Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

10 September 2011

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 36


Greetings once again. Hope we find you well. There are a lot of poetry events happening across the country. In Bulawayo there is the regular poetry potpourri, Harare hosts the Sistaz with open mic at the Book CafĂ© every Saturday afternoon. More Zim poets are publishing their works and more individual anthologies are hitting the market. Names like Eve Nyemba, Primrose Dzenga, Patrick Hwande, Wizzy Mangoma and many other names quickly come to mind.

There are also many arts festivals across the continent and we are proud of Zimbabweans who get to participate in these fora. In our next issue we will feature some of these festivals. As The Regular Writer columnist Tinashe Muchuri would say, let the voice be heard! Rega kazwi ako!      - Josephine Sithole-Muganiwa (WIN-Zimbabwe Board Chairperson)

By Beaven Tapureta, WIN-Zimbabwe Founder & Director

WIN-Zimbabwe’s main thrust is networking. Networking is an integral part of our organizational programmes. Dictionary meaning of networking or a network is a group of people who keep in contact with each other to exchange information. If I am to adopt and broaden this definition with regard to writing I would then have to say ‘to exchange literary information and ideas’. It is important for writers to take time away from our writing studios and meet other birds of the same interests.

You may ask ‘Have we not been networking?” Surely, we have. I have good examples and you have many more too of how often we have networked.

People have exchanged information on the internet, during workshops, and organizations have come together to implement some objectives. These are called collaborations, or joint decisions. Collaborations help widen an audience.

Yet often people come out of seminars and workshops patting each other on the back and exchanging addresses. “Let’s network more!” they say but that doesn’t happen.

WIN-Zimbabwe, apolitical as it is, aims among other things to develop strategies for effective networking among writers’ organizations, booksellers, individuals, and all those who have a stake in the writing and book publishing industry. We take pride in our inclusivity.

As an international network of Zimbabwean writers, we believe that resources for local writers are still limited. Writers’ public resource centers are non-existent. Technology has not reached many who are in remote areas. This is an environment fit for networking, putting together the little resources which we have, human or capital, and moving forward with the intention to create a good environment for literary growth.

Since the beginning of 2011, we have had a few public events running. However, other programmes such as manuscript reading, newsletter publishing, and some collaboration, are running.
Our loyalty to our Mission and Vision is unshakable. When a builder wants to build a permanent structure, he does so with exceptional passion: he raises a corner, move away a few metres to look back at the corner and gauge its validity/durability/beauty/ straightness. This is how we are building WIN-Zimbabwe into a permanent structure, slowly, patiently, and professionally.



Tinashe 'Mutumwapavi' Muchuri

Exclusive Interview With The Poetic Angel

 Welcome Linda, thank you so so much for taking the time to speak to Zimbabwe and the world via this column. Would you briefly tell us who the 'Poetic Angel' is?

Poetic Angel is my stage-name. My real name is Linda Gabriel, born and bred in Norton (Harare) to Malawian parents. I have four siblings who are all younger than me. I recently celebrated my 26th birthday here in Malawi where I am now based. Reggae is my first love, but I enjoy a lot of West African music. I read and travel a lot and right now am reading the works of Veronique Tadjo. 

Where did you begin your poetry performance career?

It was in high school that I was found, that was the foundation to what I am today

You grew up in Zimbabwe, stayed in South Africa, and you are now based in Malawi, how have you managed to lead such an adventurous life and what lessons have you drawn from it?

Well, for me life is an adventure, go for it if you got guts because an adventure is not only just about fun, it has its own challenges, you must be prepared to face and overcome them, try it! You never know chinokodza nguruve (no one knows what fattens the pig).

What has poetry performance done to your photojournalism?

Photography opened my mind and my eyes. I now view the world in a diverse manner, sometimes I derive my poems from photographs I take or see, you will be surprised that I don’t dwell much on the photography but I got photo documentary projects I am working on.

Which one of the two arts would you love the most? 

I love everything I do because they all complement each other, hence this makes me an artist full time.

What inspires most of your work? 


Women issues, day to day livelihood and also knowing that I stand as an agent who should speak for those who hide their voices or those who can't speak for themselves (the voiceless, so to speak).

Can you tell us about your days at the Book Cafe in Harare where you once was the program officer responsible for the SISTAZ OPEN MIC sessions? 

Well, where to begin? All I know is that the project is still going strong, I have witnessed a lot of young female artists being nurtured through this platform, it used to be so much fun organizing the event, I made friends and sisters.

How is the work & fun like at the HOUSE OF HUNGER POETRY SLAM which you are currently running in Johannesburg? 

I do a lot of publicity work online, including Facebook whilst I am in Malawi, then at the end of each month I travel to Joburg to do logistics and conducting the show. I am passion driven, I love what I do.

If I may remember, you had an exchange programme with the HOUSE OF HUNGER POETRY SLAM in Harare, is it still on or you have expanded it to include other poets from the region and Africa at large? 

Yes its still on, we do exchanges between Ghana, Swaziland, we have featured poets from the US, Toronto

Besides English and Shona, which other languages d0 you write in? 

I am perfercting my Chewa and learning French, hopefully soon I will be fluent in all the four languages.

After touring different parts of the world, what lessons can you share with other emerging performance poets?

Learn as much as you can, network to the maximum, enjoy the tour, scout for collaboration opportunities, save as much as you can on your earnings.

What is your perspective of Zimbabwean performance poetry? 

We got some great and amazing individuals who take performance  poetry to higher levels but the majority still got a long way to go.

How is your Shona poetry received outside those spheres where it is spoken and does it work for you as a poet? 

People love it, they say Shona is romantic and sweet. For me it works, I express myself better in Shona and there are proverbs in Shona that lose meaning when you translate them into English, but it works differently with each poet.

What are the challenges that you have faced so far as a female performance poet? 

Usual stuff, it took a while for family to accept what I do for a living, but being female in this industry has its own advantages, I get to be invited to more events and performances.

Is the 'Poetic Angel' the writer and performer of poetry only? What other interests do you have?

I am learning contemporary dance, so soon I will be fusing my poetry with dance, I am a consultant in the development of arts in Africa.

Last but not least, what are you working on right now?

I am working on an anthology of my poetry but not sure when it will come out, but it has to be soon.

Thank you Linda, we wish you the best in everything you do. Stay blessed.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the insightful article. the Poetic Angel is an energetic , talented and skilled performer.
    l an icon who inspires other womem in the arts.