Welcome to the 68th issue of our WIN Newsletter and hopefully we find you well. We are glad with the positivity with which our vision is being received by different people and organizations. We value your support so much. Note that we have extended the deadlines for our WIN/GAT Short Story Competition and Poetry anthology project, read through the newsletter for more details. In our next issues, we have introduced a new column called 'Creative Writing Tips with Christopher Mlalazi'. New writers, this is for you. Enjoy the newsletter! - Beaven Tapureta, WIN Director & Founder
EPWORTH COMMUNITY OUTREACH GETS NOD
Mary Machado, Form 2 student at Bilaal Islamic Academy and member of Bilaal Writers Club, posing with her certificate after participating in the inaugural annual WIN/GAT Short Story Competition and Workshop last year.
The Epworth Community Outreach Programme launched last year by Writers International Network Zimbabwe targeting Epworth community was recently granted US$3, 426, 00 by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust in partnership with Sweden.
The contribution towards the outreach programme, and other projects being run by different organizations covering diverse Zimbabwean arts and culture sectors and sub-sectors, was announced last month under the 2013 first circle of the Culture Fund’s grant allocation.
WIN Board member, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, welcomed the contribution and thanked the Culture Fund for the grant. "WIN is a writers' organisation with local community roots. As such, the Epworth outreach initiative is very commendable. It opens up a community to the wisdom of books. We thank the Culture Fund for making it all happen through a generous grant," he said.
Some of the activities lined up under the outreach programme include the establishment of writers clubs in schools and registered private colleges in Epworth, holding writing and reading skills workshops for both students and community members, facilitating participation of Epworth-based new writers on local literary platforms and expose them to broader opportunities of learning and sharing information.
The outreach hopes to publish a journal of mixed genres featuring Epworth literary talent.
Launched last year, the outreach seeks to promote writing and reading culture in Epworth community, a high density suburb situated at the fringes of Harare.
Epworth, although a less developed area, has bred gifted artists, only few of whom have broken into mainstream arts because many lack resources and motivation to spur them onward.
So far a writers club has been created at Bilaal Islamic Academy in Domboramwari and some aspiring writers from the community have also registered with WIN. Panashe Banda, a Form Two student and member of the Bilaal writers club, won 2nd prize in last year’s WIN/GAT Short Story competition under the English language category while Supa Mafuta, also from Epworth, won 2nd Prize under the Shona language category.
SHORT STORY AND POETRY SUBMISSIONS DEADLINES EXTENDED
Established writer Memory Chirere who facilitated last year's workshop following the competition
Cover of German translation of Running with Mother
Prolific and award-winning writer Christopher Mlalazi’s Running with Mother, a novel published last year by Weaver Press is breaking new grounds internationally. The book is being translated into Italian and German languages.
Recently, posting on his Facebook page in May, Mlalazi who is in Hannover City in Germany on a writer’s residency, told friends that the German translation of Running with Mother will be out this year in October.
Apart from the novel, Mlalazi also shared with friends that a German publisher is showing interest in his plays in English and wants to publish them in hard copy and electronically.
How Mlalazi does it is no secret, he said about his plays, “Dear writers who are still starting, never give up, just keep on writing, when opportunity is ready to meet you it will open its door. I wrote this trilogy of plays without a publisher in sight, and with the full knowledge that most publishers were not taking plays, but I just kept writing, because I loved the idea, and if you love something, there is that one small chance in the world you will maybe one day find somebody who also loves the idea.”
Locally, Running with Mother is available from publishers Weaver Press in Harare and amaBooks in Bulawayo.
Bhachi Ramukoma Mutsemhure
Na Clever S Kavenga (above)
Ukariwona unongonyemwerera wega. Ehee ukariwona iwe unongogutsurira wega musoro sechigumukumu.
Ndizvo pane vaviri kana vatatu vanongobvunzana nezvebhachi iri kuti nderaani kunyangwe pasina mumwe munhu anoripfeka kunze kwavo mukoma Mutsemhure.
Na Hatina ‘Mutatariki’ Dube
Ndechangu ndati ndechangu
Icho changu ndechangu kuseva ndinosiya muto
Changu ndechangu hachiguurirwi munhu sehazu
Nechangu ndodetemba ini mudzani werenje
Nechangu ndotatarika ini mutatariki
Ndorunga nokuruka mutauro
Kunge amai vanoruka chirukwa
Chipo chinorwadza munyama
Kunge munhu ane mota risina kupuurwa
Chinenge kashavi keuvhimi
Kanopedza hope kana kasvika
Vasina godo ndipeiwo mwenje nditungidze
Ubvire kusvikira vanegodo vakanda mapfumo pasi
Nokuti pangu pamuviri pakwana mwedzi wapo
Ndinoda kuzvara murairidzi ane rudo
Ndoita mutema rege wembada
Ndomhara kunyange nemuminzwa
Pane ino nyaya zete
Nepane yoyo ndure
Nechangu ndichakusiya woona
We Real Cool
By Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)
The Pool Players. Seven at the Golden Shovel.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
(Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize in poetry (in 1950) and Poet Laureate of Illinois. Brooks’ works focused on the plight of common people. Respected for her technical skill and sophistication, she wrote for the African American audience, testing the relevance of her work and the clarity of her message by giving readings in taverns and other public places.)
