Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

31 July 2012

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 54


Beaven Tapureta
WIN Founder & Director

It's all happening at the 2012 ZIBF Indaba which ends today July 31. The fired debates 'n discussions, meetings with old and new people, info exchanges between stakeholders, new books being announced, etc etc. If you missed the Indaba, worry not, there is more to come on the ZIBF plate until August 4. It is indeed a hectic period. We are happy our newsletter now features four languages, that is, Shona, Ndebele, Tonga and English. Much to our vision!
We joyfully welcome Reverend Muleya, all the way from Binga, for pioneering the Tonga column. Please note that our columns The Regular Writer and Khasibhaleni are not gone.  Last but not least, the WIN writers' workshop is on Friday, August 17, 2012 at the Music Centre (National Arts Council of Zimbabwe head office), Mt Pleasant, Harare. Visit our Competition and Workshop page for more details. Thank you all. We love you.


Tinashe Mushakavanhu (pictured) , a writer and academic, gives us some highlights of the Indaba proceedings 

 (Photo courtesy of The Zimbo Jam)

Day One, July 30

After being out of circulation for the last good few years, in study exile in a very cold country a thousand miles away, it was exciting to be back at the Crowne Plaza among the local ‘book smart’ crowd. Traditionally, the opening of the Book Fair is preceded by the ‘Indaba’ – a series of plenary discussions on the year’s theme with a wide cast of speakers, local and international. The who is who of the book industry, academics and publishers are in attendance.
Mingling with this crowd is fun, especially when names on book covers or faces on TV become human friendly smiles and warm handshakes. The theme ‘African Literature in the Global & Digital Era’ is a recognition of the changing times. Most of the discussions on the first day were focused on making sense of ICT and ways of integrating it into our educational and social experiences.
Prof Ngwabi Bhebhe, Vice Chancellor of the Midlands State University, implored the African writer to play a part in the socio-economic emancipation of the continent under the not so enviable global dynamics especially as Africa is often spoken of in the most pejorative terms couched in colonial prejudices. He also challenged writers to be ‘more imaginatively expansive and aggressive’ in creating ‘more textured versions’ of our lives as Africans.
Deputy Minister of Education, Sport, Arts & Culture, Lazarus Dokora spoke a great deal about the computerization and e-learning programme that the government has embarked on and a pilot has been running at 50 primary schools and 50 secondary schools country wide. The Minister was urged to consider the need for generating content resonant with our evolving society rather than just focusing on supplying computers.
Fungai James Tichawangana and Rudo Nyangulu spoke about the inevitability for writers & academics to embrace the new media in writing, publishing and reading as technology has now become a fundamental part of our being.
Perhaps the most provocative speaker of the day was Prof Maurice Vambe of UNISA whose presentation on ‘The unbearable absence of proliferated obstacles in Zimbabwean literature’ not only questioned the lethargic nature of local writing but also the suspect critical interest of international scholars. Who are these people? What is their real interest? He mainly dwelt on the text, The Chimurenga Protocol, a novel by Nyaradzo Mutizirwa, which characterizes the Zimbabwean problem into black and white. Indeed Zimbabwean fiction lacks complexity as most of the writings use stock characters who are often unimaginative. He emphasised that, ‘writers should think in ways not anticipated.’
The two sessions of the opening day looked at African literature and Criticism and African literature and Digitisation.

