Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

27 April 2011

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 19

Welcome to our bubbly nineteenth issue, hoping that you had an inspirational Easter holiday. We are still excited about the new partnership with the Global Arts Trust, which has enabled us to constitutionally launch our manuscript assessment programme with the objective to identify publishable manuscripts and assist the authors to get their works published. It is wonderful working with Tinashe Muchuri, Global Arts Trust Programme Officer who is also our Regular Writer columnist. Win-Zimbabwe is glad with its own pace, not fast, not slow, but moving onward. If you are in Zimbabwe, don’t look further, the answer has been found so that you write for publication. Enjoy!


Cynthia "Flow-chyld" Marangwanda, one of Zimbabwe's female hip-hop poets on the rise, 
performing at Win-Zimbabwe's Literary Treats event at the 2010 ZIBF

Let the children play: School children at the Literary Treats events



Tinashe “Mutumwapavi” Muchuri

Another Female Voice Born

On the evening of April 14 2011 Harare writers came together at the popular Book Café for a book launch that announced yet another voice into the literary zone.
The African Tea Cosy, written under the pseudonym Violet Masilo and published by Zimbabwe Women Writers (ZWW), is a book that will speak for the voiceless women in Zimbabwe and the world at large. 
University of Zimbabwe lecturer and author, Memory Chirere, who was also the director of ceremony, said, “I was lucky to be the first person to read the book. It is a thriller, fast paced, erotic and well written.” 
Masilo, the author, said she used a pseudonym for various reasons. 
“I have gone out of the box. I have done things deemed taboo in a woman’s day-to-day life. Zimbabwean women are not yet free to express themselves about issues concerning them. Many of you know me with other names. I have many names. I took my elder sister’s first name Violet, and my paternal grandmother’s name as a tribute to the two’s tireless work in teaching me the vowels (a.e.i.o.u). When I enrolled for my first grade I only learnt for two weeks and was put in the next grade,” she said.

Masilo said The African Tea Cosy is a book that she wrote slowly since she is a busy mother, with five (5) children including Chenai who read from the book at this launch. She thanked the Zimbabwe Women Writers for the guidance and encouragement.

Present at the launch was Win-Zimbabwe’s Board Chairperson Josephine Muganiwa, who is also a lecturer at the UZ and another Win-Zimbabwe Board member and UZ lecturer Edwin Mhandu. 

Commenting on The African Tea Cosy, Muganiwa said, “I enjoyed the ending and the way Masilo handled her characters in the book.  When I was reading the book I thought the writer would lose some of her characters along the way but she didn’t.”

Edwin Mhandu, a crime story lover said, “The book captures topical issues and sex is one of them. It talks of ‘sex women’ who have various needs which they want men to provide. Each man is needed for a different purpose. These are not prostitutes, but are women in control of their lives. Apart from its capacity to capture human nature, the writing is intense. This is a book that also deals with crime in Zimbabwe. I found it hard to put it down.’

In her vote of thanks Chairperson of the Board of Directors of ZWW, Mrs. Mtshiya, told the ZWW story spanning 20 years. She said, funds permitting, ZWW aims to publish more women writers.
ZWW, an arts and culture organisation that promotes and publishes women writing, has to date published more than fifteen books by women, including the NAMA award winning Women in Prison: The Tragedy of Lives and Totanga Patsva.
Meanwhile, there is a blog created for The African Tea Cosy and here is the link:


What shall we bring the children?
By Abel Ndebvu

What shall we bring the children back home,
who skip about like goats, like kittens, naughty than monkeys?

Then when night draws nigh,
Dust-masked, clay-made goblins-
At once remembering their bellies were empty since morning,
what shall we bring the children back home,

Who in slumber they are dead, un-clad little voodoo dolls,
Muttering words, children who deep in their sleep
Replay an exciting dream of the hide and seek game?