'HIM WHO REFUSED'
Dambudzo Marechera (1952-1987)
JUNE IS THE MONTH IN WHICH DAMBUDZO MARECHERA WAS BORN, THEREFORE WE ‘JAZZ JUNE’ FOR HIM…
"Creative Writing Tips with Christopher Mlalazi" column coming in our next issues...
Since 2010, WIN has walked a
two and half year journey with strength and vision, guided by principles of
professionalism. It however would be
misleading to say the road has been or shall be smooth. Or without ‘potholes’
as one would say. Like a child dreamer, we have ducked the arrows of negation, parried
the spears of difficult, trod on thorns of belittlement, listened to your
advice and yet we have avoided small-mindedness and accepted our weaknesses. We
have moved on, inspired by the rhapsodies of our motherland’s blooming
literature. We have made friends. Although there may be little we have achieved
so far, we know we have collectively done so with you. And there is still lot
of work we love to do. The next issue of
our regular online publication, The WIN
Newsletter, is definitely coming soon with more intriguing updates; we thank you for the patience
and support. Stay afloat of all that you do, you authors are blessed with
natural authority over the different spaces you occupy.
Stories do more than just entertain; they
also teach a lesson and exhibit cultural values of a particular people.
Shining Red Fruit
is written as a children’s tale but it appeals to adults as well.
From long ago, people have acted without
thinking about the consequences and this, for children, is a vice that they
have always been taught by parents to avoid. Acting without thinking is exactly what Kanda, the main character in this tale, does.
Kanda and his family live in an African
village. As the story unfolds, one is made to understand the cultural values of
the African people which include hard work, sharing, and forgiveness. The people in the village subsist on
growing crops and keeping animals and are happy as the seasons are generous.
Kanda and his family, being owners of one
of the biggest pieces of land in the village, are rich and hard workers. The
villagers honor them but there is some behaviour unknown to everyone, including
his family, which Kanda has.
The writer does well with her simple but
captivating language when describing human behaviour. Kanda receives reverence from everyone
but he takes it for granted. Being rich, he foresees no trouble in the future.
However, drought strikes the village.
Hard times replace good times. One would predict Kanda will give up work in his
field and follow others walking miles away to look for food. But he and his
family carry on going to the fields to take care of the little crops they had
The author uses the journeys to the field to reveal what
Kanda is really made of. On one of their journey to the field, Kanda becomes
weak and thirsty. It happens also that his wife has forgotten to carry water on
Children will like this part because it
carries a supernatural character called Manjanja, which is a talking tree. The interplay of reality and ‘super-nature’ brings forth entertaining episodes
that lead to the revelation of Kanda’s character and how his family and the
village forgive him.
Kanda does not tell anyone, including his
family, about Manjanja-The Shining Red Fruit, which he discovers when he
decides to go to the nearby river to get water while his family continues with
the journey to their field.
It becomes a habit that each time they come
to the spot near the tree on their way to the field, Kanda excuses himself from
his family and goes to the tree to sing and the tree would throw down big red
fruits which he gormandized alone.
In this time of hardship, Kanda’s selfish
behaviour is exposed. While others eat little or no food at all because of the
drought, he secretly feeds on fruits and no longer eats at home. His family and
the villagers become suspicious of his avoidance of food and they begin to think
he is sick.
Nothing bad lasts forever as one day his
wife asks her ten-year old son, Saka, to secretly follow his father into the
bush. Saka is shocked to see his father singing and dancing around a tree, gathering and
eating fruits dropping from the tree.
Saka must have been a genius, for he learns his
father’s song quickly. Children love songs in tales. The song is the apex of
the story, from here the story approaches dénouement. He tells his mother about the
tree, the falling fruits and recites the song very well. The tree is no longer
a secret. His mother, Seni, hatches a plan which carries the moral of the
While Kanda takes an afternoon sleep in
the field, his family, led by Saka, visits the tree. They sing the song around
the tree and surprisingly fruits start falling from it. They fill baskets and
Seni tells her children to hide them at home where Kanda would not see them.
In the song there are these words,
“…If I show them the fruits, shine, shine/
They will take
them all away from me, shine, shine…”
This song was taught to Kanda by the tree
and one then concludes the tree was predicting its future, for when Kanda’s
family sing around it for a long time, all its fruits fall down. They then hang
stones in the tree.
Selfishness is punished when the next day
Kanda comes to his tree and sings and instead of receiving fruits, he is hit by
huge stones falling from the tree. If one carries a secret, it is painful to
then secretly bear the effects of the secret when it turns sour.
One of the African values upheld in the
story of Manjanja is forgiveness. Instead of shouting down on Kanda for being
selfish, his wife and children and the villagers forgive him and he learns about
sharing and giving.
The author, Wizzy Mangoma, published a
motivational poetry collection titled Moment
Treasures (2010, Createspace), which is available on Amazon.com. In 2011,
she co-authored the book As They Find A
Way: A Journey of Various Creative Zimbabwean Women with Zimbabwean model
Teurai Chanakira.Born in Zimbabwe,
Wizzy Mangoma is a writer, model, designer, motivational speaker, spoken word
artist, poet, dancer, and story-teller. She has traveled and performed in
various groups and projects ranging from United African Ballet of Denmark to
television series. She has worked with children from all backgrounds including
children with special needs. She also worked with charity organizations
coordinating various campaigns. She returned to her homeland Zimbabwe this year
from Dallas, Texas, where she was based.