Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

21 March 2012

WINZ Newsletter, Issue No 46


Josephine Sithole Muganiwa - WIN Board Chairperson

This month has seen a lot of literary events. Congratulations at the reopening of the Book Café. We are also grateful to the Spanish Embassy for their role in the arts industry. We urge our members and everyone interested in literature to join the book club and enjoy its benefits. Every reader brings their experience in to the reading of a particular work, and therefore it is a worthwhile experience to hear other people’s insights into a particular work. Writers aspiring to be published, take note of the advice. Let us grab opportunities to network with like minds and develop our talents. AND enjoy first poem from Epworth Chapter...Keep writing!

Book Club Roars into Life

New members of the recently established book club at the Cultural Centre of the Embassy of Spain will discuss Lawrence Hoba’s collection of short stories The Trek and Other Stories when they meet on April 4, 2012, at 5pm.
Hoba’s book, selected at the club’s initial meeting on March 6, will be the spotlight after members unanimously opted for focused discussion as the most suitable method of handling literary analyses.
Local publishing house Weaver Press which was represented at the March 6 meeting added weight behind the club when it offered members willing to buy personal copies of the book a discount of 25% off the cover price.
The Embassy is urging writers and readers to join the club so that they know more about Zimbabwean writers and contribute with suggestions and ideas among varied bookworms.
Dorothy Chanakira donated to the library at the Cultural Centre twenty copies of her book A Mother’s Desire while Lloyd Machacha, a poet, donated ten copies of the book Soft Strength, at the first meeting.
These books will also be read and discussed at future meetings.
The Cultural Centre of the Embassy of Spain is situated at 16 Phillips Avenue (off 2nd Street), Belgravia, Harare.

Presenting Yourself to the Publisher: Advice for Aspiring Writers

In the previous issue of WIN newsletter a promise was made to offer some advice to new writers on how they can entice publishers with a professional query letter.
Many new writers have had their enquiries rejected or indefinitely shelved not because they submitted poor quality samples of their manuscripts but because they annoyed a publisher with a wrong approach.
A query letter is not a resume but a single page cover letter introducing the writer and his/her work to a publisher. In some countries, publishers assign agents to read query letters.
Zimbabwean writer who spoke on condition of anonymity said that a query letter does work, but like a story, writers need to make sure they are putting their best foot forward when they do.
“This means scrutinising the publisher in question to see if they are appropriate for your work and always strictly following their query or submission guidelines to the exact letter. And of course, making sure the letter itself is very well written, and that if a submission is asked for making sure that the submission is as perfect as the writer can get it,” he said.
Generally, a query letter has three parts, that is, a hook, a mini-synopsis and a brief writer’s biography followed by a careful closing.
The hook is a concise one paragraph called a tagline or logline. This briefly introduces the publisher into the mood and tension of your story. It’s meant to hook the publisher’s interest and wind them in.
Here’s a good example of a tagline: When Jack and Lucy Ann – and Kiki the parrot – stay with Phillip and Dinah, they expect a quiet holiday…but they are in for a surprise! The servant, Jo-Jo, is acting strangely and from their house on the cliff the children see lights at night on mysterious Gloom Island. On the island they discover secret passages, old copper-mines – and men hidden there who are clearly up to no good! A narrow escape, a path under the sea, a lucky rescue – the Island of Gloom is certainly an Island of Adventure (The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton)- -This book is in WIN's office library.
The ‘When’ formula is commonly used in taglines yet writers are often urged to be diverse in starting their own.
The second part of the query letter is the mini-synopsis which distills the entire novel into one intriguing paragraph that provides more details about the main characters, their problems and conflicts and the way they change (if they change at all).
The writer’s bio need not be a curriculum vitae but simply a short history of the writer related to writing.
A query letter is incomplete if it does not end by thanking the publisher or his/her time and alerting him/her that the complete manuscript is available upon request.
Other things to remember when writing a query letter is to provide the title of the book, mention the word count, genre of the book, your contact details. Obviously, proofreading the letter before submitting it helps the writer to take away typos and grammar mistakes.
True, a query letter represents the writer. It’s not a letter to a friend that one can write, “Hi, What’s up College Press or Diaspora Publisher, I am the next Charles Mungoshi. I got a thriller for you!”

Hope this advice helps. Good luck in your writing.

Book Review

Beaven Tapureta, our Founder & Director, had the year 2012 starting on a ‘bookish’ note. He won the book His Treasure, a romance novella by London-based Nigerian author Kiru Taye, via the Romance Writers of West Africa’s 2011 December prize draw. Below is the review he did of this romantic book!