What shall we bring our boys and girls back home?
Insane tiny minds imps intoxicated,
solely driving bricks and wire-made cars,
sneaking into neighbours’ yards to steal fruits!
What shall we bring to the obsessed little princesses,
cooking mud in jam-tins with sticks, a feast to Shrek?
Princesses who mimic mothers sitting on the dressing tables
 Applying make-up
adorably dressed, as their dear dolls laugh at them?

What shall we bring our children back home?
Now that we miss listening to their amusing conversations,
like lunatic tales of fools in a raucous beer hall-
Involved, answering their own endless questions!!
What shall we bring?
What shall we bring?
To our sweet angels with unborn teeth,
(With decayed ones spitted and buried).
Still beautiful smiles, when they stick their tongues out from the gap a-front.

What shall we bring?
When we are far and yet close?

(25 year old Abel Ndebvu is currently in South Africa where he is studying for a degree. He did his Advanced Level at Rimuka High in Kadoma. Ndebvu loves writing poetry, and reading too.)

22 April 2011

TOGETHER: Tribute to Julius Chingono (1946 - 2011)

Julius Chingono reading at the 2010 Writers' End of Year Get-Together at the Book Cafe 

We wanted us to be together
at this time
at this place
at this

we will always remember you


19 April 2011


Writers International Network Zimbabwe (Win-Zimbabwe) and the Global Arts Trust have entered into a strategic partnership aimed at assisting budding writers.

The partnership will see Win-Zimbabwe being housed at the Global Arts Trust until more space is found for the young writers’ association.

Veteran actor, director, producer, promoter and Global Arts Trust Director Walter Muparutsa extended the hand of solidarity to the writers association to advance its manuscript assessment programme and other related activities.

“For us this partnership is going to reward budding writers’ works which can be adapted for the stage or film. It is going to bring back my memories when I was at the Literature Bureau where I used to read many manuscripts for possible publication,” said Muparutsa who has won many awards in the field of theatre in Zimbabwe.

Muparutsa was a reader, translator, and editorial officer at the Literature Bureau from 1960 to 1969.

Win-Zimbabwe Director Beaven Tapureta (PICTURED) said it is an exceptionally new era opening up for his association, which turned one this year.

“On behalf of Win-Zimbabwe, I am humbled by this joint venture. Administration and coordination of our activities is going to be easy now and we are very grateful to the Global Arts Trust for this shot in the arm,” he said.
The 2009 NAMA nominated Tapureta also said writers who want to join or know more about Win-Zimbabwe could now come and see him at the Global Arts Trust situated at No 168 Chinhoyi Street, Harare during working hours from Monday to Friday.
Global Arts Trust is an arts management consultancy organisation whose mission is to encourage artists to effect economic, social and spiritual growth for personal and common good.

16 April 2011

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 18

ROLE OF THE LIBRARY SCRUTINISED Zimbabwe observes World Book and Copyright Day

While Zimbabwe’s adult literacy rate is pegged at the highest level in Africa, the country’s general reading culture is still vague.

What then does the high literacy rate constitute or means?
At least several events have been held to weigh up the paradox of this issue in Zimbabwe.

At an event marking the annual Book and Copyright Day on April 12 2011 at the Book Cafe, Harare, the role of the library in the development of reading culture came under scrutiny.

This event coincided with the US Embassy’s celebration of the annual American Library Week which runs from April 10 – 16 under the theme, “Create your own story at your Library.”

One of Zimbabwe’s finest authors Petina Gappah led the discussion at the BookCafe under the theme “Reading Zimbabwe.’ Co-panellists were distinguished writers Ian Holding, Blessing Musariri, and publisher Murray McCartney who stood in for David Mandishona who was reportedly out of the country.

Gappah, who also Chairs the Harare City Library Board, took the time to explain latest developments that are taking place at the HCL. These developments include digitalizing and the move into schools by HCL to boost young readers’ interest in books.

