Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

10 March 2014

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 75

  Writer, poet, journalist Tinashe 'Mutumwapavi' Muchuri will be in the team of WIN manuscript readers 

It is one thing to think that you are a writer and it’s totally a different thing to actually write. Ideas are not copyrightable material, therefore insignificant until they materialize into some tangible form. WIN has dedicated its sweat to aspiring writers who are actually in need of help on how to make the gems in their heads materialize on paper and those who have already written down their ideas in various ‘shapes’ and yet need professional, inspirational guidance to proceed.
We will not sing the negative song. Let’s do this: Move on.
The year 2014 is gathering momentum already in the literary arena. We encourage new writers to participate in competitions arising. This newsletter contains just so much for you and pre-empting would do injustice, enjoy yourself!


Eresina Hwede, one of the manuscript readers

Two-time NAMA Awards nominated WIN-Zimbabwe has intensified its efforts to set up a department that will look into members’ manuscripts with the aim to identify publishable works.
Local established writers, and recently, international writers, have put weight behind the association’s re-structured manuscript assessment programme, with some already confirming their willingness to start reading manuscripts. A few more established writers are yet to confirm.
Tinashe Muchuri, Memory Chirere, Eresina Hwede and recently joined American poet Georgia Banks-Martin (insert) will assess WIN members’ manuscripts and generate reader’s reports with recommendations to help the new writers and in the process identify publishable works. Banks-Martin ran an online poetry workshop with a WIN group of poets in June 2011.
New writers are encouraged to submit, at a fee, their manuscripts (complete novels, collection of maximum 50 poems, complete script and collection of maximum 10 short stories) either as readably handwritten or typed hard copy or soft copy saved as PDF.
 An original copy of the submitted manuscript should always remain with the author and assessment period will take at most 2 months to ensure thorough analysis and progressive help by the readers.
Those with works already with WIN will be contacted soon.
The manuscript assessment programme has become an important pillar of the Publishing Unit which WIN is envisioning and for which it has restlessly begun looking for more support in all forms possible.
For more information on the manuscript assessment programme, please do not hesitate to contact the WIN office.

By Beaven Tapureta
(Article first appeared in Panorama Magazine few days ago) 

No one in Africa and beyond can speak of home-grown coveted writing prizes without mentioning the Ghana-based Golden Baobab Prize for African children’s literature.
And for a country to have been represented four times in a prestigious competition like the Golden Baobab Prize means a lot for its literature.
Only established in 2008, the Prize has become an outlet for Zimbabwean writers starved of platforms to showcase their flair in writing for children, a grey area left untouched seemingly after the death of the exemplary, award-winning children’s writer Stephen Alumenda and the silence of other writers who share the same passion for the little ones’ reading matter. 
However, there are some writers such as Stephen Chifunyise, Memory Chirere and Ignatius Tirivangani Mabasa, who are still writing for children but not as much as to meet the demand for children’s literature in Zimbabwe. 
The Golden Baobab Prize has raised awareness on the significance of writing for children in Africa and Zimbabwe’s new generation of writers seems to have risen to the call among other countries.

 Ivor W Hartmann

Mirirai Moyo
The Prize was first brought home by Ivor Hartmann in its inaugural year (2009) for his story Mr. Goop written for the age group 12-15 years; in 2010 Mirirai Moyo did the country proud when she won the Prize for her story Diki written for children between the ages six and 11 years; and in 2012 young writer Rutendo Chabikwa scooped the Rising Writer award. Last year writer Sabina Mutangadura was on the shortlist for the Early Chapter Book Prize for her amazing story Seven.
Could Zimbabwe’s notable participation in the Golden Baobab Prize be said to be an indicator to local publishers and writers that the time is now to invest more in children’s literature?
In a brief conversation with this writer, Golden Baobab Prize co-ordinator Nanama B Acheampong applauded Zimbabwean writers for their outstanding feature in the Prize.
“We're very proud of the stories that have come out of Zimbabwe. The winners truly deserved the prizes in the years that they have won. Over the years, both South Africa and Nigeria have been the biggest contributors to the prizes but the majority of our winners have come out of South Africa,” Acheampong explained.