Day Two, July 31

It was an early morning on the second day of the ZIBF Indaba. Mashingaidze Gomo, Albert Nyathia and Moreblessing Size gave us a dose of inspired poetry before the morning session went full swing. I was mainly anticipating the discussion on ‘Identity and Literature’ mainly because I was keen to hear Dr Vimbai Chivaura, a controversial but exciting academic whose unique perspectives challenge and probe the accepted worldview. He did not disappoint. ‘I am hear to speak about African identity and I will not apologise,’ he said. Chivaura was contesting the way language is used to define and limit the African experience in the West. Respondents questioned Dr Chivaura for preaching what he does not do as he was speaking in English and not Shona. The other speakers in the panel included Prof Katy Khan who spoke on the marginalisation of North African fiction and Dr Xavier Carelse on identity in the African  Diaspora.
Perhaps the most anticipated session was the mid-morning panel on Copyright, Access to Books and Piracy in Africa, especially the contribution of Chief Superintended Ever Mlilo of the Zimbabwe Republic Police on how the force is tackling copyright violation.  Do you know your rights that we must help you protect? CS Mlilo was adamant that writers and people in the book industry were not aware of their rights or the laws that govern them and their works. ‘We need to police with you and not just police for you.’ She acknowledged that the ZRP was facing some challenges in fighting piracy:
- there is some level of corruption among the rank and file of the police force.
- scarcity of books has increased piracy as required school set-book material is not available in bookshops. If your work is on demand make it available.
-lack of partnership between the police and the book industry
- local authorities are not playing an active role in the fight against piracy as some of the illegal works are being sold on municipal properties being rented by these rogue booksellers.
CS Mlilo commended that writers as copyright holders should become familiar with the law that protects them as the law protects the vigilant. Sibongile Jele of NUST gave a presentation on the enforcement of copyright law in Bulawayo. She noted that there is no copyright awareness or copyright education in the country. Greenfield Chilongo, chair of Zimcopy, stressed that pirated material should not be found in school classrooms. And Blazio Tafirei of Zimbabwe Publishing House implicated local publishers  for allowing piracy because they not being effective in their role. There is a lot of disunity in the local publishing industry.
The last session of the 2012 Indaba is running under the theme Threat of Globalization To African Culture and Languages.


 Sukoluhle Nyathi

{Sukoluhle is a Ndebele name that means “Beautiful Day”. Born on June 23, 1978, Sue, as she is commonly known, was raised and educated in Bulawayo.  She always has been an avid writer and started writing at the age of 10 when she would cut out pictures from magazines and write little excerpts about the men and women in the pictures.  This passion was reflected in her participation in poetry competitions for which she won several awards and accolades.  Sue holds a Masters Degree in Finance and presently works as a Research Associate for an economic and strategic planning consulting firm in Johannesburg which is where she currently resides. She was a freelance writer for the ‘Steaming Off’ column in the Sunday Mail, a local weekly in Harare. The Polygamist is her debut novel.  Beaven Tapureta (BT) had a chat with Sue Nyathi (SN) to find out more about her debut book and writing career. }

BT:     May you give us a little background of The Polygamist?
SN:     The Polygamist is essentially a story about four women whose lives become entangled because of their love for one man, the seemingly indomitable Jonasi Gomora. Joyce is his proverbial first wife. She drives a Mercedes Benz and lives in the lap of luxury. Her career in life is to be Jonasi’s lover, wife and mother to their four kids. Joyce believes she has the perfect marriage until Matipa bulldozes her way into her world and embarks on a hostile takeover of Jonasi. Matipa is a “go getter” and her biggest aphrodisiacs in life are “money, power and sex.” However, unbeknown to both women is Essie, Jonasi’s childhood sweetheart who is cloistered in the township. Essie has been around longer than both of them and has no plans of going anywhere. Then there is Lindani, a beautiful young thing whose overriding ambition in life is to be upgraded in life from girlfriend to wife. When she meets Jonasi she thinks she’s found the answers to all her problems, not knowing they have only just begun! And so as the  story unfolds, so does the danger of such liaisons in a world plagued with HIV. The Polygamist also brings to the fore issues of abuse, gender violence and rape.

BT:      What else do you write?
SN:     The Polygamist is my debut publication but I have other unpublished manuscripts:  “ An Angel’s Demise” and “Changing Faces.” I have toyed with the idea of reworking these and also getting them into some form that can be published.
I have made contributions to weekly publications. Some might remember me from the days when I used to feature on the Steaming Off Column in the Sunday News. More recently I have started contributing to an eMagazine called the Diasporan Darlings.