How can we make young people want to read? Various suggestions were made but the writers present decried the advancement of technology as the main setback, although technology is expected to have been used to advance reading culture.

Gappah, supported by Blessing C R Musariri, observed that in the 70’s when there was no other form of entertainment (e.g. Internet, Facebook, etc,) youths took up reading for pleasure seriously. These were the days when the Literature Bureau, which writers are still mourning, had mobile school bookshops/libraries. The writers said this was a period when also serialised Shona novel reading was done on the radio.

However, the world of digital entertainment swept reading aside, replacing it with fast and addictive technology systems.
Ian Holding, a schoolteacher by profession, reiterated the need to invite young people into the reading world. His sentiments were echoed by McCartney who added that the worst crime for the people of Zimbabwe is to ignore the value of/in reading.

Although publishers and libraries have networked on a number of occasions, McCartney said lack of funding has been a major hitch. However, he said his publishing company (Weaver Press) has been lucky at times to receive donations from embassies enabling it to send books to schools and libraries.

Virginia Phiri, author of three books, also present, encouraged other writers and the general public to urge their families to read.

No proper answer was given as to on what basis was the high literacy rate decided. Some said it was decided upon the number of students enrolled in schools but others just couldn’t figure out what it meant to have a high literacy rate in the country.

On the same day (April 12), librarians drawn from different institutions converged at the US Embassy in Harare to celebrate the annual American Library Week.

The librarians talked about their roles, services on offer, achievements and challenges they have met in their efforts to develop a literate society.

Farai Madondo from Harare City Library said although the HCL was in dire straits in terms of infrastructure, the library has managed to keep itself abreast of new library trends in the world.
The HCL, which has ten branches across the city, falls under the Department of Housing and Community Services.
Madondo said the main thrust of the HCL is to ‘develop the total person’ and over the past years, the library has taken care of different kinds of users. Visitors from abroad who are pursuing their research projects in Zimbabwe also use the HCL.

“We also donate old books to rural school libraries and under-privileged communities such as the Matthew Rusike Children’s Home in Epworth,” said Madondo.

However, the story was different from school librarians who were present.
They said economically, their school libraries were suffering. With the few books in the school library, their schools have established stringent control systems to try to preserve the little they have. For instance, library users are closely monitored so that books are not stolen/ taken out of the library. Book borrowing is prohibited in a bid to keep the few books intact.

The school librarians appealed for assistance to quell the loss of reading culture in schools.

Other librarians who made presentations at the US Embassy’s American Library Week celebration included Edwin Madziwo, Senior Assistant Librarian at Zimbabwe Open University, Rutendo Brian Kutiwa, Client Services Librarian at Africa University, Alfred Gumbwa, librarian at the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and various other librarians from different institutions. Gumbwa presented a paper titled ‘The Role of a Special Library in Capacity Development’ which touched on ACBF membership and some of its unique services offered to about 35 countries affiliated to ACBF.

Kutiwa said this year the Africa University is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Jokomo/Yamada Library established in 2001.

He said the anniversary, running under the theme “10 Years of Excellent Information Services”, will see them participating at this year’s Zimbabwe International Book Fair and the Harare Agricultural Show.
The Embassy’s American Resource Centre Director Mr. Stephen B Mushonga said the Library Week celebration succeeded in creating focused debate and platform for sharing information about various libraries in Zimbabwe.

Concurrently, every year on April 23, the world observes World Book and Copyright Day to pay tribute to writers while hundreds of campaigns aimed at promoting readership and protecting authors’ works are conducted across the globe.

By Beaven Tapureta


The Intwasa Short Story Competition is an annual literary event seeking to promote original creative writing talent in both English and IsiNdebele. The competition has two awards; the Yvonne Vera award for best short story in English and the N. S. Sigogo award for best short story in isiNdebele. The prize for each award will be $500

There is also a junior section of the competition open to high school students in Zimbabwe. The prizes for the junior sections will be $200 for each award.

