Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

04 May 2012

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 48


Josephine Sithole Muganiwa
WIN Board Chair

Greetings once again we hope that we find you well. We would like to urge you to keep learning and enhancing your skills as writers. When you attend literary events you are likely to gain one or two new ideas that inspire you. We thank ZIBF and ZWA for organizing last weekend’s events. Writers are encouraged to harness the advantages of ICT to enhance their creativity. The older generation of writers continue to inspire young artists. They conquered their challenges and turned them into opportunities. Everyone has the potential to do the same. Be inspired and Keep writing!




The Epworth Chapter of the Writers International Network Zimbabwe (WIN) received more than 100 books from Zimbabwe Reads on April 20 in support of the ongoing Epworth Community Outreach Programme.
The outreach programme was launched in February this year in partnership with Global Arts Trust to assist aspiring writers, poets, actors, and encourage reading activities in the community. A chapter office was opened at the Epworth Home Industry to aid the outreach programme.
Zimbabwe Reads, a collaborative effort of Zimbabweans and international friends who are encouraging a culture of reading by providing materials and access to information, has so far distributed reading material to partner organisations, schools and community libraries.
The books, handed over to WIN Founder & Director Beaven Tapureta by Zimbabwe Reads representative Professor Jeffrey Wills, include different copies of ‘The Write Idea!’ and ‘Writer’s Choice’ series, ‘Language Activity Book’ and ‘Write Idea: Teacher’s Planning Guide’.
The hard-covered books, which are in good condition and have basic instructional contents suitable for workshops and writers’ circles, will assist young writers in Epworth to sharpen their writing, reading and learning skills.
The books are also helpful to secondary school students wishing to improve their language and writing skills.
WIN Founder & Director Beaven Tapureta said that although the books have come at a time when WIN is still troubled over the death of Global Arts Trust Director Walter L Muparutsa, they are in fact in honour of his legacy.
“The donation strengthens our resolve to bring literature to communities and sharpen the skills of our young writers, the same resolve that characterised the late Muparutsa,” Tapureta said.
Muparutsa, described as the grandfather of Zimbabwean theatre and strongly supported WIN, died on April 12 in Harare after a struggle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
 “We are happy with the response we are getting from the book sector. It is encouraging,” said Tapureta.
On behalf of the Global Arts Trust, theatre entrepreneur Peter Churu, who also worked closely with the late Muparutsa, said the book donation fulfils one of the late Muparutsa’s wishes to see reading culture improving among the youths.
This donation comes just a few days too late for Walter to have been here and express his gratitude himself. Walter dedicated his entire life to the furtherance of learning and reading. He had an enormous appetite for books and always bemoaned the lack of a reading culture among today's youth. In his view, a well-read individual is more complete and balanced. He would have had the greatest satisfaction and pleasure to pass this treasure to the readers in the Epworth community,” said Churu.
Edwin Mhandu, a WIN Board Member, said that the books will go a long way in helping young writers of today and the future.
“I applaud the gesture of goodwill. The books will go a long way in helping current and future generations,” he said.
In this digital epoch, the book donation rescues underprivileged communities starved of reading resources.
WIN was formed in 2010 with the main objective to create a network of Zimbabwean writers whether they are unpublished or published, live in or outside the country. Over the past two years, WIN has made positive strides in laying a permanent foundation as an organisation that will change the lives of many Zimbabwean youths interested in literature and languages. WIN runs under the supervision of a professional Advisory Board chaired by Josephine-Sithole Muganiwa, a writer and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.


Shimmer Chinodya
To the official launch of Shimmer Chinodya’s latest book ‘Chioniso and Other Stories’ on May 10 at the Zimbabwe-German Society. The Launch starts at 5:30pm.

There will also be a discussion after the launch

See you there!


Death, a fool

By Beaven Tapureta

Death is not death
at all
but a fool with his dry wreath
that soon falls

 yet in memory
and in thoughts
we are together

for you gave us shelter
when it stormed outside
fed us
when innards of mind groaned

shall we then
just let go
let go
memory that inspires...?

By Beaven Tapureta

(Article first appeared on Wealth of Ideas blog)

Writers in Harare enjoyed double opportunity for valuable information exchange when they met for a writers' workshop and a separate writers’ meeting at the Horizon Inn, Harare, on April 28, 2012.
The workshop, running under the topic ‘The Writer, Computer and Copyright”, had as its facilitators Rudo J Nyangulu, a blogger, lawyer and CEO at Stimulus Group and Perspectives, and renowned writer Virginia Phiri.
The workshop organizers, Zimbabwe International Book Fair, tremendously designed the function such that it followed up to the workshop held under the same topic last year (2011) during the Book Fair. The 2011 workshop was facilitated by Fungai James Tichawangana of the popular showbiz, lifestyle and culture website called the Zimbo Jam.
As much as the workshop had its own ‘life force’, the writers meeting that followed an hour later carried a kind of open, touching discussion not common in the writers’ discussion platforms.
Zimbabwe Writers Association (ZWA), which organised the afternoon writers’ meeting, doled out two outstanding writers, Aaron Chiundura Moyo and Barbara Nkala from the old generation of Zimbabwe’s literary history, and the interactivity that resulted between them and the young writers (published and not published), was super.
The ZWA writers’ meeting was the second in a series of meetings that will be held under the same topic ‘How I create’. The previous meeting had David Mungoshi and Primrose Dzenga as its focus.
Participants for the two events were drawn from Zimbabwe Writers Association, an umbrella writers’ body, Zimbabwe Women Writers, Zimbabwe Academic and Nonfiction Authors, Writers International Network Zimbabwe, journalism and other fraternities.
ZIBF Board Chair and writer Musaemura Zimunya, who also chairs the ZWA Board, took the opportunity to announce the 2012 ZIBF theme “African Literature in the Global and Digital Era” and urged writers to submit ideas on what they want to discuss at the ZIBF Writers Workshop. The Book Fair will be running from July 30 to August 4, with the annual Indaba conference preceding other Book Fair events.