Title:                            His Treasure
Author:                       Kiru Taye (pictured)
Publisher                     Breathless Press
Year:                           December 2011
ISBN:                          978-1-77101-026-9
Review by:                  Beaven Tapureta

If the fundamental nature of romance writing lies in its capability to create a sustained level of tension and ensnare the reader into non-stop reading, then His Treasure succeeds in this respect. When personal emotion clash with the dictates of pre-colonial West African tradition, dreams fall over and it demands a patient heart to win back innocence, above all, true love.
The story in His Treasure, described as a historical romance novella, happens in South Eastern Nigeria at a time when African tradition played an important role in the choice of a wife or husband.
As she grows up, Adaku, daughter of the King’s chief advisor, admires Prince Emeka who hails from a royal family. However, somewhere along the line tradition hurts her heart’s desire as her parents choose another man named Obinna for her to marry. Adaku unwillingly does according to her parents’ wishes.
On their first night, Adaku swears she would “never give herself willingly to her husband. Her heart and her body belonged to the prince”. She actually tells Obinna that, “You will have to force me because I will never be yours, even if you were the last man on earth.”
Who, among men, would calmly digest Adaku’s candid yet intractable declaration of her refusal to sleep with a man she has just wedded? But hear what Obinna says, “As you wish, Adaku. I’ll not touch you but you will remain my wife in every other sense.”
‘Remain my wife in every other sense’…this is the fascinating character of Obinna, cool and passionate as if he already has a vision of what their future would eventually be like. He loves Adaku and is prepared to go for as long a period as a year, bearing what it means “to have a woman and never fully claim her”. They sleep in separate places in their matrimonial house.
Time catches up with Adaku and she has to win her dignity back as a woman and wife in the village. Her friend, Ifeoma, is expecting a child and so are other women in the village married at the same time with her. In those pre-colonial days, African marriages were supposed to be consummated with bearing children. Adaku was not barren, just that she had withdrawn from duties expected of her as a woman and wife.  Rumour is circulating also that there is a widow, Nneka, who’s about to be released by her in-laws so that she can re-marry and Nneka, the rumour says, had a “soft spot for Obinna” before she married her departed husband. Probability is high that Obinna may take Nneka for a second wife to compensate what Adaku has failed to give him.
Did Obinna know how she felt at this moment? When making love, he would leave her prematurely, wanting more. And yet, now that she wants to surrender herself totally to him, he acts as someone who has her heart in the palm of his hand. Obinna neither condemns her for what she said on their wedding night nor despise her for actually shutting him out her world. His touch forgives and, at the same time, confuses her own self-blame.
The New Yam Festival is approaching and Adaku asks her husband for new fabrics to put on the day. As usual, he does what she wants, giving her a roll of fabric “woven with rich red and gold threads”. On the day of the Festival, the rumour about Nneka seems to be confirmed when Adaku catches her husband casting glances at Nneka.
In truth, Obinna’s involvement with Nneka rests on his role as middleman between the widow and his friend Ikem whom she wants to marry.
At the festival, two things happen that she would love and regret ever doing. She joins other women dancing and “like someone possessed, she danced and jiggled and moved and gyrated. The whole time, she made sure she was in full view of Obinna…”
Soon after the dance, which effectively rouses Obinna, she discloses her “secret unhappiness” to her mother who is among invited guests. And tradition, in cases such as Adaku’s, demanded that the parents do something to preserve their respect in society. Her mother, who is in a polygamous yet highly respected marriage, promises to tell her father the news.
At home after the festival, Obinna and Adaku resolve their differences and each crave for the other. As they talk, she cries and “before she had time to analyse her jumbled thoughts, she felt her body being lifted by strong, large arms” and Obinna says, “Don’t cry, aku m”, meaning ‘Don’t cry, my treasure’.
Indeed, mutual love at last finds them and she falls pregnant. Is it too late? It seems. Adaku’s father sends message that he wants to see her and she and Obinna immediately know that something is amiss. She goes to her father’s home only to be shown that old desires can be restored and this meant her parents wished Adaku to do away with Obinna and marry the Prince, whom she admired in her childhood, to preserve the “special relationship with the royal family”. A shocker!
Adaku is held up at her father’s house despite her efforts to sneak back home to Obinna. The same words she had told Obinna earlier that she belonged to the Prince are the same words she says to the Prince when he comes to seemingly save her from an un-working marriage. She has now given herself to Obinna, she tells him in his face.
In the middle of a storm like this, Obinna arrives in the courtyard, yelling, “I demand to see my wife”. He knows Adaku is ‘his treasure’ and nothing will take her away, especially now that they had resolved their differences.
Here tradition is put to test and even finally put to rest as Obinna demands the impossible: to be given his unborn child in Adaku’s womb. Even as he says he needs his child only and that the Prince can take Adaku as wife, Adaku counters and refuses to be played around with, not this time! She has made up her mind to be more than a mother but a wife as well to Obinna. This comes as a sweet surprise for Obinna, given how hard it had been for Adaku in the past to accept him totally and openly.
In front of Adaku’s parents and other witnesses, Obinna and Adaku are drawn to each other by the power of pent-up love, that lost and found glitter of mutual love. Seeing their daughter strong in her resolve, Adaku’s parents give in. The Prince is not left out, he says to Obinna, “She was never mine. Take your wife home.” And Obinna is so happy that “he breathed into her lips, sealing their future together”.
This is the story of Adaku and Obinna, told so intricately one would never afford to stop turning the pages. The nearly provocative scenes in the story can be forgiven because without these scenes, the story would be incomplete as it is strongly emotion-, character- and event-driven.
Kiru Taye, the author of His Treasure, was born in Nigeria but currently lives in the UK with her “own alpha-hero husband and two young children”. His Treasure, her first in the book series (Men of Valour) of historical romance thrillers, is available on Amazon UK, Amazon US and all Romance eBooks. His Treasure is a Love Romance Café Best Book of 2011 winner and an All Romance e-Books Bestseller in Historical Ancient Romance Category. More about Kiru Taye and her other works can be found on her blog:

What They Are Saying About WIN

“Thank you Beaven Tapureta for coming up with the aspiring authors’ project Writers International Network Zimbabwe (WIN). It is a welcome development aimed at grooming talent. It also gives new hop to old and new artists. Walter Muparutsa and Global Arts Trust, please continue with the outreach programmes” – D. Mlambo, Budiriro (Newsday –Readers’ Feedback, Wednesday, March 14, 2012)


Thank you so much. We are a team with the ‘win mentality’! - reply from WIN

Her Zimbabwe is Born
 Celebrating our different versions of Zimbabwe

“For each one of us, there is a version of Zimbabwe and femaleness to be claimed and articulated. And we all have the right to take ownership of our versions; regardless of whether we are passport-holding Zimbabwean citizens or not; whether we do or don’t fit into the contours of the mould of conformity, and whether we are in the physical space of Zimbabwe or otherwise.
Zimbabwe and femininity are different things to different people. And it’s high time we celebrate and honour this.
This is Her Zimbabwe. Her Voice. Her Revolution.”

 Fungai Machirori (pictured above) is the founder and Managing Editor of Her Zimbabwe. Please visit Her Zimbabwe at
The Regular Writer
Tinashe Muchuri aka Mutumwapavi

Personal Reflections: Am I a Writer?

Often when I introduce myself as a writer to people, the question that follows is “Where can one get your books?” I defend myself by saying what I have done so far. I have poems in an anthology that is being studied at ‘A’ Level. The anthology was published in 2008. Another recently published poetry anthology will be set-book material for Lower Six this year. Other four have been published outside the country and a lot in several university journals outside the country. Back home, if you were a reader of the Kwayedza you will remember that I was a regular contributor to the Nyaya Pfupi and Ngano Dzapasichigare columns. I am also a blogger.
This is what I tell the people around me to convince them that I am a writer.
“How come we don’t know you?” they ask.
I am still waiting for mainstream publishers to determine whether they will publish my fiction books. I have been waiting for this to happen since 1998. This tells me I have been waiting for the past 14 years. Can this year be a different year?
“What is a role of a writer?” I am asked further.
 I know that a writer or any artist live not to be forgotten but to be remembered forever. I also want to be remembered like the likes of Solomon Mutsvairo, Dambudzo Marechera, Yvonne Vera, and Nobert Mafumhe Mutasa. They are still being talked about in the literary circles. They are heroes of literature. They are relevant in our society.
I want to be my own person. I want to have a name of my own. I want to be read. For the past 14 years I have been waiting for mainstream publishers to recognize my name and publish my work so that when people ask where they can find my book I will tell them where to get it.
Sometimes I believe that it is good for someone to take the route that Virginia Phiri took to get worldwide recognition. She took it upon herself to publish her works and today she is a name to talk about and Zimbabwean literature will not forget her easily. Or what Claude Maredza did with his self-published books though we have forgotten them and him now because his books are not found where they used to be found. Is it luck for someone to be remembered? Or is it the way things ought to be?
I am not alone in this war of fighting for relevance and to be recognized by society as an important person. Soon I am going to do it my own way.  I have a lot to share with readers. I have literature to leave for the future generations.  But how can it be read when there’s no one with a serious urge to publish my work?
Until we meet again, take care and let me know if you feel the same as I do….