Indeed Zimbabwean literature has attracted the world’s attention with the recent spotlight on NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names which has featured from one international award or special mention to another, she pointed out.

“Zimbabwe has the literature world's attention. There is clearly amazing writing talent coming out of Zimbabwe and we would love it if more of these writers decided to create stories for children. This year, we hope to receive many submissions from Zimbabwe. The stories we receive from there are usually so colourful and full of Zimbabwean pride and references,” Acheampong said. 

The 2014 Call for Submissions Now Open

In its announcement of 2014 call for submissions, the Golden Baobab Prize said it is celebrating its sixth anniversary by bringing aboard African illustrators of children’s books.
Three new exciting awards have been launched, namely, The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators and The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators with prizes worth $5000 and $2 500 respectively, and The Golden Baobab Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature Award.

In the past five years there were only three awards, that is, the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Book, Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book which this year both have monetary prize of $5000, and the Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writer which has $2 500 cash prize.
The newly added illustration awards emphasize the significance of illustrators in the whole production of children’s books and seek to motivate this normally forgotten group of artists in mainstream literature.
“We expect to receive many more submissions for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature this year. We have also had such positive reactions to our newly launched Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations and we’re looking forward to being pleasantly surprised by the submissions we receive,” said Acheampong in announcing the 2014 prizes.
Entrants will submit illustrations as per Golden Baobab specifications which can be found on the organization’s website
The Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature award seeks to recognize African writers/illustrators who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding significance to the development of African children’s literature.
According to Golden Baobab, the six prizes invite entries of unpublished stories for children written by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin.
The deadline for the 2014 call for submissions is June 29 and winners will be announced in November 2014. The winners will receive cash prizes altogether worth $20 000, opportunities to be published, invitation to the Awards ceremony, mentorship, press opportunities and exhibitions of winning illustrations.  


Musaemura Zimunya, ZIBF Chairperson

Theme: Indigenous Languages, Literature, Art and Knowledge Systems

Dates: Indaba 2014:  28 July – 29 July

Venue: Harare Gardens, Harare, Zimbabwe

As you may now be fully aware, the approved Theme for The Zimbabwe International Book Fair Association 2014 is: Indigenous Languages, Literature, Art, Literature and Knowledge Systems of Africa.  We are, therefore, pleased to announce that the dates for The Zimbabwe  International Book Fair have been set for 28 July – 2 August 2014.

In arriving at this Theme, we were guided by a few factors, among which are: the overwhelming submissions on the subject of African languages, literatures, heritages and knowledge systems whose majority were unfortunate to be turned down for lack of space in the just ended ZIBF 2013 Indaba Conference Programme; the enlightening presentations in the ZIBF 2013 Indaba on patterns and benefits of the use of African medicines and the dangers of losing valuable health practices due to prejudice and official neglect and the timely movement to beneficiate African heritages through the tourism economy; the compelling indications from the ZIBF 2013 Writers Workshop regarding the urgency to recognize African languages, literatures and art forms as creative media and repositories of knowledge systems deserving as much attention as languages and literatures conveyed in English and other Western languages;  the necessity to recognize and celebrate the vast literary and academic productions and publications in and about African languages in Zimbabwe and other countries across the African continent; sending a message of support and encouragement to authors, readers, researchers and publishers in these language media that their efforts play a vital role in intellectual growth, national and African continental development; embracing the hitherto marginalized languages of Zimbabwe that are now legally recognized under our new Zimbabwean constitution which have a potential to transform our understanding of our national identity and the importance of tolerance of ethnic diversity; and the vast potential for creating a truly festive atmosphere through the participation of African folk artists, readers folk artists and performers as part of the activities of our 2014 Book Fair.

