Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

08 November 2011

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 41



Josephine Sithole-Muganiwa (Board Chairperson)
Our newsletter  has a complete look with the Ndebele and Shona columns now in place. Thanks to Sindiso Regina Ngwenya for trailblazing the Ndebele column. We continue to encourage other writers in indigenous languages to submit their work for the columns so that we develop literature in indigenous languages. They are our heritage  and proudly Zimbabwean. The Diaspora community is doing a splendid job in promoting Zimbabwean art, let us support them by submitting items for publication. African Roar 2011, published by StoryTime, is being launched twice online, let us participate in large numbers and have opportunity to talk to the contributors.

Keep writing!

(With special thanks to the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust)

By WIN-Zimbabwe

Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende

Barbara Mhangami –Ruwende was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She left home at the age of eighteen and worked in Germany before embarking on her undergraduate studies at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Barbara moved to the United States in 1997 where she attended the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Walden University.  She resides with her husband and 4 daughters. She is passionate about raising her daughters, reading good literature, writing, travelling and running marathons. She is currently working on a short story collection and a novel. WIN-Zimbabwe recently caught up with Mhangami to talk about a few issues relating to writing.

Who is Barbara Mhangami?

Barbara Mhangami is an emerging writer of Zimbabwean origin. She is a wife and a mother to four daughters. She is a runner, a public health professional and an avid consumer of the written word.

What is your ultimate vision as a writer?

My ultimate vision as a writer is to become the best writer that I can be. I would like to write the kind of stories that have an impact on who ever reads them. I would like to write stories that entertain as much as they bring a new perspective to the reader, on any given subject or topic. I want to create pieces that induce ‘laugh out loud’ moments as well as stories that have the power to reduce a reader to a teary, snot nosed mess. I want to create unforgettable characters doing unforgettable things. That is my ultimate vision.

Women writers there are in Zimbabwe, some of them internationally acclaimed, but do their writing count for much in contemporary Zimbabwe? 

Two such women writers immediately come to mind and both have had great impact on me as an emerging writer as well as someone who loves to read. Yvonne Vera and Tsitsi Dangarembga have written what I believe are works of great importance to Zimbabwean literature both contemporary and into the future. I have only recently immersed myself in the Zimbabwe literary scene and I have to say that I have come across some wonderful young contemporary Zimbabwean women writers who show great promise: Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, NoViolet Bulawayo (who made us all proud by winning the Caine Prize for Literature earlier this year), Blessing Musariri, Fungai Machirori, Bryony Rheams and Sandisile Tshuma are women whose great talent adds enormous value to contemporary Zimbabwean literature. I also believe that there is a lot more talent to be harnessed and that with more opportunities and exposure there will be many more women writers coming out of Zimbabwe.

What are your favorite issues or themes in your writings?

It seems that the time I spent in the rural areas in Chivi is relived through my writing at the moment. I cannot seem to tear myself away from that setting, perhaps because I am so far away from it both geographically and emotionally. The space I occupy now is so far removed from my time spent in the village, and therefore my imagination and creativity seems to draw from that distant time and space. I am sure if I lived there now, my stories would be about life in a totally different setting. That is the beauty of writing: being able to transport oneself to any place and time and create whatever I want from it all.
I also write about social issues that concern me. I don’t start out with that as my primary goal, but invariably these issues weave themselves into the fabric of my stories. One such story that came as quite a surprise, deals with the issue of being gay in contemporary Zimbabwe. I also write about issues that affect women and the health perspective finds its way into my stories.
Humor is another one of those sneaky qualities that worms its way into my stories, even the serious ones. I laugh a lot and am a prankster at heart and this comes through in my more ridiculous characters or in my descriptions of people, places animals and objects.

What is your advice to new or young authors especially those in Zimbabwe?