Marechera’s Life a Timeless Poser

Dambudzo Charles Marechera (1952-1987)

Following the publication of short personal narratives on the late Dambudzo Marechera’s love affair with his biographer Flora Veit-Wild (who authored the narratives) in the current issue of Wasafiri, a London-based journal for international contemporary writing, Marechera’s life has become a poser that will keep challenging even literary and cultural luminaries in new, interesting ways.
The power of Marechera’s life story, which is inseparable from his texts, was clearly felt at his commemoration held at the Zimbabwe-Germany Society, Harare, on the evening of March 13.
The event, running under the theme “Re-visiting Dambudzo Marechera: Old Texts Brought to Life”, had a mixed-bag of panelists drawn from different fields in the literary sector and was moderated by Flora Veit-Wild.
And as usual, Marechera continues to draw a large audience from across the racial and cultural divide, bringing both artists and non-artists into his fold.
One of the interesting aspects of this event was the presentation by South Africa based academic Kudakwashe C. Muchena whose paper titled “A Psychobiography of Dambudzo Marechera” used Alfred Adler’s theory of individual psychology to explore and describe Marechera actual motivations and psychological workings.
Muchena said Adler’s theory of individual psychology is holistic and stresses the uniqueness of each person and the unity of personality, contending that people can only be understood as integrated and complete beings that strive toward self-determined goals and organize their lives accordingly.
Read More... 

Simbarashe Clever Kavenga

Mudhara Murekabwe

Ganda rake harina achaziva kuti mushava here kana kuti mutema. Vakuru chaiwo kuvabvunza vamwe vanoti aive mushava asi ganda rake rakazosviba nokuda kwekungogara muzuva uye netsvina yokusageza! Vamwe vanoti agara ari mutema asi zvakazowedzerwa netsvina uye mbare dzokudziya moto. Hanzi moto ndiro raive gumbeze rake panguva dzousiku.
Mudhara Murekabwe ane paanogara. Iye anoti ndipo pamusha pake asi vamwewo vanhu vanoti haana musha asi kuti ane imba nokuti haana kumbobvira amboroora. Hanzi saka zvichinzi musha mukadzi.

Kana usingamuzive mudhara Murekabwe ukamuona unoti ibenzi. Unototi wamunzwa achitaura ndipo paunozoziva kuti harisi benzi asi kuti inhamo inomuorora. Haasiyani nembwa yake Tasarirenhamo. Iye pachake achitaura anoti akambosvika Joni akatomboshandawo muhotera chaimo.
Mudhara Murekabwe anoti vanhu havadi kuona munhu anozviitira twuro twake, saka vakazomuroya. Zvanzi ndiye, “Ndakaroyerwa nyaya yekufarirwa nevashanyi vaiuya pahotera apo ndaishanda vachindisiira twumari. Inyaya yema ‘tipi’ nekugona basa wapfanha yakandiroyesa iyi.” Anogara achitaura kudaro mudhara Murekabwe.

Zvino varipowo vanotaura vachitiwo zvose zvinotaurwa nemukuru uyu inhema chete chete. Murekabwe hapana Joni kwaakamboenda. Vanoti akatouyawo muBende kari kakomana kaiberekwa kumusana nevabereki vako vaishandira mumwe murungu papurazi pake. Vanoti kwake chaiko kwaanobva kuMoza. Vabereki vake vakadzoka kwavo iye ndokusara achishanda papurazi iri kuzosvika asiyawo basa ndokuzogara pamatongo evabereki vake. Vanoti hapana kana imba imwe chete yaakavaka murume uyu kunze kwekungopfirira dzimba dzaivapo nechekare. ZveJoni izvi inyaya dzemuhope chete hapana chimwe apa. Vanodaro vanoti vanonyatsoziva nezvake mudhara Murekabwe.

Ava vanhu vanotizve kana zita rokuti Murekabwe handiro zita rake chairo. Hapana achanyatsoriziva nokuda kwenguva dzadyana asi varipo vanofunga kuti anenge aidaidzwa kunzi ‘Arubheto’ kana kuti ‘Arumando.’ Hapana achine chokwadi nazvo.