The Writers’ Workshop, 8 am to 1pm

Rudo J Nyangulu

Nyangulu, aided by well-functioning multimedia material, touched on keynote areas of the computer, especially the internet, and how these can benefit the writer in Zimbabwe.
“If the computer has revolutionized writing, has it added to the quality of writing?” she asked.
Participants answered in different contexts of their real lives, some saying with the current heavy (power) load-shedding, it is difficult to use a computer. Others said it makes one lazy.
A Ndebele writer asked if to him the computer could be of any use as it does not have a Ndebele vocabulary. Technology, he was told, has made it possible for the computer to adapt to different linguistic environments.
Despite challenges, generally the computer aids the writing process, said Nyangulu. The computer is indispensable but it does not work on its own. It depends on the user’s capacity, she said.
The second session discussed the skills which writers should have in order to make the best out of the computer and the internet.
Key internet skills, such as email communication, social networking platforms and search engines, seemed to already have been learnt by the majority of the participants who said they checked their emails everyday because it was part of their jobs.
Nyangulu encouraged writers to have an online footprint because they are part of the global village. She repeatedly said to the writers, “If I do not have an online footprint, I do not exist”.
Well-known writer Musaemura Zimunya said he was concerned with the incorrect information about him which appears on the internet. He particularly said a lot of his biographical details on Wikipedia are incorrect and he wondered who makes such posts.
“Get involved in the conversation,” said Nyangulu, adding that what this commands writers to do is to get involved in the online narrative about their lives. This is the only way to control one’s public profile online.
Nyangulu urged writers to embrace ICT, such as mobile-based websites, android phones, to sell their books.
However, copyright aspect of selling books online is a major concern for writers. Although they agreed that printing costs are high and therefore seriously affecting the publishing cost, they wondered how much of their work would be safe on the internet.
Nyangulu said security features are available for websites and writers should post extracts only and not the whole work. The, for example, has a security process designed to protect authors.
In another session, preceded by a brief Shona poetry performance titled ‘Chigaro’ by prince of humour poet Tinashe Mutumwapavi Muchuri, Nyangulu devoted most of her time explaining how best writers can utilize such tools as Microsoft Word available on the computer. 
Virginia Phiri’s presentation, titled ‘Economic Importance of Copyright’, unbundled the basic aspects of copyright such as copyright and ideas, royalties, piracy, copyright lifespan, and contracts. Phiri said she was happy to have been one of the ‘spanner girls’ when the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act was being amended some years ago.
Presenting on behalf of Zimcopy, Phiri said the economic benefits of copyright that should go to authors are being taken away by piracy.
There was a general feeling that authors should be pro-active in the struggle against book piracy, whether one is published or unpublished.
Lack of research and statistics in the local arts sector is a serious problem and this, Phiri said, hinders artists’ development. Statistics help artists to know how much they are contributing to the GDP.

The Writers’ Meeting: ‘How I Create’
2pm to 5pm

Barbara Nkala
(Photo by Tinashe Muchuri)

Before the start, a one-minute moment of silence was observed in honour of the late theatre guru Walter Lambert Muparutsa and the late writer Elsworth Benhura who both died last month.

Barbara Nkala, the first to present, inspired writers with the huge load of her more than twenty published books as she explained some background to each of the book. Nkala, one of the women writers to be published before Zimbabwe’s independence, said she is also a performer, having acted in local TV dramas.
As a young writer, Nkala said she used to look up to established writers such as the late Ndebele writer Ndabezinhle Sigogo because there was little literature in local languages in the 70’s.
The now defunct Literature Bureau was created to produce local literature for the University but now there is a vast gap, she said.

Nkala, who writes mainly in Ndebele, implored young writers to write in their mother languages because the languages, the core of everyone’s identity, should not die.
Writing in Ndebele at some point proved problematic at writers’ functions because Nkala was less understood by Ndebele non-speakers. And hence she tried her hand in English language and published “The Underdog and Other Stories” (Mambo Press, 1984)
Apart from fiction, acting, Nkala said she also writes poetry but mainly in Ndebele and social cultural issues are the main themes that she writes about in her works.
“I am now writing realistic literature, including devotionals for my church, maybe because of my age,” said Nkala, showing books such as “Still We Sing” (a hymn book), “Celebrating the Vision” and others.
Nkala’s strong encouragement to write in local language impacted upon an unpublished writer Junior Dhauramanzi who confessed she was about to give up writing in Shona but will not do so now that Nkala had inspired her.
Virginia Phiri said she was also inspired by Nkala who stuck with her and at some point encouraged her (Phiri) to make some contribution to a UN-commissioned publication called “There is Room at the Top”.

