Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

07 December 2013

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 73


 Alfred Beit Junior School pupils at a book donation event at Mabelreign Library last week

Welcome to our 73rd newsletter and we hope we find you in the right mood. The festive season is here once again. As in the beginning of time, human life has always been one precious gift that the world has ever had. Therefore we encourage each one of you to exercise extreme caution especially when driving. We join South Africa and the world in general in mourning the death of one of Africa's great sons Nelson 'Madiba Mandela. May his soul rest in peace. For WIN, the year has been hectic and exciting. However, we would like to announce we have postponed the Short Story writing skills training workshop for entrants of 2013 Short Story Competition. The workshop will now be held early next year with novel writing included. We have also cancelled the annual WIN Writers' End of Year Get-Together. The Board's decision to postpone the two activities comes as strategic way of re-planning so as to provide quality workshops and events for members next year. We encourage our members to apply for the Writivism Creative Writing Workshop and Short Story Prize.  Meanwhile, enjoy what newsletter has to offer and a Merry Xmas to you all.  


Jessie Majome speaking at Mabelreign Library 

Harare West MP and lawyer Jessie Fungai Majome harbours affectionate reminiscences of her early school days as a reader in Mabelreign community where her parents moved to in 1981.
Speaking at a function held last week to mark the handing over of children’s books by the Australian Embassy to the Mabelreign Library, Majome said Mabelreign, particularly Alfred Beit primary school where she learned and the library where she deeply fell in love with books, arouses fond memories of her formative years.
 “We came to live in Mabelreign in 1981 when I was in Grade Four and was enrolled at Alfred Beit School. The school had no library and still does not have one today but there was a symbiotic relationship between the school and the library. We would borrow books from the library and read them at school,” she said.
The ‘we’ she referred to in her speech included some of her contemporaries with whom she grew up in Mabelreign who have now become persons of note in different fields.
Majome singled out award-winning author Petina Gappah whom she said also came to live in Mabelreign in 1981.
“I remember Petina. She was such a bookworm. I am not surprised she’s become a great writer that she is today,” she said.
However, the library which became Majome’s early springboard to the person that she is today went through hard times in the later years. The windows were broken, the roof leaked, the grass grew uncut around the building and books were fewer.
Touched by the state of the library two years ago, Majome facilitated the repair of the windows and with other volunteers from the community, she worked hard in various ways to bring back glory to the place of knowledge.
“This library had become a source of heartbreak, almost ashes of its former self, unloved and abandoned. I am happy now it has improved,” she said.
Turning to the Alfred Beit Grade three  pupils who also came to witness the hand-over of books, Majome said, “Never never forget to read books because books teach you discipline. I am hoping that if you continue to read, you learn so much and beyond that, you will enjoy yourselves and write books.’
She later planted a tree at the library in celebration of the gift of books donated bythe Australian Embassy.
Library Committee member, Mrs. Katrina Wallace Karenga, who presided over the ceremony, said the Embassy of Australia donated books to the main Harare City Library and a majority of these books were being handed over to Mabelreign Library as community outreach.
Australian Ambassador in Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus, who was responsible for the book donation, applauded Mabelreign community for coming together to renovate the library. He said he was glad libraries and bookshops are emerging in the country and called for continued cultural exchange between Zimbabwe and Australia.
“The contribution comes in a way from the boys and girls in Australia. It’s a contribution just to keep the library going,” he said and added that he hoped the library will grow to have internet access which is important in the modern world.
According to Mabelreign librarian and committee member, Devi Pakkri, the library is engaging the University of Zimbabwe Library Computer Center to resuscitate the internet section in order to generate income for the maintenance of the library.
Pakkri said credit for the library’s improved outlook should go mainly to well-wishers, parents and friends who donated plants, paint, repaired the roof and donated some books. She acknowledged the tremendous work done by library gardener Edwin Sekanakoni who transformed the landscape outside the building.
The team of volunteers now plans to build a gazebo at the library to encourage outdoor reading acivities for children.
Also witnessing the handing over of the children’s books was Murray McCartney of Weaver Press who said he was glad the spirit of rejuvenation was spilling over to communities.
“It’s very exciting that libraries away from the CBD are getting books and encouraging more people to join,” he said.
Harare City Library committee member Memory Kanyati also expressed gratitude for the support the Mabelreign library received.
“I am happy with the support. Reaching out is important. I urge more corporates to come on board especially to maintain the branch libraries,” said Kanyati.
The event was also attended by Mr. T P Chikepe representing Book Café Book Shop, Irene Staunton of Weaver Press, Mrs. Mverechena who is Harare City Council District Officer for Mabelreign and Marlborough, and grade three pupils from Alfred Beit School.

                         POET DONATES HER ANTHOLOGY TO WIN-ZIM
Some copies of Matters of Life and a CD

Christmas season has started well for Writers International Network Zimbabwe (WIN-Zimbabwe) which has received a gift of twelve copies of the poetry anthology Matters of Life from poet Sympathy Sibanda.
Sibanda said she has donated the books as a way of showing her gratitude to all the people who have helped her in her writing career and also to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.
Matters of Life is my first book published while I was at school. Many people such as my parents, critics and publisher contributed to this occurrence and therefore it is in this spirit that I feel I have an onus to make an impact in someone’s life, helping other artists achieve their dreams. Matters of Life is the best gift that I could give since it’s a symbol of sacrifice and determination,” said Sibanda.
Published in 2009 by Veriest Solutions International in Harare, Matters of Life is described as a ‘collection of moralistic poems that aim not only at advising but entertaining as well as ensuring a positive attitude towards life’.
WIN Director Beaven Tapureta humbly welcomed the donation, saying it adds value to the association’s collection of books by younger local authors.
“WIN encourages new writers to read published works by other new writers as this inspires and disabuse them of the fear of losing,” added Tapureta.
Sibanda, who is a 2010 University of Zimbabwe graduate in Sociology, has expanded her writing craft to include performance. In 2012, she produced with friends a gospel music CD titled On His Bosom with all the five tracks on it taken from her unpublished manuscript with the same title. She is currently working for local-based international non-governmental organization.
Over the past years WIN has received books, some of them autographed, from authors such as Memory Chirere, Sue Nyathi and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma. Various individuals and organizations such as Theresa Muchemwa, Beatrice Sithole and Zimbabwe Reads have also donated books to WIN from their own writing studios. The books are helpful to new writers.



