Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

16 June 2014

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 78


Welcome all to our 78th issue which we believe has so much to offer. The 2014 ZIBF is around the corner, deadlines for some writing contests such as the Golden Baobab Prize are approaching, will you be part of all this and other literary activities around you? Better be.
We are glad to announce that Writers International Network Zimbabwe has moved office from Highlands back to the city centre. We would like to greatly thank Auntie Thelma Boettrich who hosted us with loving-kindness in Highlands since the beginning of this year. May she be blessed overmuch. WIN will now be at No 82/83 Kaguvi Street, Office No 6, Harare (near Fidelity Life Towers).
Many thanks to our respectable Board for the professional guidance, and our membership across the country  and outside, who have been very supportive, patient and a big thank you to the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust for the support. We are humbled indeed. Please enjoy.


 Kwekwe Polytechnic Writers' Club Members

The good of becoming part of WIN is in the increasing inspiration which eventually invites a soul to do the actual writing. It is in this spirit that WIN welcomes Kwekwe Polytechnic Writers’ Club. Mr. Learnmore Nyoni, lecturer in National and Strategic Studies, is the club Patron (extreme left in the group photo) while Raymond Gwaka, a student, chairs the club. You have inspired us Kwekwe. Let us write!


The Zimbabwe International Book Fair is here again and this year, it has a new segment added to it that will help students and aspiring writers to develop their knowledge of local established writers and their writing. 

This year’s Book Fair, running from July 28 to August 2 under the theme ‘Indigenous Languages, Literature, Art and Knowledge Systems in Africa’,  will provide such a beautiful platform for aspiring writers to talk one-on-one with published writers. 

At a press conference held last week the ZIBF Executive Board Chairperson Musaemura Zimunya said the ‘Meet the Author’ sessions will run alongside other book fair activities such as the book exhibitions, Young Persons Indaba, ZIBF Literary Evenings, and Live Literature.

The Indaba Conference, a very important space used to critically examine the theme in line with what’s happened and/or happening in reality,  will take place from July 28 to July 30 at its traditional venue the Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel, a short walk from the Harare Gardens.

The Children’s Reading Tent and Digital Zone are other educational spots of intellectual development for the kids and youths attending this year’s Book Fair.
For enquiries, ZIBF can be contacted on  +263 4 702104, 702108, 705729,  707352 or via email at or


Report by WIN-Zimbabwe

Commemorative candles

On the night of June 7, 2014, the Book CafĂ© in Harare under the auspices of Pamberi Trust hosted an event to celebrate the ‘Life and Works of Dr. Maya Angelou’. Dr. Maya Angelou passed on on May 28, 2014 in North Carolina.
Rutendo Chigudu aka R Tendo, emceed the event.
Before poetry readings, the 1979 television film ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ adapted from a book of the same title by Angelou, was screened.
Poets then read and reflected on the works of the great African American author who wore many hats and was honoured around the world.
In the film ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’, Maya (played by Constance Good), , then a young girl, exudes such character that only bespeaks of the greatness she was gifted with even in real life. At a tender age, she is together with her brother separated from their parents and lives with their grandparents in the countryside where she witnesses white kids speaking disrespectfully at her grandmother.
“One day I am gonna wake up from this damn nightmare,” young Maya tells herself.
All is well until Maya’s father decides to take his children to the city (California) where he thinks there is better education. Unwillingly, Maya goes to the city where her mother runs a gambling bar and she leads a careless lifestyle.
It is when her mother’s boyfriend named Freeman rapes her that Maya’s world is shattered. However, she speaks out about the rape and the rapist is discovered and killed by her uncles. For a long time she loses speech due to the trauma. Still she continues to listen to the voice from within.
Ironically, when she is taken back home to her loving and caring grandmother, she slowly regains her speech after she is presented with the book ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ (Charles Dickens) by her former teacher in the same community who urges her to read aloud the first passage which goes as follows:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair….”
And on and on, for days alone, she would read and attempt to win back her voice. Her teacher knows she has a special talent and gives her more gifts of books by great writers such as Alan Edgar Poe. When she recovers she becomes a resilient poetic voice in the negro community.
Poets D-Blok who read with the accompaniment of music, Zaza Muchemwa, Peggie Shangwa, Karen Mukwasi, Mazviita Gwangwadza, the trio Tendai, Tariro and R Tendo read Angelou’s soulful poems while Dr. Pauline E Bullen, senior lecturer from the Women’s University in Africa, read excerpts from Angelou’s second book of essays ‘Even The Stars Look Lonesome’.
It was a poetical evening dedicated to such an inspirational figure as each poet lit a commemorative candle after reading a poem.
Dr. Bullen, the brains behind the commemoration, remembered Angelou as a ‘powerful voice, powerful force’ whom she met more than ten years ago at the Yari Yari Women’s Writers Conference held in New York. The conference is an international symposium on Literature by women of African descent.
“At that time, I had already read many of her poems, and had fallen into the habit of reciting and quoting the poems at high school. It was an amazing encounter to actually meet someone that I truly admired and acknowledged that her works had profound effect on women and men through her words of empowerment,” said Dr. Bullen. 

