Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

22 July 2011

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 32


Greetings to all of you. The copyright issue is a great threat to the arts industry. I would like to urge everyone to seriously think about it. Each individual must think of ways to safeguard Copyright, not just their own, but of colleagues in the industry. Are we promoting pirated works or are we doing the pirating and being part of the conspiracy of silence? What does that teach our children who are the future of Zimbabwe? According to very recent local reports, the Zimbabwe Association of Recording Industries (ZARI) has requested the Commissioner of Police to set up an anti-piracy desk at each police station, which should be manned by police officers. May l also take this opportunity to encourage all writers to promote their mother languages as much as possible. The late Comrade Andrew Sikajaya Muntanga who was a few days ago laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre will always be remembered for promoting Tonga language and culture. The Tonga people displayed their culture through dance and song at the national shrine in honour of Muntanga who hailed from Binga. Once a person values their own culture and language in particular, it becomes easier to respect other people’s languages because one does not take the role of language for granted. Again if we do not promote the use of our languages in our homes, whom do we expect to teach our children? Till next time, keep on writing and I will always say to you, umuntu ngubuntu ngabantu!

  (Josephine Sithole-Muganiwa, Board Chairperson)

By WINZ Staff Writer 
Copyright violation has become the world’s number one enemy in the creative industries, prompting creators to re-think urgent action against this vampire that has bleached art of its glory. 
Speaking last week in Harare at an intellectual property rights workshop organised by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust in conjunction with African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), well known writer and lecturer Musaemura Zimunya said that authors are guilty of having no relationship (of identity) with their works. 
Zimunya strongly urged writers to identify with their works and have more knowledge on copyright issues. 
He was presenting his paper titled Management of Intellectual Property Rights: Perspective from Writers. 
Zimunya, who currently chairs the Zimbabwe International Book Fair  and the Zimbabwe Writers Association Boards, gave an account of how he fell victim to simple copyright violation concerning a poem he wrote and said little was said in the tacit contract about how his poem was going to be used. This, he said, should have been avoided had there been a written agreement. 
He said writers who are unaware of copyright are vulnerable to exploitation as they have great expectations such as looking forward to a lucrative contract with a publisher, the grand book launch, the massive publicity, and being celebrated like a Marechera or Vera. 
 “When eventually the rejection slip arrives, some new writers easily give up,” Zimunya said.  
Even in cases when the writer is finally asked to sign a contract, Zimunya said that the desperation to succeed often blinds the author who does not follow up on what happens later to his/her work. 
Virginia Phiri, presenting her paper Collective Management of Intellectual Property Rights from the perspective of Zimcopy, said there is need for collective efforts to manage uses of copyrighted material.  
She was standing in for Greenfield Chilongo, Director of Zimcopy, which is a collecting society that administers the economic rights of creators and authors in the field of literary and artistic works in Zimbabwe.
Serman Chavula, a Culture Fund external Board member based in Malawi and an expert in international copyright issues, said African people often view copyright as a Western concept yet African culture, from time immemorial, has had systems that reward the creators.  
He urged local artists to make use of the proximity of ARIPO headquartered in Harare and the international copyright conventions such as the Berne Convention ((for the protection of literary and artistic works) to which Zimbabwe subscribes. 
Other international copyright instruments include the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), the Rome Convention for the protection of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations, the Geneva Convention for the protection of producers of phonograms against unauthorized duplication of their phonograms  and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). 
A representative from the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, Mr. Mushayi, said the Zimbabwean Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act (Chapter 26: 05) of 2000 replaced the old British Copyright Act to deal with the emergence of internet/electronic aspects of copyright and to comply with international conventions and obligations. 
However, despite this elucidation, artists in Zimbabwe have been calling for the revision of this law which they say does not capture much of their rights. 
The extent to which copyright can damage creativity was highlighted by Cletus Ngwaru (College Press) who spoke from the perspective of a publisher. College Press, he said, also fell victim to massive copyright infringement some time ago. A certain band of unscrupulous headmasters, and a printer (who initially was contracted by College Press) went about printing replicas and selling damaged copies of College Press textbooks. Upon discovering this, College Press reported the matter to the police but was devastated to discover that the police simply demanded from the culprit an un-deterrent fine. 
Ngwaru called for more education of the police in matters to do with copyright and urged publishers to be committed and conduct workshops because without these initiatives, publishers are destined to lose revenue, and above all, an image. 
Film makers who attended the workshop also found some fault in the manner in which copyright is addressed in Zimbabwe.  
Dr. Rino Zhuwarara, Director of the Zimbabwe Film School, said the country failed to locate the importance of visual communication soon after independence.  This was due to lack of a policy framework that would have provided the launch of a vibrant film industry. 
Dr. Zhuwarara noted that the local film industry, when it is being discussed, is only mentioned in passing.  For instance, he said the National Arts Council Act, mentions film in passing. He called for legislation that advocate for cultural expression in economic terms. 
In Zimbabwe, a majority of films are imported through piracy and people have grown a culture of buying films from the streets. Occasionally, the police arrest CD’s/DVD’s vendors on the streets for illegal vending and hardly for piracy. 
This workshop was designed mainly for artists from the literary and film sectors and it was one of a series of copyright workshops being run by the CFZT in order to empower local artists. The CFZT said there had been a lot of irregularities in copyright issues in Zimbabwe and that is why they organised a workshop on intellectual property rights for each sector in the arts and culture industry. 
ARIPO, which has teamed up with the CFTZ to educate artists, was mainly established to pool the resources of its member countries in industrial property matters together in order to avoid duplication of financial and human resources. The concept of cooperation plays an important role in the functions of ARIPO.
The Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust was established in 2006 with a mission “to contribute to the growth of the culture sector in Zimbabwe by providing finance and technical support to cultural practitioners, institutions and activities”.