I would hardly consider myself worthy enough to give advice, however something which seems to be working well for me that I can share is this: surround yourself with supportive, nurturing, constructive people, who tell you the truth about your talent and who assist you in getting your work up to standard. The gift of storytelling may be there but there might be the need for someone who helps with the mechanics of writing. It is also important to get your stories published, in magazines, anthologies and on line. Rejection is part of the process of finding a home for your work, so don’t let rejections or fear of them intimidate you into not submitting stories for publication. Write as often as possible and read, read, read a variety of different styles and authors. This is very useful in figuring out your own voice, and as with everything else “practice makes perfect”. The more you write the better the quality gets and the more critical you are of your own work, which is a good thing. Write from your gut and tell your story the way it comes to you, rather than trying to be formulaic about it. And don’t limit yourself to one particular theme issue or genre. Try something totally new. Most of all enjoy the process.

What would you want to see in the next five years or so in Zimbabwe's literature and language sector?

What would be totally gratifying is to see young people reading and hungrily searching for books to read. What would be even more wonderful is to see our national and school libraries full of books and young people engaged in reading. I know that with all the technological advances, video games and computer games reading may not be the most fashionable thing among the young. However, I maintain that good books are absolutely essential for both the academic/ intellectual and social development of young people. Well read individuals distinguish themselves in conversations, in their interactions with others and their environment and are able to present various perspectives on life and many issues.
As far as the language sector, I am not really in touch with what is going on in the school system. However I would hope that, much like it was when I was in school, literature is still taught with the same passion and hopefully there are a lot more African authors being read as set books than when I was in school.


UK-based Diaspora Publisher is soliciting for English poems from poets around the world. Guidelines for submissions are as follows:

Title of the anthology:                        Drums of Africa
Length of poems:                                20-30 lines
Language:                                             English
Minimum:                                            5 poems
Maximum:                                           10 poems
Poems should be original and not previously published. There are no limitations regarding theme. Submissions, accompanied by poet's contact details and photo, should be emailed to

Jerry Zondo

Sivele sisenkingeni

Sihlezi sibheke umlindi ongelamkhawulo
Kasihlalanga ngoba siyatshelela
Siwela emgodini ongelamkhawulo
Kasilandawo yokubambelela
Utshani ebesibuthembile bumanzi
Bulamafutha abepheka amatshiphisi
Achithwe butshapha
Bubuye banindwa igirisi
Izandla esibubamba ngazo zilevasilina
Besibambe ngazo igirisi
Besizama ukubuyisela iviri leroli
Ebeliphume amabheyeringizi
Isiwele emfuleni  onziki imnyama
Umgodi useceleni kwesiziba
Singasila ekuweleni emgodini
Silindelwe yisiziba!
Sivele sisenkingeni!
Umnyama uyasizungeza
Umfasimba uthe nsi emehlweni
Umnyama wezulu ususigubuzele
Liqubuka ngolaka lwemamba

(Jerry Zondo was born in April 1957 at Matopo Mission in Matabeleland South. For his education he went to Matopo, Fletcher High, and proceeded to university. He holds a BA General, BA Special Honors, And Graduate Certificate in Education, Med and has taught at schools, colleges and universities in Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia and the UK on Sabbatical. He did administrative work as head of gallery in Bulawayo and worked for newspapers as a reader. Zondo has published poems in Giya Mthwakazi (Longman), Poetry International Web, Ndebele school textbooks from form one to four and now he has come on WIN Zimbabwe blog to do the column Kasibhaleni.)


Come join us for two online launches of 'African Roar 2011'! They will take place at the African Roar site ( on Wednesday the 9th Nov (depending on your time zone, its fixed on the 9th at UTC time, and timed for Africa/Europe/etc., please work out your local time for the event) UTC/GMT 4:30pm to 6:30 pm, and Saturday the 12th Nov (depending on your time zone, its fixed on the 12th at UTC time, and timed for US/Asia/etc., please work out your local time for the event) UTC/GMT 1:30am to 3:30am. There will be a chat app featured where you may log in and interact with the anthology authors and editors in real-time, or sit back and read what they have to say, all from the comfort of your own home. Wednesday the 9th Nov (depending on your time zone, its fixed on the 9th at UTC time, and timed for Africa/Europe/etc., please work out your local time for the event) UTC/GMT 4:30pm to 6:30 pm, and Saturday the 12th Nov (depending on your time zone, its fixed on the 12th at UTC time, and timed for US/Asia/etc., please work out your local time for the event) UTC/GMT 1:30am to 3:30am. There will be a chat app featured where you may log in and interact with the anthology authors and editors in real-time, or sit back and read what they have to say, all from the comfort of your own home. (Ivor W Hartmann)


