, I had a tight schedule combining may paid work and my commitment to the success of this event. I could not do much during working hours, and so the bulk of the arrangements had to be made using my own resources outside working hours. I would make frantic efforts to get in touch with organizations, school heads, school librarians, and the high authorities of the Ministry of Education and Culture, who would give the green light for the event to take place.

I succeeded in securing a venue from the CJR Primary School in central Gweru: the Headmistress and her school librarian also assisted in the distribution of invitations to various schools and we were given use of the school hall. With a positive response from four high schools and six primary schools, all was set for the International School Library Month march. I approached the Police traffic section and they agreed to marshal the procession. The procession took off at 1015 a.m. from outside Stanley Primary School, took the route via Third Street, passed the rural bus terminus, through Robert Mugabe Road, and then turned into Eighth Street through Gweru Memorial Library. Built in 1893, this Library still stands despite lack of support in terms of funding and refurbishment. Our procession was led by the CJR School drum majorettes, and created a stir in the mid-morning traffic as office workers, early shoppers and the general public stopped to take in the parade. As they marched, the school children sang their own theme song that they had composed themselves that morning: ‘One School, One Library, One Librarian.’

Arriving at CJR School, the participants posed for a group photo before proceeding to the school hall for the main celebrations. The Deputy School Head gave a keynote speech. Addressing the gathering, the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Library Association- Midlands Branch spoke of the need for every school to not only have a library, but also set up a Library Committee to work alongside School Development Committee and parents for the sake of maintaining the libraries. He said according to a survey the Zimbabwe Library Association – Midlands Branch had carried out, only a third of the schools in Gweru have libraries. His Branch of the Association intends to write to Book Aid International for more help to the schools in the Midlands Province.

The International School Library Month celebration in Gweru was a day well worth organizing and remembering. It is gratifying to note that cooperation of all the schools that took part. Above all, the CJR Primary School headmistress played a pivotal role in hosting the event. The success of this event has been a giant step forward for Gweru Schools. Zimbabwe Schools need libraries, and the local Zimbabwe Library Association – Midlands Branch will set up a Committee to look into involving other stakeholders this year for the successful and most memorable celebration in mid-October.

(Hosea Tokwe is Chief Library Assistant at the Midlands State University. He organized this first International School Library Month celebrations in the city of Gweru last year. He lives in Gweru and can be contacted by e-mail at: hoseat35@gmail or


Tinashe Mutumwapavi Muchuri

Local poets and musicians celebrate Africa Day 

Although this year’s Africa Day celebrations may have gone, the Day’s meaning still lingers in the minds of many as a day of pan-African remembrance and celebration.
In Harare, reggae, urban grooves artists and poets convened at The Basement restaurant to honour the Day.
The celebration, dubbed ‘Africa Yotinhira’ and belatedly held on   May 28, saw performance poets and musicians dish out echoic lyrics, much to the entertainment of revellers and soccer lovers who had come to while away time at the Basement.
Africa Yotinhira, a concept brought up by musician Sebede, aimed to celebrate Africa’s greats. Names of great sons and daughters of Africa were thrown in many of the poems and lyrics. Names such as Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Emperor Haile Selassie, Patrice Lumumba, and Milton Obote among others, reminded the audience of their histories and struggles as an African people. 
Artists who took part were poets Mbizo Chirasha, Nqobile Malinga, Xapa, PSP and musicians Tererai Mugwadi, Pauline of Mafriq, Discord Of Mafriq, Sir Bede (Sebede), Ras Jabu, among others.
Eyara Mathazia, who was the Director of Ceremony, also threw in some of her reggae lyrics to spice this Pan-African celebration.
Meanwhile, on May 25 2011, the exact date of Africa Day, some African diplomats based in Zimbabwe and their colleagues from other continents gathered at Rainbow Towers to celebrate Africa Day with traditional dance.
 The Rainbow Towers resonated with rhythmic African drumbeat and dances from Hwamanda and Zvido Zvavanhu Dance troupes, flavours of jazz from Prince Edward School and poetry from Mbizo Chirasha, Nqobile Malinga, Rutendo Chigudu and the Black Diamond group. The celebrations were held under the theme of emancipation of African youths in all spheres. 

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