Vanoti Murekabwe izita rakabva pakuti chose chinodyiwa hapana chaaisadya. Zvokusarudza sarudza zvokudya zvaive kure naye. Apa ndipo pakabva zita rokuti Murekabwe. Zita iri rakapfumbira kuzosvika isu vanaRungano tiri kutaura nyaya ino tazozvarwawo. Iye Murekabwe anoti vanhu vanonyeba kuti haana kumbobvira awana mukadzi. Anoti akambogara nemukadzi paakamboshanda papurazi asati aenda Joni kwake kunonzi nevamwe haana kumbobvira akuti nanzvu netsoka dzake dzizere neman’a.
Iyewo anoti mukadzi uyu akazomutiza ava nepamuviri pake asi asingazvizive kuti aive atsika. Anoti akatozozviziva anyorerwa tsamba naye kuti aive aenda aine pamuviri. Anotizve akazonyorazve imwe tsamba achimuudza kuti aive asununguka mwanakomana.

Murekabwe anoti akapindura tsamba iyi achiudza mukadzi uyu kuti atumidze mwana wake uyu zita rokuti ‘Murambiwa.’ Apa anoti haazive kuti ndiro here zita rakazotumidzwa mwana kana kuti kwete. Murekabwe anoti mukadzi uyu haana kuzombonyorazve imwe tsamba kusvikira nazvino.

Kana adhakwa Murekabwe unomunzwa achiti, “Ndinonzi baba waMura ini. Munomuziva here Murambiwa mwana wangu? Handisi rombe ini , rombe harina munhu anorifunga! Zvino ini nditoriwo nemwana anondifunga.” Rufaro rwadzo rwunouya kana dzichinge dzakadhakwa. Apa ndipozve unonzwa dzotaura nezvaMura wadzo. Riripo  zuva ratakasangana nadzo tichibva kuchikoro idzo hamenowo kwadzaingobvawo asi dzaidzadzarika nekudhakwa nedoro.

Takazonzwa dzotaura zvadzo dzichiti, “Wapfanha munoziva here kuti ndinonzi baba waMurambiwa? Mura akanditiza achiri mudumbu raamai wake. Mai wake akazondirangarira voda kuti mwana atumidzwe zita. Akanyora tsamba. Ndakaipindura    tsamba ndichimubhabhatidza nezita rokuti Murambiwa. Ariko Mura, handiti imi muri kukura? Eeehee kurai, kurai zvenyu muchiziva kuti kunaMura mwana waVaMurekabwe dhara romuBende rinonzi ‘rombe’ iro risiri ‘rombe.’ Dhara rinonzi harina musha iro richiziva  zvaro kuti musha uripo. Murekabwe chidza chomuBende! Zvino wapfana muchakura mozonoshandawo mumaguta umu, kana mumapurazi akati tetete nenyikai mozocherekedza munhu ane zita rokuti Murambiwa. Kutaura zvangu uku nokuti murimi hakuna kure kwamunosvika. Mungatogumire muNyanga umu kana kwaRusape. Joni!! Joni hakusvikwi nemi wapfanha. Joni kwaisvikwa nesu shangwiti taiverengwa pane vamwe varume kwete imi munotonzi – kururai mabhurukwa tione kuti muri varume zvechokwadi here!”

Kutaura kwaMudhara Murekabwe kwairatidza rufaro rwavaive narwo musi uyu. Zvino kana ariko Mura wacho anotaurwa, anozviziva here kuti baba vake vanonzi irombe navanhu? Kuti anozviziva? Kuziva kuti mudhara wake anongofamba nemaraini achipemha zvokudya, pamwe achidya sadza rasiirwa imbwa risina kana muriwo! Anoziva here zvose izvi Murambiwa, ndokungoti kana ariko zvechokwadi zvokutaura kwavo mudhara Murekabwe kuti ariko.


Never Accept

Everyone refuse me
Yet they call me a friend
When their bellies are full
Who am I?

For me the silent observer
Laughter is a dream

I am degraded, demonized by poverty
Poverty frustrates humanity

How long are we to suffer?
Poverty a burden
Put upon our already tired shoulders
And broken soul

Never accept poverty!

By Thelma Chakanetsa, Epworth Chapter
15 year old Thelma is a Form Two student

Coming in one of our next issues
Review of Betty Makoni's debut book 
"A Woman, Once A Girl-Breaking Silence"
Makoni, founder of Girl Child Network Worldwide, is an internationally acclaimed voice for the rights of girl children

1 comment:

  1. like the news letter...keep there on revieling the treasure of untold pontential in every artist.