Tinashe ‘Mutumwapavi Muchuri

Reading is the soul of your success

Often times when I sit down with fellow poets to discuss poetry, I discover that few of us have time to read other poets' work. This could explain why it takes some of us ages to understand dynamics of poetry.
Only when a poet reads works by other poets that he/she discovers the strengths and weaknesses in one's writings. It is through reading that the poet brands oneself.  It is through reading that a poet can find his/her own voice, which will distinguish him/her from others.
Shunning other poets’ work is like driving through darkness. The result is fatal. A poet who does not read remains stagnant. He does not know where to find fellow poets for networking purposes. This is not healthy to a poet who is serious about taking his/her poetry to greater heights. For a poet to achieve the best, one should be a wide reader.
A poet who reads is a treasure to the society because he/she brings new insights to people. Practice through reading and writing creates a poet who will leave a legacy for posterity. A man who doesn't taste other foods will think that his wife/mother is the best cook. Likewise, a poet who doesn't read others’ works will think that he/she is the best. It is through reading others’ works that poets become creative and innovative. You go outside the box and earn lots of knowledge.  You improve on your style and content. If a poet wants to be believed, reading is the medicine. A poet must be hungry for knowledge about latest poetry news such as who has published what and what will be happening in the city for poets.
Until we meet again, keep on reading and writing.  

Na Clever Simbarashe Kavenga

Zvandinombogaya Vakomanaka Mahwani!!

Dai ndaisangana nerudo rwakatiza Mutsemhure ndairwubata kwiyo tozvuzvurudzana takananga kumba kwake. Kuri kuti rwaizoita nharo ndairwukochekedza tambo refu refu muhuro. Ndaipfava zvangu. Parwunosvetuka-svetuka  ndairamba ndakabata ndichishevedzera kuti, “Tamba, tamba chidembo muswe ndakabata!”

Pamwe ndinombogaya zvangu ndichivhima musango. Ndinenge ndakatakura tsvimbo uta nemiseve apo nepapo ndichisvisvidza muzvuru nemumatenhere ose. Shungu dziri pakuvhima rudo rwakasvova Mutsemhure rwuchidzoka musango mumajokochwa! Kuvhimaka rudo rwava kure kure. Kure chaiko zvokuti kutaura nezvazvo zvava zvokungoti hameno! Handiti naiyewo wacho Mutsemhure haachaziva kuti rudo rwakaenda kure zvakadii? Chiro chikanguri changobva pauri kunyangwe uchichiona kuti icho chinenge chatova kure newe. Kana ukada kuchibata pamwe hauchibati!

Ini handifare kuona munhu mukuru ane ndebvu achigara akabata shaya nekuda kwekufunga chete.Handifare  kuona munhu mukuru achigara maziso ake azere misodzi inoda kungoturuka semvura yehore. Kugara akabata shaya seanogaya kwaangawane mari asiri masirivha!   

Ndinoiona misodzi mumaziso ake Mutsemhure. Maziso ake woita seanoangarara pamusoro pemvura. Moyo wangu unodzoka wofunga kuti dai ndirini zvangu ndiine misodzi iyi. Hongu ndaiitakura ndofamba nayo ndakananga kuna Mavambo wangu. Ndasvika paari ndoti zvangu pamberi pake pfurugwada kupfugama.

Mavambo achiona misodzi yangu yakajenga muhombodo dzamaziso angu anoshamisika; ‘Ko chiiko nhai Rungano misodzi kuzodai pamatama? Ndinoisiya misodzi ichierera kudaro kuti ndinyatsoona tsitsi dzake. Chandisingadi kuti misodzi izosangane nemadzihwa! Handizivi kuti zvinombofamba sei kuti munhu ukachema nemadzihwawo anenge wodawo kuchururuka.