BT:     The book was launched in South Africa, when do you think it will be launched in Zimbabwe?
SN:     The Polygamist was launched in South Africa on the 29th of March and it has been well received.  We are going to have the Zimbabwe book launches in August, both in Bulawayo and Harare.

BT:     Normally diaspora writers' works are hardly available in Zimbabwe, do you have a new strategy to have the book readily available in Zimbabwean book stores?
SN:     Yes I do have a strategy to get the book in Zimbabwe and have been engaging with Zimbabwean bookstores. Two Bookstores, Blackstone and Innov Books have already expressed a keen interest to stock the book. Many diasporan writers make their books available online on digital format. However for some, this form of publication is not easily accessible. 

BT:     What is your advice to other writers in the Diaspora, regarding availability of their books locally?
SN:     I think writers in the Diaspora have a responsibility to ensure that their work is available in Zimbabwe. We are Zimbabwean writers living in the Diaspora and not Diasporan writers. We are making a contribution to the literary scene in Zimbabwe and as such it is of great importance to be read at home. We are the best people to tell stories about ourselves, our culture, our society, our challenges, desires and aspirations. We are writing history but in a creative way!

BT:     The title of your book is intriguing; from which perspective do you tackle the issue of polygamy?
SN:     Polygamy has been around for years. My maternal grandmother was in a polygamous             marriage. She grew up in an era when women did not work and relied on their husbands for financial support. When I asked her about          her experiences in a polygamous marriage, she aptly replied “there were             more             hands to do the work.”
However living in the 21st century where women are educated and have             careers, how does one justify the existence and relevance of polygamy? As     such my book focuses on what I call underground polygamy. You have men        who purport to be monogamous  yet we see a proliferation of the so called          “small houses”. Unlike cultural polygamy which is open and honest,          underground polygamy is veiled in dishonesty  without any      cultural underpinning.  If anything it is now motivated by greed and selfish motives     and poses more harm than good. So it was against this background that I             decided to write this book.

BT:     What is the social reality like in South Africa for a Zimbabwean writer?
SN:     Honestly speaking, I do not have the experience of South Africa as a writer, rather as a Zimbabwean working in SA. However my observations are that             SA has a more vibrant publishing and literary industry as compared to           Zimbabwe. There is greater support for local writers and supporting home          grown literature.  I think writers, whether in SA or Zim face the challenges of    getting that big break of being published however the opportunities here are greater for writers. Moreover, writers can explore other avenues like script             writing and free lancing for various magazine publications. There are some        writers here who are able to survive from writing. Look at the success of John          van de Ruit, author of Spud which is now a movie. Ho those are far and        few between.

BT:     Do you write full time or part-time? If part-time, what else do you do?
SN:     Writing has been a hobby that I have nursed since age 10. Besides studying English Literature at school I do not have any formal training or education as a writer, what I know I have learned along the way. I have a Masters in Finance and Investment and work full time with a consulting firm. The nature of consulting work can be very demanding and the hours erratic so I don’t get to write as much as I would love to. So for now I write part time.

BT:     Are African women writers getting the support they need?
SN:     You know I really don’t know. Would this be support in terms of financial support, mentorship, work shopping? The thing is that I am really cut off from other writers because of the nature of the work I don’t get to interact with a lot of writers. I need to start thinking of myself more as a writer than as a consultant!  However I feel through my writing I can be a voice for women.  However what I do know is that I did face challenges as a young African woman wanting to get published.   If I think of the number of years I unsuccessfully tried to get published in Zimbabwe. Doors were closed in my face. It was a tight knit community and if you weren’t writing like Dambudzo Marachera, Yvonne Vera or Shimmer Chinodya you were dismissed with a wave of the hand. Literature has many genres and I think the writing sphere has to be accepting to different forms of expression. We are a totally new generation of writer with a new voice who need to be embraced.

BT:     Which book are you reading?
SN:     The last book I read was the “Ascent of Money” by Niall Ferguson.  I’m not reading at the moment. I have been meaning to get started on Jean M Auel, The Land of the Painted Caves. I bought it 3 months ago and it’s sitting on my book shelf begging to be read. To think I waited over 7 years for this book and now that I have it I don’t have the time to read it! It is the sixth book of Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children® series, a series I started reading in high school. Once I’m finished with my July deadlines that is what I will be reading.