 WIN Outreach Programme which started in 2012 has set up an Epworth Branch Committee which will assist in monitoring the Programme and take it to new levels.
At a meeting chaired by WIN Director Beaven Tapureta and held on Friday, November 29, 2013, at Makomo Primary School, writers’ clubs patrons selected a committee from among themselves and discussed different issues including plans for next year.
Supa Mafuta, an ambitious new writer who has sacrificed his time to volunteer for WIN-Zimbabwe in Epworth, emerged as a unanimously selected Chairperson. The patrons said they were happy with Mafuta’s commitment to the outreach.
The other committee members are: Mr. L Dube from Epworth Methodist Academy (Vice Chair), Ms. Tatenda Madziire of Young Africa Academy (Secretary), Mr. James Mugandani of Kubatana Primary School (Treasurer), Mr. Brighton Muvindi of Muguta Secondary (Publicity Secretary) and Ms. Shinga Jaravaza of Domboramwari High School (Vice Publicity Secretary).  The three ordinary committee members are Mrs. Muzambwa of Makomo Primary School, Mr. Walter Tarambahama of Epworth High School and Mr. Dumbura of Chinamano Primary School.
One of the major tasks the committee set for 2014 is to reach out to the elderly people in Epworth who can come and tell stories to the children so that they (children) are not deprived of knowledge about their culture and history.
As most of the committee members are dedicated teachers as well as writers in their own right, it is then safe to say Epworth is set to soar new great heights. The Epworth Community Outreach Programme is
being supported by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe in partnership with Sweden.


Unpublished writers in Zimbabwe are being urged to apply for the 2014 Writivism creative writing Workshops and Short Story Prize which are one of the greatest opportunities already in store for them next year.The one-day workshops which are being conducted by Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE) will be conducted in five cities (Abuja, Kampala, Harare, Cape Town and Nairobi).
Monica Cheru, author of Chivi Sunset, is coordinating and will facilitate the Harare workshop with other Zimbabwean authors. According to CACE, the workshops will be held simultaneously on February 8, 2014 in the five cities and are designed in a way that will see participants being attached to a mentor.
CACE also says, "Participants shall develop flash fiction stories for publication in several African newspapers and entries to the Writivism short story prize. The prize shall receive entries from all regions of Africa. Longlisted stories in the competition shall be published in an annual Writivism anthology while shortlisted writers shall attend public readings in Kampala. The winners shall be announced at the Writivism mini-Festival on 21st June 2014 after which they shall tour a few schools around Kampala."
Overall winner will be awarded Ugandan Shillings 1000 000 while the First and Second Runner-ups will get Ugandan Shillings 500 000 and 250 000 respectively. Each regional winner will pocket Ugandan Shillings 200 000.
The deadline for applications is December 31, 2013.
Writivism was initiated by CACE in 2012/13 in Uganda and aims at " promoting emerging African writers".

Guidelines for applications are as follows:

    Applicants must be resident on the African continent;
    Applicants must not have published a book before;
    All application material must be put in the body of the email; no attachments whatsoever;
    Deadline for submission is 31st December 2013 midnight, East African time;
    Applications must be made to;
    Those accepted to the workshop will be notified by 20th January 2014;
    The workshop is non-residential and participants are responsible for the transport to and from the venue;
    Application Email subject should read ‘Writivism 2014 Application’;
    Include Address (including phone contact), Country of Residence, Full Legal Name, Gender, a 100-word maximum bio and a 400-700 word writing sample in the application;
    Participants in past Writivism workshops can apply if they have since not published a book;
    The writing sample must be fiction.

For updates and to respond, Keep checking writivism site  and the Writivism Facebook Group.

My Dear Mother

I wrote your name in the sea
but the water washed it away
I wrote it again in the air
but the wind blew it away
        Now I have found a better place
        to write it in. My heart.
        You are so special in my life
        Losing you hurt me to the bone
Your love makes me feel safe
Your motherly kiss is like sunrise
It makes me feel alright
        You gave birth to me
        Educated me
        Clothed me
        Cared for me
        Without you there is no happiness
        In my life
When I see you
My heart rejoices
When you hold my hand
I feel the softness of a mother's love
        You are my world
        You are worthy to be called a mother

By Tafadzwa Maraidza (Form 1, Domboramwari High)


Ko Munotidzidziseiko?
Ko murichiiko kwatiri isu?
Zvamunenge imi vadiki

Nhai baba ko hamuzivi
Mukadzi mubatsiri
Chii chinokudzimaidzai
Kuti muone mai sebhora zvaro?

Ndaiti marambadoro
Doro makarega
Asi kusafunga hamuna kurega
Munoti zvamburira mai takadzvokora tose

Munodashura mai senhundurwa takayeva
Kutsonda mai
Kuvagarira matundundu mai
Muchivaremadza shaya mai

Chinangwa chenyu baba ndechipi?
Tiite ruvengo nemi here?
Tifungirane pachedu vana?
Tizive kuti dzenyu hadzidhonzi mushe?

Na Beloved Maridzanyere (Epworth High School)


           Australian Ambassador in Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus

Some of the guests at the event




Artistic Tributes