The English Award is named after the late Dr. Yvonne Vera who is arguably one of the best writers writing in English to emerge out of Bulawayo and Zimbabwe as a whole. The Ndebele award is named after Ndabezinhle S. Sigogo. Mr. N. S. Sigogo was a prolific writer and probably the most published Ndebele writer with over two dozen publication to his name.

The Short Story Competition is supported by Hivos, Africalia Belgium, Rural Libraries and Resources Development Programme (RLRDP) and Turn Up College.

The deadline for submission for the short story competition is 15 July 2011.

Adult stories should not be more than 3000 words. The maximum words for junior stories should be 1500. Stories can be sent to or Hard copies can be sent to Intwasa at 403 Fourth Floor, LAPF House, 8th Avenue and Jason Moyo Street, Bulawayo.  Stories should be clearly marked Senior or Junior Section.

For more information about Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo visit



Tinashe ‘Mutumwapavi’ Muchuri

Your Voice Is Unique 

Today I will talk about voice projection. Voice is one important instrument to performance poets. There is a lot that should be known by poets about their voices.

Wikipedia says, ‘voice projection is the strength of speaking or singing whereby the voice is used loudly and clearly. It is a technique which can be employed to demand respect and attention, such as when a teacher is talking to the class or simply to be heard clearly as an actor in the theatre.’

As a performer you go on stage to be seen and to be heard. You go on stage to leave a permanent mark in the life of your audience that will remind them of you or your message in their lives.You go on stage to leave a lasting impression.  You go on stage to inspire debate, to trigger feelings and emotions, to give hope to the hopeless and to inform. The lasting impression you want to leave on stage can only be achieved if your voice is clear and audible. Your voice should be sweet enough to command respect and attention from the audience. It should persuade the audience to listen to you no matter they may hate what you say. Your voice should be like what nectar is to bees. The way you project your voice should be enjoyable.

Often times at many occasions where poets perform, you hear a director of ceremony begging the audience, ‘Please be quiet. Respect the performer. S/he needs your ears. Please give the performer her/his time.” Why does the director of ceremony act on behalf of the performer? It is because the performer would have failed to project her/his voice to the satisfaction of the audience. The voice would not be sweet enough to listen to. It will not be audible enough to waste their time paying attention to. Therefore they will engage in discussions.  Yet on the same event you would see the audience chant along other good poets. If you listen carefully you will discover that these poets know how to project their voice well. You could see that even among a multi-lingual audience, every one will be clapping their hands in appreciation of the performance.

Voice projection is not a skill that one can master in a day. It takes time. It requires self-training and listening to other poets. Here I am not saying imitate. Be yourself. Be unique. Remember there are many birds of the air but each of them is unique in the way it projects its voice. This makes it easy for human beings to identify them with their voices even if they are not physically seen.

Self discovery is the most important aspect of one’s success in performance poetry. You need to understand the ability of your voice. You need to know the range of your voice. You should be in a position to differentiate between the voices you use at an open air event and an indoor event; the voice you use with a Mic and without a Mic. It is important to be the student of your own voice till that time you become the professor of your own voice.
Let the nature of your voice tell you what you should do with it and later do what you want with it when you have mastered it well. Why do you swallow your words when you want to be heard? Why do you speak fast to the extent that some words are not heard properly? If you swallow your words no-one will hear you and you will communicate nothing to the audience. It is sad to realise that you have laboured for nothing. If you want the audience to respect you let your voice respect the audience first. If you want to leave a lasting impression on your audience you should make every word of your performance be heard clearly.  You need to exercise with your voice a lot. Till we meet next time. Off I go.


Makudo Ndomamwe

Maifara, maipembera
Hanzi nhasi tazoyambuka
muchifarira n'anga inobata amai
kusaziva hufa zvokwadi

pachirindo makasudurutsa gudo
pachirindo ndiye dzi-i rimwe gudo
hanzi nhasi tazoribaya dede nemukanwa
Ko, inga munda unongodyiwa wani?

