Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

04 October 2014

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 81

The late Paul Roger Brickhill (1958 - 2014)
(photo used with permission)

It is an emotional moment indeed for us all in the arts sector as we have lost one who created the much-needed space for artistic talent to grow, Paul Brickhill, owner of the popular arts and cultural hub The Book Café. Brickhill died from cancer on October 3 in Johannesburg, South Africa. May his soul rest in peace.
WIN continues to patiently do what it deems necessary for its members although things at times get difficult due to our limited resources. Poems in Tonga and Ndebele are still welcome for our ‘4 in 1’ Poetry Anthology Project. The journey, dear members and all new writers, is for the patient yet restlessly searching heart. Someday, when it’s time, you will be the next biggest star. This 81st newsletter comes with so much ‘ambrosia’ and we hope you will have your pick. May your wings of the creative imagination be un-clipped…


A group of five members met on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the WIN office for the inaugural weekly “WIN Inspirational Saturday’ programme. The discussion touched on various topics as the group interacted with editors of a newly published Shona poetry anthology ‘Zviri Mugapu’ Brian Tafadzwa Penny and Givemore Mhlanga. Penny and Mhlanga have poems in the anthology also. The photo above shows (standing, from left) Brian Tafadzwa Penny, Givemore Mhlanga, Benard Yombayomba, Brighten Muvindi, (sitting, from left) Joseph Matonga who traveled all the way from Mhondoro, Benevolent  Masora and Pumulani Chipandamira.  
The following Saturday, September 27, the event was postponed. Published writer Lawrence Hoba was scheduled to be the guest of honor at the September 27 meeting.
Five to ten members will be invited to meet at the office on some Saturdays to discuss various writing issues.
If you want to take part you need to be a member and please contact us.


Yes, you can write: The picture above shows WIN Director Beaven Tapureta (far left) with some members of Viable Educational Centre writers club in Glen View 3, Harare

WIN-Zimbabwe Director was one of the invited guests at Viable Educational Centre prize giving ceremony in Glen View, Harare, where the writers’ association donated a few books to the school Writers’ Club.
The ceremony, aimed at rewarding students who have excelled in different fields in the 2014 academic year, took place on Friday, October 3, 2014, and was attended by various distinguished guests from different walks of life.
Although WIN could not participate in the whole ceremony, no doubt the friendship between the school and WIN has been established, courtesy of writer Freedom Gengezha who also teaches at the school and is a bona fide member WIN.
Gengezha, Patron of the writers club, is a passionate poet and has just finished his first novel which he is perfecting with help from WIN and other experienced readers.
The club members expressed joy for the small donation made by WIN and said they really would want WIN to come back for the official launch of the VEC writers club.
Gengezha and his colleagues at VEC deserve hats off salute for bringing their school into the family of readers and writers. 


The Golden Baobab Prizes for African children literature released this year’s longlist and, guess what, Zim is represented. We wish all the longlisted writers well. The shortlist will be announced on October, 30, 2014 and winners in all the six categories of the Golden Baobab Prizes will be announced on November 13. For more information, visit

Below is the 2014 longlist:

Early Chapter Book Prize

Ricky Dankwa Ansong (Ghana) – Kweku Ananse: The Tale of the Wolf and the Moon
Jayne Bauling (South Africa) – The Saturday Dress
Mamle Wolo (Ghana) – Flying through Water
Mary Okon Ononokpono (Nigeria) – Talulah the Time Traveller
Bontle Senne (South Africa) – The Monster at Midnight
Hillary Molenje Namunyu (Kenya) – Teddy Mapesa and the Missing Cash
Dina Mousa (Egypt) – The Sunbird and Fatuma

Picture Book Prize

Katherine Graham (South Africa) – The Lemon Tree
Aleya Kassam (Kenya) – The Jacaranda Tree
Kwame Aidoo (Ghana) – The Tale of Busy Body Bee
Mandy Collins (South Africa) – There is a Hyena in my Kitchen
Mike Mware (Zimbabwe) – The Big Ball
Shaleen Keshavjee-Gulam (Kenya) – Malaika’s Magical Kiosk
Portia Dery (Ghana) – Grandma’s List


(WIN Correspondent)

Part of the audience at the official launch of ‘The Whistling Shoes’

Bulawayo-based new writer Rudo Kanukamwe was all smiles on September 26, 2014, when she launched her debut novel The Whistling Shoes (2013, Diaspora Publishers, UK) at the Bulawayo National Art Gallery.
Some of the writers who attended the launch included respected cultural guru Pathisa Nyathi, Lassie Ndondo, Isaac Mpofu, and Prince N Sibanda.
The Whistling Shoes is available at the Bulawayo National Art Gallery, Cnr 7th Avenue/JMN Nkomo Street or at Z & N Enterprises, Cnr 3rd Avenue/JMN Nkomo Street, Bulawayo. Readers can also contact the author on 263-772755290.
Below is a brief interview with Kanukamwe.