In order to guide prospective presenters regarding the spirit of the 2014 Zimbabwe International Book Fair, here are some topics around which to operate:



·                  African Lingua Franca: Lessons From Swahili And Afrikaans
·                  Indigenous Languages, Ethnic Identities And Values
·                  Politics And African Languages
·                  Writing And Publishing In Indigenous Languages
·                  Translation In Literature Across Indigenous Languages
·                  The Place Of African Languages In The Digital Era
·                  Lexicography


·                  Orature and African History
·                  Folk Tales, Riddles And Proverbs As Indicators Of Social Values
·                  Folk Games As Repositories Of Culture
·                  The African World View Through Language, Literature And Art
·                  Meanings Of African Dances
·                  Folk Arts As Expressions Of Knowledge Systems


·                  Indigenous Religions As Cultural Expression
·                  The Influence Of African Religious Values In The Pentecostal
·                  The Relationship Between African Cultures and Indigenous African Churches
·                  The Place Of Language And Music In Religious Practices
·                  Morality, Spirituality And The Philosophy Of Life In Indigenous
African Cultures


·                  Archives And Culture
·                  The Value Of Heritage In The National Economy/Development
·                  Zimbabwean Sculpture
·                  The Relevance Of Indigenous Art In Africa
·                  Challenges Of Modernization Against Indigenous  Languages And
·                  Great Zimbabwe As An Expression Of Folk Art And Culture


·                  Traditional Arts As Intellectual Property
·                  Communal Arts And The Concept Of Intellectual Property
·                  Rights Of Communities Over Stolen Artefacts And The Problem Of


·                  Modern Health Practices And African
·                  African Trees And Herbs As Resources For Individual And
Community Health
·                  Indigenous African Methods Of Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
·                  Healthy And Unhealthy Indigenous Food


·                  The Relationship Between Indigenous Languages, Art And Writing
·                  The Problem Of Standardization Of African Languages
·                  Current Trends In African Writing In Indigenous Languages
·                  The State  Of Electronic And Print Media In Indigenous Languages
·                  African Music As Literature
·                  Film In Indigenous African Languages
·                  Experiences in translating the Zimbabwean Constitution
·                  Challenges of Broadcasting in indigenous Languages

We, therefore, invite prospective presenters to submit Abstracts which should reach our ZIBF Offices by no later than March 31, 2014 for scrutiny and approval by the Executive Board of ZIBF.  Abstracts should be of limited length but no longer than 500 words and may be submitted by hand post or surface mail or email: copy 

Musaemura B Zimunya - Chair, Executive Board, Zimbabwe International Book Fair Association


3rd Prize Winning Story (Senior Category, English Language Section)
Paranoia scored 68%. And here is what Memory Chirere who judged the competition commented, “Good story. The twist in the end is sharp and exciting."