BT:     If you were to win an award for the Polygamist, whom would you dedicate it to?
SN:     I would dedicate the award to my parents. The Polygamist is actually dedicated to them. The book is very special to me; it’s a culmination of all my hard work and dreams. They gave birth to me and I in turn gave birth to this. This does feel like my first born child and so it would be appropriate to dedicate it to my parents.

For those who want to interact further with Sue, you can follow her on twitter: or visit the Polygamist Facebook page         Her website is currently under construction

Moira Marangwanda


As mentioned in the previous article, scriptwriting is in two forms that is one for the stage and one for the camera, so this issue will mainly focus on scriptwriting for the stage.
When you write for the stage, you have to bear in mind that the ultimate goal is to have the play staged in a theatre or any other theatrical space. As a result you should think in terms of images thus enhancing you to be more vivid in all aspects. Because theatre is spontaneous you should hit the audience when they least expect it,  it means that you need to invest a lot in dialogue. Dialogue should be stylistic, witty and should at least have a subtext (hidden meaning). Some unsuccessful writers tend to write neatly and this jeopardizes the whole play because in real life people do not speak neatly, we speak randomly so likewise, that is the stance that you should also take to make your script more appealing and natural.
It should be noted that dialogue comes in two forms; verbal and non-verbal. In as much as you pay attention to verbal dialogue you should also not sideline the non-verbal part of it. Dialogue and action should compliment each other. Usually, actions are written as stage directions and they drive the pace of the story. It is said 'show but do not tell' and this guides you to be vivid to bring out the spontaneity of the theatre.
Feasibility also plays a pivotal role in writing for the stage. This is so because there are some things that can not be enacted on set. Although this may be left for the director to worry about, it is also essential to consider feasibility. Such events can be mentioned in dialogue so you have to be careful about the events that you mention.
As you write your events they should have dramatic potential i.e.  the potential to emotionally, spiritually and psychologically engage the audience. This can be achieved by providing spectacle; something that is outstanding and appeals both visually and acoustically. Moreover, emotional shifts should also be included because a play that begins on a happy note and runs like that through to the end without twist and turns is bound to be less appealing. Be sure to include some twists and turns so that the emotions of the audiences change, for example, from anger to hatred to admiration to sympathy and so on. This brings about the catharsis concept popularized by Aristotle. Catharsis is a Greek word for purgation and according to Aristotle a play should be cathartic which means the “vicarious cleansing of emotions in the audience through their representation on stage”. That way your writing will be pedagogically friendly as you will also provoke the audiences to begin thinking and asking themselves questions. A good writer should also be able to leave gaps so that the audience may be able to fill in the gaps on their own.
I hope this helps our aspiring scriptwriters out there. More in the next issue. For now, bye...



Na Clever S Kavenga

                                                        DAI KASIRI KAKUTYA AKA!

Mavambo ndamusiya achienda. Chikamu chekumuperekedza chakwana.
Ndatanga kudzoka ndakaisa maoko angu muhomwe, ukuwo ndichitsvororidza kamuridzo kangu hangu, kuzvivaraidza ndichidzinga pfungwa dzekakutya kari mandiri.
Kakutya kanditadzisa kutaura zvaive kutsi kwemoyo wangu.

Ndacheuka kutarisa kwandabva ndokuona Mavambo achimo munzira. Arikufamba zvake sezvinonzi haasi  kutsika pasi. Kuita sekuti pane mhepo iri kumutakura. Ndaramba  ndakamutarisa ndoonawo kuwanda kwemaruva ari pakati pangu naye Mavambo. Iye Mavambo kanawo kumbocheuka nhai nhai? Dai aicheuka handiti aionawo maruva!? Maruva akanga ari pakati pedu tiri vaviri. Maruva handiti anofambidzana norudo? Kuti ndanyeba here apa?