The late Dr. Maya Angelou’s biography can be accessed here.

The Commemoration in Pictures

 Zaza Muchemwa read the poem 'Take Time Out' by Maya Angelou

The emcee, R Tendo, a poet as well

 Mazvita Gwangwadza read a poem 'They Went Home' from Angelou's collection

 Dr. Bullen read excerpts from Angelou's book of essays

 Poet D-Blok did a poem called 'Alone' by Maya Angelou


And the shortlisted short stories are:

a)     Devils
b)     Lunatic
c)      Out of the Blue
d)     Survived By
e)      Walls and Boarders

The winner will be announced on June 21, 2014 at the Writivism Festival in Kampala.
Congratulations to the authors of the shortlisted stories! For more information, click here.


Review of Cover to Cover 2013 Magazine 
(An annual publication by The Standard under Alpha Media Holdings)

 By Mimi Machakaire

Recently I was offered an opportunity by the WIN Newsletter editor to read a very interesting magazine  and he challenged me to write a personal review of this magazine, a collection of short stories, written by students from different schools around Zimbabwe. The magazine is titled “Cover to Cover 2013.”
Now the first thing I noticed was the similarities between some of the titles but the differences between each story. This reminded me of how in fashion, from time to time different celebrities are caught with a similar look and this incident would raise the question of “who wore it best?”
 Now in this case since we are talking about stories, it inspired me to create a new segment I would like to call “who wrote it best?” The first pair that caught my eye was the short stories both titled “My extended family”. The first one is by Kuziva Mutsvangwa from St George’s College in Harare and the other is by Lionel Imena-Kirenga  also from St George’s College in Harare. This was the typical battle of the bands as the two stories had completely opposite concepts despite having the same title. So here I introduce…..who wrote it best? 
First we have Lionel who illustrated his narrator’s portrayal of extended family in a rather negative but honest manner. His diction was great because he specified exactly why the family members agitate his main character. The other thing I liked was that he tried to be as unexpected as possible. This is shown by how he uses certain words/phrases that helped put imagery into his work. Such phrases as  when the narrator says, “What I hate the most is that you cannot stay mad at them because they all have smiles that assure you that there is a God” during the time his character talks about his seemingly cute and adorable nephews but in his eyes they are actually “sugar eating monsters”. Somewhere the narrator describes his grandfather as follows: “He waves his arms like a windmill when he tries to be more interesting….”
Next up is Kuziva who seemed to have compromising views on how his character sees his family. It was as though he loved them one minute but hated them the next. Which I felt was a realistic and common. The narrator’s introduction to how he already felt about going into the family reunion at first made us think that he was going to portray it in a similar concept to how Lionel portrayed his but he surprised us in the end when he says “Although my extended family is not usually a nice bunch - each one of them is different but all are great casual company.” Though I wished he could have balanced out the comments he gave out i.e. telling us why he loved them despite feeling anxious about the reunion.
So let’s add up the scores and find out “who wrote it best?” My favourite was Lionel! Simply because he was not afraid to try something out of the ordinary and step out of his comfort zone.
The rest of the stories I read included my next favourite titled “My sister went missing” by Dylan Goredema from Home School in Harare. His use of suspense was excellent because as I read the story even after I finished it, it still made me want to read more. My least favourite was “An old man told us what had happened” by Gamuchirai G Gwitira of St Christopher’s Primary School in Gwanda. While I appreciate the writer’s attempt at writing fantasy, it is rather tricky to do. This is especially common amongst beginners because if you’re not careful the story tends to lose sense half way through and ideas can be tempted to be stolen from other professional writers. This is sadly what happened to Gamuchirai. Noticing that some ideas might have been inspired by others,  the story by Gamuchirai reminded me of similar events in the Peter Pan stories. Hmmm…either way the effort is admirable.
Lastly I have this left to say. This issue of Cover to Cover was filled with many talented students who I know will be seen as future writers. Keep up the good work fellow writers and I hope to be standing next to you one day as we slowly but surely take over the world of literature.
All the short stories in the Cover to Cover 2013 magazine were judged by well-known writers Ethel Kabwato, Eresina Hwede and Jerry Zondo.

(Ed. Note: As a member, you can also borrow a book or magazine from the WIN library to review for the Newsletter. There is always a first time. Above all, by reading you grow!)


 A winner: Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s debut book ‘Shadows’ recently won the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize for Excellence in English Fiction. 
Makorokoto, amhlope. We are happy for you, our sister!




na Patrick Hwande (above)

haandipe kiss yoga
Anondipawo nomoyo
Kisi yakaurayisa Jesu
Moyo idende rehuchi
haandipe rwepamusoro
anondipa rwepasipasi
rwepamusorosoro rwunopupurutswa nemhepo
rwepasi rwuchinamirana nemidzi

haandinongedze nechigunwe
anondibata ruoko
kuti vasingandizive vagondiziva
haashaye chakaipa nechakanaka pandiri
ane meso asina utara
haasi Mhurai, Muchanyara kana Miedzo
wangu ndiRudorwashe
ndosaka tichigara tiri hupfu nemapfihwa
Nokuti tiri vatorwa vaneukama


 Thank you for reading.

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