By Tawanda Godfrey Kandenga

Marlee was standing in the hallway polishing the wooden walls with a white linen cloth. Outside, in the cobbled driveway a car came to a halt. Then she heard Lena greeting someone. Greeting in most the sweet way. A male voice went along with her. There was no doubt that the husband was back.
   Then the footsteps drew closer as the two came to the main door. It was now near her that she could hear their voices now. Suddenly, something struck her and she stood frozen. His voice! There was an eerie chord of familiarity underneath his voice, or some kind of spell that made her spine flap in acute disbelief. In a space of a heartbeat she could admit that it was not the first time to hear that voice. The memories of that the voice that had remained a complete torture of her life, cocooning her in a shadow of grief whenever she heard the echoes of madness melting into nothing, vanishing into the dark, the haze, the pain so unfathomable.
   At once she walked to the huge window on the left so she could see the man, but he was already deflected. The turning of the door lobe stirred her heart and she quickly walked back and continued polishing. Polishing with increased velocity.
   “Marlee, please come to the sitting room. My husband is now here,” she heard Lena calling.
   “You got a new maid again. How come you didn’t tell me? You still remember what the last one did?”
   “Don’t worry Vincent. For this one you have to trust me. She seems the best we ever had.”
She heard the two speak as she came to the door. She walked in, holding her breath under her nose. Before she even sat down Lena started.
  “Hey Marlee, meet Vincent my husband. Vincent this is Marlee, our new maid.”
   Marlee felt her eyes heavy at once. Suddenly it was as though something inside her quaked and snapped. Vincent? What’s going on here? What is this?  How can this name match that voice? That voice she had heard and which had made her grieve, wrestle with her own heart. She was asking herself many questions in a short space of time. It seemed a dark past was returning again, a seed coming back to life, a ghost rising from the grave.
   She lifted her eyes and finally looked at him. He seemed not to bother to look at her but remained gazing at Lena…yet an awful gaze if not a snarl. The sight of him was unbearable, so tense to tear down everything in her that she almost felt running out of air.
  This was the man she had met more seven years ago when she was eighteen. The man she had met at a party when she was forced to drink beer for the first time. The man she barely knew. The man who disappeared the same night and she realized she was not a virgin anymore. This was a man she had so swiftly fallen in love, gazing at him in the lustre that night. And a year later she was struggling with a pregnancy of an untraceable man.
   Her eyes remained glued to him; she thought she was already dead. Her mind raced. Raced with an unfathomable speed. With dubious and insane grief. Inside her she was trembling down to her bones.
   It was clear Vincent was watching her through the corner of his eye. Then he turned and looked at her too. He smiled at her but it was easy for her to see his vulnerability, his emotions plummeting down in chagrin and misery. When he rose up and shook her hand she felt him shivering too, his hands sweating already.
   “Nice to meet you Marlee I hope you’ll will feel comfortable here with us. We are just a small family expecting a baby soon. Did my wife tell you she is four months pregnant?” he said, his voice tormenting her again. She was surprised he was confident. His voice was not shivering as he did inside. She had thought he was going to pass out.
   “I’m already comfortable Sir. Madam told me. Nice to meet you too Sir,” she finally spoke.
Lena kept watching them. In silence. In her own acute shock. She could easily read the way they were looking at each other, the indubitable chemistry between them so easy to feel. The way they held each other’s hands, totally unaware of her presence until she faked a cough.
   “I guess you too know each other already,” Lena finally chipped in. There was heavy silence. Heavy as all sands of the seas!
   “No we don’t know each other. It’s just that your new maid seems different from the ones that left,” Vincent released Marlee’s hand and walked away.
   “Ok Marlee, get back to work. My husband needs coffee now. I must be on my way to the meeting in town now. Will be back here at 2.00,” Lena smiled, grabbed her car keys and left the house at once.
   Eventually, she heard Lena driving off. She was in the bathroom, the door shut and sobbing out of her pain when she heard a soft knock on the door. Before she even said a word, the door winded open and Vincent was standing before her, gawping into her eyes.
   “Who are you and what do you want here?” he asked.
   “I know you Vincent. The second I saw you I remembered you. I remembered everything,” she felt even hard to breathe.
   “So what do you think you’re doing here? You think it’s a good idea.”
   “I never knew this is where you’re hiding Vincent. After all these years…”
   “That’s long time ago, we can’t raise the dead,” he took a step away from her.
   “That’s right Vincent we can’t raise the dead. Right now all you need is get out this room, go to the sitting room wait for your coffee. You heard your wife commanding me,” she pushed him out and slammed the door shut.