Hakuna gudo risina muswe
hakuna gudo risina mahobi
dai zvisiri izvo shiri dzaidai dzakora

Na Patrick Hwande


08 April 2011

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 17

Welcome to the seventeenth issue of our newsletter, featuring poet Wizzy Mangoma and the progressive Regular Writer column with Muchuri. This time Muchuri brings us an exclusive interview he did with award-winning author Memory Chirere to examine another form of poetry performance that most of us hardly knew about in definite terms. See you also on Tuesday at the Book Café where Petina Gappah, author of award winning book An Elegy for Easterly, will be discussing 'literacy' in Zimbabwe. On another note, authors of the poems published on our blog would be glad hearing what you think about their poems. The blog, after all, is a platform for debate and discussion. Enjoy....

Literary Discussion with Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah
                                                                 Photo: Sarah Lee

TUE 12, 5.30-7pm, Literary discussion: ‘READING IN ZIMBABWE’ – Award-winning writer PETINA GAPPAH discusses the importance and pleasure of reading and explores how Zimbabwe can truly become a literate country – with writers Ian Holding, Daniel Mandishona and Blessing Musariri.  Presented by the Harare City Library and Pamberi Trust. (Information obtained from the Book Cafe)

Be There!



Tinashe “Mutumwapavi” Muchuri

An enlightening afternoon with Memory Chirere

We sat in the refreshing, afternoon serenity of the University of Zimbabwe’s certain senior common room discussing types of performance poetry. Outside, university students’ voices twittered, roared, screamed but they only made the birds fly away but not us two.

It was an afternoon with a difference.  

We had other fish to fry before we discussed a certain form of spoken word called ‘read-performance poetry’.

Many poets believe that performance poetry is only the active gesticulations, chanting, jumping and toy toying on stage in front of an audience. Last year, when Poetry Africa came to Harare, young poets who regularly perform at the Book Café were confused as some of the host poets such as Musaemura Zimunya and Freedom Nyamubaya began to ‘read’ their poetry.

The young poets said that these poets are not performers but readers.

I had to find out the truth about this from one of the established poets.

Memory Chirere, who has recited as well as read his poetry on many occasions in Harare and beyond, said that he too misunderstood it when he first came to the University of Zimbabwe and happened to attend a poetry performance function at the campus. Chenjerai Hove and Charles Mungoshi, who were among the participating poets, were reading from their books or pieces of paper. Later on, he grasped the essence of it all.

“Reading is performance in the sense that the performer reads aloud. Loud reading stimulates action. It recalls emotions by vocally dramatising the story inside the poem,” said Chirere.

Asked who usually use this kind of performance, Chirere said, “Read-performance poetry is done by those people who are more into literature; people who have more respect for the written word and have an understanding of drama. These ‘reading performers’ think that memorizing a poem is cheating. Read-performance poetry can only be done successfully by those who understand the intention of the poem and its context. These poets also understand that each reading is new depending on the mood & place. Read-performance poets think it shows dishonesty to perform their poetry to an audience.”

Chirere said that if you look properly, you could discover that those who perform their poetry are likely to end up starting bands, the likes of Cde Fatso (Chabvondoka), Outspoken (the Essence), Chirikure Chirikure ( Detembira), and Albert Nyathi (Imbongi).

However, there are those who straddle read-performance poetry and other forms of performance poetry. For example, Ignatius Mabasa and Albert Nyathi, among others.

Chirere said those who read their poetry use their voice as an instrument. Reading is observed as a high culture. It is elitist.     

Asked if read-performance poetry would survive the stiff competition that it gets from the common performance poetry, Chirere said this form is not new but was alive before the emergence of slam poetry in our poetry circles. He remembered the reading event that was held at the Gallery Delta where he read from Mungoshi’s book, Zimunya read the late Edison Zvobgo poetry and someone from ZBC read a piece from Yvonne Vera’s work.