Zvino dai ndirini zvangu inini Mavambo ndaitemha rimwe chete zvaro ruva rakatumbuka.
Ndairibata zvakanaka ndoritenderedza. Ndainyatsoriunza pedyo nemhino dzangu ndorimhuhwidza ndichinzwa kamunhuwi karo kanonhuwirira. Pane rudo hapanhuwi asi kuti panomhuwirira nokutekenyedza. Apa pakadai aibva ayeuka rudo rwangu rwandaidai ndamuudza zvataive tiri tese paye. Ainyemwerera chete kana kutomboridza kakuwe kekuseka ari ega. Achingoti zvake, ‘Rungano uyu Rungano anopenga chete!!’

Hongu ndaramba ndakamutarisa munzira maari, zvino ava kure achingoenda. Zvinhambwe zvaarikufamba nekuwandawo kwazvo zvirikumubvisawo mumaziso angu. Izvi hazvindiodze moyo nokuti zvandiri kutarisa zvinovaraidza meso angu uye nokunyevenutsa moyo wangu.
Ndambozvituka ndichiridza tsamwa. Ndabhutsura chidzutswa cheuswa hwanyanhuru chiri pedyo nepandiri nehasha dzokuti sei ndasiya munhu wandinoda achienda ndisina kumuudza zviri pamoyo pangu.

Handiti zvaive pamuromo ndozvakakurumidza kubuda zvichisiya zvaive zvakanyatsorongwa mumoyo zvichinge zvakatsitsirirwa nematombo aida kuzototsidigurwa. Hezvi hoyo Mavambo ari kutoenda pasina chaanoziva pazvinhu zvandinoziva. Dai kasiri kakutya aka!Izvozvi dai chisveru ichi chava kwaari! Ndingadai ndirini ndiriwo kumirira nguva. Ndizvozvo kumirira nguva yokuzonzwawo zviri pamoyo pake.

Asi ndinodzoka ndotya zvakare, ‘Ko akazoti hongu ndada hangu!! Ini ndozodii?'
Ndomutengera maputi here kana kuti mabhanzi? Ndokwira gomo ndichinomutsvagira mhoriro kana Manawa kudambo reManawa? Tsombori dzingaite ndokunge ndasvika kumachinga eMurutsi kana eNyapundo! Asi achizozvitambira here?

Ndinoguma nekunyemwerera.

Pandatarisezve nzira yafamba naMavambo ndaona ava kure kwazvo, ndaita zvokufungidzira kuti anenge ndiye uyoo…Wangu moyo wongoti – ‘Dai wamuudza izvozvi dai ari kufamba mukati memashoko ako. Paaifamba achionawo aya maruva auri kuona munhivi dzenzira aya pada hake aizofambawo achitungira maruva aya pamazwi ayo waive wamuudza. Asiwoka zviri paviri: Pada aizofambawozve achitanhaura iwayo mashoma maruva aive pamashoko ako achizosara akamira ega. Waihwina ipapa??’

Pfungwa  yokurambwa inombondishanyira asi handidi kuti ipfunye chisero mandiri. Ndiyo pfungwa inotsitsirira mazwi erudo rwangu kuna Mavambo kuti agoramba ari mandiri. Ndaridzazve tsamwa pakusafarira pfungwa idzi. Ndangoerekana ndotarisezve nzira yaenda naMavambo wangu. Handina kuona munhu! Hana yarova , kakutya zvakare!

Zvino ndatanga kufamba zvangu zvinyoronyoro ndichibva panzvimbo iyi. Ndichifamba kudaro ndaona kasvosve, kasvosve kadiki diki zvako kakatakura chitakurwa chako. Kafamba pamwe kombotura, kombofamba kachitenderera kachitsvaga nzira. Kadzoka kachitakura kamutoro kaye kopfuurira mberi nerwendo rwako. Zvambondiba pfungwa.
Izvi zvaive zvandipangidza shungu dzekasvosve aka, kwaive kusvika nemutoro wako kwakaive kakananga ikoko. Kasvosve, kasvosve hongu kasvosve kaye kasvika pamuzinda paive nemamwe masvosve. Kapinda mumuzinda koperekedzwa nemamwe masvosve achiita seaipemberera nokumhanya mhanya kwavo.  Karufaro aka!