   In the kitchen she made the coffee with haste, the kind of haste that burnt her with emotion. Then she stood immobile staring at the ready coffee, hard to bear that her next move was to face him again. Again! Face those perceptive dark brown eyes!
   Her fingers were trembling terribly. Tears glistened in her beautiful hazel eyes, the tears she struggled to stop. Painfully, she lifted the china tray with the coffee and started towards the sitting room.
   He sat in there very quiet, seeping through a deep emotional confusion. He remained glued to the sofa, watching her coming through the corner of his eye. Then she came near him, in front of him that she felt her skin singeing, twitching in emotional discord.
   She swallowed hard as he abruptly gazed into her eyes, a gaze that seemed to peel off her skin. A gaze that felt as if he was undressing her, that seemed to pierce swiftly to the past, the unforgettable past, that night he had so madly made love to her in the dimmed shadows of the bleak light hung up on the ceiling.
   As if automatically propelled, her eyes fell into his and she panicked. She could not help it and in the blink of an eye the tray escaped the grip of her fingers, flew down to the floor and smashed into numerous pieces. The hot coffee splashed on her bare leg, then to the marbled floor, its thin films of smoke surging and vanishing into the delicate room air.
   She threw herself to the sofa screaming hard as the pain of the burn sank and soaked through her blood. The next thing Vincent was holding a pack of ice slowly moving it up and down her wound. He kept doing it slowly. In silence!
    “Thank you Vincent. I think now I can do that myself,” she said taking the ice from his hand. He did not speak but stood upright and looked away. 
   “You really think I should go, don’t you,” she asked.
   “I can’t think anymore. Am out of myself now! Marlee I’m now a married man about to start a family and then you are coming along. It maybe coincidence that you’re here but I feel so much drained. What do you expect me to do?” he walked to the window and looked outside to the green backyard garden. He did not want her to see those tears smothering his cheeks.
   “I’m sorry Vincent I intruded. I shouldn’t be here I know but I think it’s high time that you know you’ve a daughter with me. Tiffany’s now five staying with my mom and she needs a father,” she said.
   “Marlee, did you just say of me having a daughter?” he asked with much concern, stepping fast back to her.
   “I have a daughter, me?” Now he was fawning before her. “Tell me the truth because…”
   “Because what...? Don’t you remember that night at the party when we did it?” she dropped a tear.
    “I remember that Marlee, but how come I believed I couldn’t bear children all this while. Lena was always blaming me since we married three years ago. She never got pregnant and she was always blaming me until she came home the other day saying she’s pregnant. I believe she’s now four months…”
   “Vincent I’m sorry I didn’t come to destroy your home but don’t be fooled. Your wife is not pregnant. I think she is faking you. How come she is doing this to you?”
   “I don’t know if she’s lying”
   “It’s alright Vincent I will pack my bags and go now. If you need to see your daughter I guess you will look for me,” she said, leaping up from the sofa.
   She made a few steps to the door and then she sank as she felt his hand holding her to stop, pulled her closer to him. Now he could not hide his tears from her.
   “Let me go Vincent. Just let me go!” she yelled.
   “I can’t let you go Marlee. I made a mistake when I disappeared that night. I tricked you but the thoughts of you had tormented me all this long. So don’t go,” he said with a melting voice.
   “What do you want me to do Vincent? Tell me. This is your new life and we both know it can’t be ruined. Goodbye Vincent, let me go,” she disentangled her hands from his and scuttled out of the room.
   In her room she packed fast. Packed in the shadow of grief. In the shed of tears! In tormenting pain. Quickly, she dashed out of the house and left as fast as she could. Vincent watched helplessly from up the balcony.
   As she ran down the street, her phone rang. It was Lena.
   “Madam,” she was breathing high.
   “Oh no Marlee am not your boss, but you’re my boss,” she could hear Lena laughing at the end of the line.
   “What are you talking about Lena?”
   “I’m not Vincent’s wife. He never got married since he ditched you. All was a plot to get you back. I was just helping him. What do you think?” Lena revealed, still laughing.
   Marlee melted down to her bones. Her heart pounded once, and was looking up the street back to the big house, the beautiful house with a rooftop that pierced through the tall pine trees.
 Then behind her the car hooter yanked into her ears. It was Lena now winding down the immaculate window glass.
   “Come on Marlee! Do me a favor. Get in the car let me finish my job. Let me bring you to that big house, to your waiting man.”
   “Get off my sight! You almost choked me,” Marlee laughed, jumping into the car. It was kind of a laugh she had never had in years. She was just too paranoid. (Copyright: Tawanda Kandenga)