Maziso angu ari mukati memisodzi kudaro ndinotarisa Mavambo, apa ndinomuona achinyemwerera. Nyemwerero dzake dzinondisimudza zvinyoronyoro kubva pandiri dzichindisesedza kune imwe nyika, kune imwe nzvimbo. nzvimbo isinei nezvigumbu zvapanyika, nzvimbo isinei nenhamo, hondo kana nzara yepanyika pano. Ndiyoka nzvimbo yaunogara kunzwa mazwi eshiri dzinoimba kwete mazizwi evanhu vanotukana misi nenguva. Nzvimbo inonaya mvura isina dutu kana mipande yemheni!

Munzvimbo  iyi ndinotemha ruva bvumbu rakanaka. Zvadai ndinomhanya ndichidzoka kuna Mavambo neruva rangu mumaoko. Apa ndichingonzwa  chete shiri dzichingoimba zvinofadza moyo wangu muteereri.  Zvino ndinosvika paari Mavambo neruva rangu muzvanza ndopfugamazve paari. Apa izwi rangu rinenge roita seranditiza, izwi rangu roita serandisvova. Chinyararire  ndinotambanudza maoko angu ndichimutambidza ruva riye.

Mavambo paanondibvunza kuti; ‘Ndirwo here rudo rwako kwandiri urwu nhai Rungano?’  Ndinongogutsurira musoro wangu ndinyerere. Nguva yandinenge ndotya kutaura! Ukataura unodzoka woburitsa nemamwe mazwi okunyeba. Kutaura nezvisina maturo zvodzoka zvokurambisa neanokuda.! Ndinotya kutaura!

Zvino ndinoona Mavambo wotambira maruva aye woaruma pamuromo seshiri yakaruma chitota. Apa Mavambo anotanga kupukuta misodzi iye inoyerera nematama angu. Zvinyoronyoro anoramba achipukuta kusvikira maziso aive akajenga misodzi ava mudziva rorufaro. Ndinonzwa kudziya kwezvanza zvake ,madziya aya anoputira moyo wangu. Pava paye musikana anotambanudza maoko ake ini ndoabata pasina nharo asi zvakapfava. Ndinomutarisa nemaziso anotaura, maziso ane mubvunzo waremera rurimi rwangu izwi rikabva randinzvenga. 

Mavambo anonyemwerera achigutsurira  musoro wake zvinyoronyoro.  Rake izwi kuita sezvinonziwo raremerawo rurimi rwake rikamunzvengawo! Pada anotyawo kutaura nokuti anozotaura zvisiri pamoyo asi kuti zviri pamuromo zvisina maturo!!       


My Life as a Ball
By Portfer Gwengweni

My life as a ball is horrid
I live a dissolute life
One time I’m under a goalkeeper’s arm
A minute later I’m on a defender’s chest
Then I’m on a striker’s forehead
From there the other goalkeeper embraces me

My life as a ball is horrid
I live a slave’s life

The goalkeeper curdles me with so much force
And I ask “Why?”
“You must not pass beyond this line into the net,” he says.

I hear somebody shouting
“Give me that ball!”
Thus I’m volleyed and my fall is rapid & painful

A ruthless striker shoots me to hit an iron goal post
I bounce back
And he repeats his painful kick

I ask, “But why?”
“You must get into the net,” he says.
People from all backgrounds around the world
Gather for what they call FIFA World Cup
Only to witness my intensified suffering

My life as a ball is horrid
I live to create conflict

If I roll into the net
Some cry while others leap in jubilation

For most of those responsible for my suffering
Earn a living by kicking me

(Portfer Gwengweni was born in January 1990. He attended Chitete Primary School in Kariba and later went to Chikangwe Primary School in Karoi. For his secondary education, Gwengweni went to Hatcliffe High before proceeding to Chikore Mission in Chipinge for part of his Advanced Level. He then transferred to Mt Pleasant High where he will complete his A Level. During his Ordinary Level, Gwengweni says his room was full of portraits and short stories. His wish is to see people living in harmony with each other.)


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