Ndatura mafemo. Rufaro rwakadzama kwazvo rwunounzwa nokusvitsa mutoro panzvimbo yawo yakakodzera. Ndacheukazve shure hapana munhu wandaona kusiya kweguruva rapfumburwa nemhepo! Maoko ari muhombodo ndichifamba zvangu nhereka nhereka nekukuwo ndichitsvororidza kamuridzo kangu. Ndaramba ndichifamba...naye Mavambo mundangariro.


Bwaswayilwa buTonga
Ngu Reverend Jeffrey Muleya

Ndamwaambuuzya nobabali bamakani achiTonga mupepamakani eeli. Sunu ndiyanda kumwaambila atala amuswaangano mupati wakwaabana maanu alangene aamulaka wachiTonga, kusumpulwa kwawo, kuyisigwa kwawo muzikolo, zyeelede kuchitwa kubambila kubikilizigwa kwawo mumulongo wayimwi yakasumpuka kale iilikuyiisigwa muzikolo. Ooyu muswaangano wuulikidwe kuti ni “University of Zimbabwe-Tonga Symposium”
Ulikuchitilwa aNsikilabeenzu ya Kulizwe iyakilidwe munkomwe yaKasambabezi, mubbooma lyaBinga. Ino nee ma! Kulivunzeenwe. Basyaangwilima, basyaabusongo abasichikolo bamuzikolo zyaajulu {University of Zimbabwe, Hillside Teachers College, Midlands State University, Great Zimbabwe University, Uinversity of Zambia, Lupane State University}. Bamwi bazwa kulliimwi mitabi iilimbuuli Zambia Educational Publishing House, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, Silveira House, Basilwizi, aNkamu yaZimbabwe Indigenous Laguages Promotion Association {ZILPA) antoomwe Tonga Language and Culture Committee {TOLACCO}iyabani mulaka.
Wakatalika abwatatu kuseni. Ulamana abwasanu sikati. Eechi chichitiko nkuzuzikizigwa kwachiloto chabamataata antoomwe aswebo tobasunu. Mulaka wakali waloba. Twakali twaangalikilwa, pele anzitulikubona eezi twajana bulangilizi. Katuli baTonga muZimbabwe tuli akupeekezya kwakuti:
1. Kulaba kutobelezya zitazwe amuswaangano, peepe kuti baliwo bazisambe akuzisiya azyuuno nzibakkede mbuuli nzitwalikubona mazuba woonse aya ayinda. Munyama ngutwavwima nobenima ngafundwe ayokwe.
2. Eezi tazimanini kubaTonga biyo pe. Lino twaamba boobu kulimilaka imwi isika kumusanu kutabikilizya chiTonga yeelede kutalika kuyisigwa muzikolo zyakutangunina munyaka nguuno (2012), zimwi mumunyaka uuza (2013). Aatala ayeyi kuliimwi ayilayo iyanda kusumpulwa iyinda kukkumi amusanu. Ayilayo, mubwiingi bwayo, iyanda kuchitilwa mbuboobu.
I UZ abamwi bakagwasizya kubamba muswaangano ooyu tulabalumba kapati. Leza abalongezye kapati. 


 Deadline Extended to 17th September 2012

The deadline for the Kwani? Manuscript Project, Kwani Trust's new literary prize for African writing, has been extended. You now have until 17th September 2012 to submit your unpublished fiction manuscript and be in with a chance of winning both cash prizes and international publication for your novel.
In addition, Kwani Trust will be launching a series of essays by leading African writers on writing. Including contributions from Aminatta Forna, Leila Aboulela, Ellen Banda-Aaku and Helon Habila, the essays will offer advice, support and inspiration for developing your novel manuscript over the next 2 months.

 For more info, visit:


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