According to Chirere, read-performance poetry is generally done by writers who are generally readers. Many people do not like it because it reminds them of books and the classroom. It is not popular these days because it demands a lot of discipline.

Chirere also recalled what he saw at the Poetry Africa festival at the Book Cafe in September of 2010. He mentioned as examples the performance particularly of USA-based Malawi poet and publisher Frank Chipasula, and of a female poet from Tanzania.

Read-performance is associated with Book Fairs and Universities and only succeeds if you have a converted audience. 

Asked how he mastered this form of poetry performance, Chirere said Shona literature provided a starting point.

“My teacher used to ask me to read a whole Shona book aloud to the class. Afterwards, my classmates began to associate certain Shona titles with me. Every time they saw some Shona novels set for our literature studies,  they were reminded of how fluently and dramatically I read the books to them. This is why I said read-performance poets have an ‘attitude’ towards the book. Performance poetry, as we know it, is equivalent to chanting. It requires a lot of energy. It is mostly associated with young people. Read-performance poetry’s audience is small, mostly comprising decision makers while performance poetry is generally for the working class, which is an active consumer of poetry. Reading demands reflection and performance demands action” said Chirere who strongly believed this kind of poetry rendition will one day become popular again because it has been there from the time of Charles Dickens.

Indeed, this was a learning afternoon, as I felt like one of those students at the University of Zimbabwe, curious to know about all the confusions we make about what we think we know better than anyone else does. As one can see, there are truths about all  that we do, only if we look deeper and ask further

Chirere is an award-winning author with three books to his credit, namely, Somewhere in This Country, Tudikidiki and Toriro and His Goats & Other Stories. For more information about Chirere, feel free to visit his blog.

Until next time, cheers.

Feel free to send comments and views that you want discussed to Tinashe Muchuri, email    or


A Seed I See

Wizzy Mangoma (pictured above)

I see a seed
in a place where the sun shines,
I see a seed
in a place where the soil is rich,
looking for hearts to reach
in a place where there is water for it to grow
where it can sprout in a row
I see a seed in a place with so much space
the roots can  spread and gaze
I see a seed longing for a voice
with true tones of cultivation
I see a seed
crying tears of love
to the skies above

I see a seed
harmonious colours
bright ever seen
to bless all children, the lost souls
I see a seed with a future
standing straight and tall
I see a seed
erect and proud,
and stout of will
I see a seed
resting for ever green
as it becomes a peaceful bean
I see a seed.... AFRICA!

(Copyright © Wizzy Mangoma)

Wizzy Mangoma is a Writer, Spoken Word Artist, Screenplay Writer, Story Teller Dancer/Choreographer, Actress, Model, Designer, Event Coordinator, and Motivational Speaker with a head full of colorful dreams. In 2010, she published a poetry collection titled Moment Treasures (ISBN 1451557612, Createspace). In this anthology, there are poems about life, love, happiness as well as sorrow, which everyone carries. The author welcomes her audience to experience her thoughts and energy. Moment Treasures is available on Amazon.Com. Zimbabwean by origin, she resided in Denmark and spent most of her time traveling around the globe through theater, dance, also to host fashion shows with her designs and other African designs. And, out of a sheer interest to absorb other cultures, Wizzy sees herself as a student of life who is forever developing. She feels inspired by helping those around her especially children. She has worked with children from all backgrounds including children with special needs whom she feels have a lot to offer. She also participated as a chairperson for a charity organization called
United Way. And, has been an Area Marketing Director coordinating various community charity campaigns like Breast Cancer, Operation Smile (for children born with cleft) and D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). She is strongly connected to organizations since she feels that giving is the best gift ever. Wizzy is always creating. Her passion is to help inspire and empower people especially women.

Take care of yourselves during the Easter Holidays