(24-year old Tawanda Godfrey Kandenga is currently studying for an Honors Degree in Development Studies with Bindura University of Science Education. Tawanda loves writing and he takes inspiration from great authors such as John Grisham, Lane Harris, Dambudzo Marechera, Charles Mungoshi and many others. He writes short-stories, poetry and novels. He is also on attachment at the WIN-Zim office. Someday, he wishes to be a great writer, the Zimbabwean Shakespeare.)
Ed. Note: Feel free to pass on your comments to


The late Dr Yvonne Vera, after whom the competition is named

Intwasa Short Story Competition 2014
 The Intwasa Short Story competition enters its 10th year this year. The competition was inaugurated in the first year of the festival and is an annual literary event seeking to promote original creative writing talent in English. The competition also seeks to promote Zimbabwean narratives from Zimbabwean writers be they in Zimbabwe or living in the diaspora. In 2011 the award for the winner was named Yvonne Vera Award, after the late Dr Yvonne Vera. Dr Yvonne Vera was literary genius whose works include Why Don’t We Curve Other Animals? Nehanda, Without a Name, and Butterfly Burning. The Yvonne Vera award carries a $500 cash prize. 
The rules of the competition are as follows:
 - There is no particular theme
 - Entries must be written in English
 - Entries should be previously unpublished
 - Only one entry per person
- All work must be original
 - Entries must be typed
. - Maximum words are 3000 words.
 - The competition is open to all Zimbabwe citizens and residents
 - Entries must be submitted by June 30, 2014
 - Late entries will not be accepted.
- Only the short-listed candidates will be personally notified 
The Intwasa Short Story Competition is one of the very few literary writing competitions in Zimbabwe and continues to encourage and promote the original Zimbabwean narrative.
Writers are invited to submit their stories to:
Intwasa Arts Festival Office 403
4th Floor, LAPF House
8th Ave/J. Moyo St
Email: or  
Runyararo Cynthia Mutandi
Festival Administrator


Blame it on the alcohol

By Mimi Machakaire
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a drunkard and really think about how it feels to be high on life, when it’s mixed with the alcohol of course. The feeling must be very exhilarating as it gives you the false hope and courage of doing things you wouldn’t normally do while you are sober. Now I, myself, have never been drunk before, believe it or not, but I have seen enough of the younger generation get drunk in the most awkward of places. I've seen people get drunk in bars, homes, cars and in the middle of the streets. I've seen them fall over themselves more times than once. I've even seen heavy fights break out over something as small as who took the last shot.  The thing is that not all of us drink, some of us are a lot stronger than others and do not give in to peer pressure when it comes to drinking. That actually gives one an advantage because you get to see and actually remember everything that happened on that crazy night out when you were with your friends. The best part is telling them (your friends) what happened, what they did, what they didn’t do and who they did it with. You being the sober one just get to sit back and enjoy the show, the reviews of that show. That’s another story altogether!
Alcohol tends to have different effects on different personalities. Some become the exact opposite of who they really are. Martin (not real name), my friend, for instance, becomes loud and I mean loud enough to reveal certain things that you really don’t want to be said out loud. Naturally he is a very shy and quiet person so you can imagine the effects a couple of beer cans can have on a person like him. On the other hand, my brother becomes extremely generous with his food when generally he is rather stingy and one of my other friends becomes unexpectedly violent when usually she's a very kind and well natured young lady.  However, the rest of the younger generation has a similar reaction towards alcohol, which is saying things that would have probably never been said while they were sober. As the saying goes "drunken words are sober thoughts".
When these things occur the youth like to blame it on the alcohol as it is quite certain to them that they would have never acted that way or said those things if they were sober. Whether or not that’s true, you can see it for yourself. All you need to do is just avoid drinking at the next gathering, relax and watch what happens. I can guarantee that you will not only gain some hilarious memories for your later years to come but you can also plan ahead for the next time you don’t want to watch your friends and the people you care about make absolute fools out of themselves. In the meantime, get a good hearty laugh out of the situation because you'll never know when you are going to get the chance to see something insane happen again. And to the adults of the world who claim to have never done anything wild before in their entire lives, think about the youths before you jump to conclusions or else you get the wrong impression of some of the youths in your life who drink and remember you were once youths too. 


This space
Is with poetry
Of poetry
This poem
Is without space
This space
Is not without a case
There is no mind
Without poetry
No poetry
Without mind
Write one today
There will be
Two birds tomorrow
Let them fly, free them
Send yours
Share with others
That we can smile, laugh, and cry

(By WIN-Zim)


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