Asked if it is still possible in this day and age to have such a huge output as Nkala had, considering the difference in generations, Nkala said challenges are still there but young writers can do more than what writers of her age have done.
Accomplished writer Shimmer Chinodya came in support of Nkala and said young writers should consider themselves lucky because there are now writers associations.
“In our days, there was none of these associations and no networking, but these days there are many outlets,’ said Chinodya.
As her last word to young writers, Nkala said, “Start small, you will rise gradually.”

Aaron Chiundura Moyo
(Photo by Tinashe Muchuri)

 Aaron Chiundura Moyo’s presentation, laced with humour, was a story of a writer who, despite challenges in life, chose to remain true to himself.
Moyo’s total number of published books is fifteen, including a play for which he signed a contract a day before this writers’ meeting.
“A lot of people ask me what I have to show for my obviously considerable output in literature, but there are certain facts they do not know about my history,” said Moyo.
Writers who have financially succeeded were lucky to have an education and a job to spur them on, Moyo said, adding that he had none of those privileges.
It is common that in Africa, most writers who wrote in the 60’s and 70’s were either products of university or had jobs as teachers since teaching was a highly regarded profession during the colonial era.
“While for others writing came later after education, for me it (education) was not there and therefore writing came first before I started acquiring bits of education along the way,” he said.
Moyo acknowledged the education he got primarily from Zimbabwe Open University where he did a four-year degree programme after having published seven books with only Zimbabwe Junior Certificate (ZJC) as his highest educational accomplishment.
“Education helped because after having been to ZOU, my thinking changed also. I used to bet that I will not write in English but my education inspired me to write The Other Side of the River and Other Stories,” he said much to applause.
Moyo’s process of creation is inspired by his surroundings which change from time to time and yet these changes may leave him un-changed.
“Surroundings change. You can write about the changes in society in a new way without necessarily changing yourself as a writer. What I observed when I wrote Ziva Kwawakabva is not what I am observing now,” said Moyo.
Nowadays, writers have embraced commercial writing such as commissioned and textbook writing and this, Moyo said, has become the case mainly because writers need to feed themselves and their families.
Moyo narrated how difficult it was to use English or Shona during the colonial era. While at school and at home authorities and parents insisted on speaking English, Moyo secretly admired his mother language and used it at every given opportunity.
Moyo said it is good that now graduates speak in Shona and Ndebele, a scenario not common during colonialism when parents would pride themselves for the fluency of their children in speaking English language.
It is now different as children of today know Shona and Ndebele and sing in these languages although they are somehow changing it to fit their styles, said Moyo citing popular musician Winky D and others as examples.
Moyo touched on a very serious issue of some artists falling victim to sexual abuse.
“I see some of the young artists coming to me for help but when they get the help and go away I am surprised how quickly they become rich. What would they have done to earn them such quick money to produce their products? When you look at the product, its utterly poor,” said Moyo who added that he refused to be used in any other form.
Witnessing all these irregularities in the arts industry as he grew up, Moyo decided that if his art is not going to earn him a house, he would rather die a destitute than be used. Writers applauded Moyo when he proudly said that today he has a house built with money from the sweat of his labour as an artist and he has joined the artists’ funeral policy initiated by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.
Turning to corruption in the arts industry, Moyo said there is a group of arts administrators who are not artists but are opportunists who abuse donor funds which should assist artists, he said.
Moyo’s humour kept the house bubbling, and he ended his presentation with a musical performance.
It was motivating to note writers braving the whole day to attend the writers’ workshop in the morning and the writers’ meeting in the afternoon.
Commenting afterwards, writer Memory Chirere said it was remarkable how writers’ associations help bring writers together as a community


Tinashe Mutumwapavi Muchuri

is doing wonders at the Poetry Cafe at HIFA
Come to HIFA!
More in the next installment. 



Zvako Wega

Na Ali Simbi

Vamwe pavanofamba
Iwe womhanya
Vamwe pavanochema
Iwe wofara
Vamwe pavanotaura
Iwe woseka
Vamwe pavanodzoka
Iwe woenda
Vamwe pavanodzika
Iwe unokwira
Vamwe pavanonyarara
Iwe wotaura!

Asi ukagumburwa

Rume rimwe harikombe churu
Ndarira imwe haichemi
Zvikakuwana uchashaya Munyaradzi
Zvikakuwana mutoro ucharema
Zvikakuwana hauna matangiro
Zvikakuwana zvichakupedza zano

(24 year old Ali was born in Rafingora Township. His favourite authors are Ignatius Mabasa and Memory Chirere. Ali lives in Harare and his vision is to change people’s lives and minds through his writing.)

"Develop An Online Footprint" 
- Rudo J Nyangulu

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