Intwasa Short Story Competition Deadline Extended 

Raisedon Baya, Intwasa Arts Festival Director

Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo has extended the deadline for both the Ndebele and English short story competitions from the 15 July to the end of month. The official deadline is now the 31st of July 2011. The main reason for the extension is poor entries, especially in the Ndebele category. “The entries have been very disappointing, to say the least. It’s like there are no writers out there writing in indigenous languages. The idea behind the competition is to promote new writing, new writers and the Ndebele award was particularly introduced to promote creative writing in IsiNdebele. However, the platform seems to be going unnoticed,” lamented Raisedon Baya, the director of the festival.   
The Intwasa Short Story Awards are named after two of Bulawayo’s renowned creative writers in both languages. The English award is named after Dr. Yvonne Vera who is arguably the best writer writing in English to have emerged out of the city of Bulawayo. Dr. Vera won many awards, locally and internationally, for her writing. The Ndebele award is named after N. S. Sigogo who is the most published writer writing in IsiNdebele with over two dozen published books to his name.  
Writers can still submit their short stories for the competition. Stories for the senior category must not exceed 3000 words while those for the junior category must not exceed 1500 words. The competition is open-themed. Stories must be typed and sent to Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo at 403 LAPF between Jason Moyo and 8th Street, Bulawayo. Stories can also be emailed to or

                                            (Phillip Chidavaenzi, Newsday, July 18 2011) 

Rising poet Sympathy Sibanda (PICTURED) is currently finalising her second collection of faith-inspired poems titled On His Bosom while consolidating her other artistic endeavours that include artistic designs and engravings. 
The counsellor-cum-poet’s debut collection of poems, Matters of Life, was published by Veriest Solutions International last year. 
A graduate sociologist, Sibanda, who describes herself as ‘jack of all trades’ currently works for an organisation that specialises in relief and development while she also runs a poetry consultancy for performance art and graphic poetry.
Follow this link to read more:


Tinashe Mutumwapavi Muchuri 

It seems the cultural foundation of Africa, Zimbabwe in particular, is falling apart. One of the compliments of that foundation, language, has slowly slid to the dustbins of ignorance.  
I did some quick research about this dilemma and it all boils down to the fact that everyone has a job to do to promote his/her language. 
In her quest to preserve and pass on her mother tongue to many people, Nothando Nkala had to start a website ( that provides online Ndebele language courses. 
In an interview with Mkhululi Mpofu of sometime ago, Nothando said she wants to preserve the Ndebele language after she discovered that her 8-year-old daughter, who was once fluent in isiNdebele, was now struggling with the language when they relocated to the United Kingdom.  
 ‘Of course it is the mother’s fear that the children will complete lose touch with the mother tongue. I panicked and thought that I need to teach her isiNdebele. I searched everywhere online and found nothing. That’s when I just thought of creating my own website teaching isiNdebele,’ she told  
Asked what would be the answer to this lack of literature in local languages, another writer Virginia Phiri, who writes in both isiNdebele and English, said ‘The answer lies in the revival of the Zimbabwe African Languages Writers Association (ZALWA). This organisation would facilitate writing in mother languages as it used to do.
ZALWA was set up to sustain literature in mother languages. But today this organisation has collapsed due to reasons known to itself.  
In his essay published alongside his poems in State of the Nation: Contemporary Zimbabwean Poetry, Ignatius Mabasa (pictured left) says something important on why he writes in Shona. He says, ‘I have spoken the language from birth. It is the language that I think in, dream in, cry and laugh in. Because I have this language, which I do not have to fight with when I need to express myself, I feel it is folly for me to try and express myself in a language that does not come to me naturally.’ He further says, ‘Despising our languages in preference for English has become institutionalised such that undoing it will need a good policy that will have to have been implemented yesterday.’ 
The number of local writers who are writing in their mother languages with the intention of preserving them are many, though so much needs to be done. 
Ishmail Penyai, who hails from Manicaland, this year published a poetry anthology titled Nhekwe Dziri Kanyi which is in Ndau and Manyika ethnic dialects. This is commendable. 
And surely, the reclamation of African culture from whoever or whatever destroyed it, involves all of the African people, and obviously, educators, writers, storytellers, need to take the lead. 

By WINZ Staff writer

On July 27 2011, Girl Child Creativity, in collaboration with Pamberi Trust, will host a discussion forum on the topic “The Role of Creativity in Developing the Girl Child” at the Book Cafe.  
The discussion starts from 5.30pm to7pm. 
Other topics to be discussed include Motivating Creativity in Girls, The Importance of Literacy Development in Girls. Female artists will share their experiences in the creative industry.

According to Mbizo Chirasha (PICTURED), the project coordinator, the discussion will be chaired by Masimba Biriwasha, a well known journalist and media expert. 
Girl Child Creativity is a project started by performance poet Mbizo Chirasha to raise awareness on issues affecting the Zimbabwean girl child and promote inherent creative gifts in girls. 

Be there! Be there! 

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