‘The whistling Shoes’, why did you use that title?

RK: I went to great lengths trying to make sure that what I wrote went hand in hand with my title. I decided on the title The Whistling Shoes because the main theme, homosexuality, is something we are living with though we decide to ignore it, a minority of some Zimbabweans are practicing it and pretend its normal yet it’s not, just like a person who has a shoe with a hole they are not comfortable with yet they pretend and realize it’s not comfortable when the shoe tears away.

Your character Rachel is very strong in her challenges, what makes her tick?

RK: Well, when I wrote this novel, I was really inspired. I was really touched. So I had all the passion I needed to write and a readiness to succeed. I was never satisfied when I began writing. I always wanted more and that worked to my advantage. As I went on with my novel I realized that there are only three things that make one successful.1). Study, respect yourself and others.2). Always go an extra mile; there is no substitute for hard work. 3). There is no such thing as perfection even though we do our best every day to achieve it. So as a result I created someone who fell along those lines.

Do you have any advice for your peers?

RK: Work hard; never be an average person because average is a recipe for failure. An average person has little or nothing to show off for their years of hard labour. Who you are or what you choose to do with your life is not the issue. What really matters is not the job or profession but the person who does the job and what they make of it. Secondly become a life-long student, read, and gather information. Real leaders are readers and a disciplined reader becomes an expert at something through study.

(Kanukamwe Rudorwashe is a Zimbabwean born and bred in Bulawayo and resides in the midst of Northend. She is a freelance writer, poet, novelist and editor. She started writing at the age of 15, where she began writing articles for the local newspaper (CHRONICLE) all the same she took herself seriously. Her first novel, THE WHISTLING SHOES, was published by Diaspora Publishers in September 2013. She is working on her second novel (OMEGA). She has also put together her first edition to Physics, a textbook for tertiary schools which is currently in the capable hands of the editors and should be published anytime. She holds a diploma in Applied Chemical Technology which she acquired from Bulawayo Polytechnic.)

The Launch in Pictures

Kanukamwe autographing a copy of her novel

Ndebele writer and cultural thinker Pathisa Nyathi (left) pose with Kanukamwe

All smiles: Kanukamwe with a friend Vongai Chemhere


Dear Friends of the Chewa/ Nyanja language,

Allow me to share the latest news on our Dictionary of Chichewa/Chinyanja, the most widely spoken vernacular language of Central Africa.
The newest edition of the book version of the Dictionary is available to learners, teachers and other users.
CLAIM ( sells the book in its stores in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Kasungu, Mangochi, Balaka, Zomba, Mulanje. Also other bookshops sell the Dictionary.
The Dictionary is a small format compact thin paper volume of 1152 pages, printed in China.  This special high quality edition was published for the SADC region of Africa.  See the website of the Dictionary Project, 
In addition to its book version, the Dictionary is accessible electronically. The online version has its own website,  The site attracts a lot of visitors and users. Many are living outside Africa; a growing number is from Chichewa/ Chinyanja-speaking Africa itself. Access is free to a limited extent. Full access requires a modest fee.

On behalf of the Chichewa Dictionary Project, with kind regards,

Steven Paas (PhD)

PS: Please respond to


Mimi Machakaire

There comes a time in life when a writer decides to pick a role model. That role model is a person whom the writer will follow for encouragement, strength, courage and, most of all, guidance. Knowing that one’s role model has had a successful and lucrative career path within his/her field and taking the time to understand how they got to where they are today helps direct any new writer’s vision. Mine, for example, is JK Rowling (insert) mostly because I have read her personal and professional story. I have admired her struggle from rags to riches and as such she has (whether she knows this or not) enriched my life. That is the mark most new writers will look for on their chosen role model. 
As youths we tend to find someone to whom we can relate because we feel that, beyond our families and friends, the role model will be the one who will give us the honest advice that we need. We don’t have to ask them personally for that advice but as long as we find the information that will help us search for the answers to the questions that we have asked in the past, then we will take the effort to look for it. Even if it takes days or weeks or months or years at a time as long as we can comprehend where they were coming from then eventually it will make sense to us and therefore help develop our career that much more.
Knowing their story is also a comforting effect that captivates our attention because as beginners we will come across events in our lives within this path and struggle to recognize where our faults may lie and how we can learn from our mistakes. As we watch our role models grow as people who started from a similar ‘place’ or level where we are today gives us hope that we will one day stand where they are.  Being on this earth is not a smooth journey and at times we are not acknowledged as such but it takes a lot of maturity to realize where we fell, take the time to stand up and keep walking; then study the reasons why we fell in the first place in order to avoid falling again.  If we are not careful the amount of times that we fall could ultimately damage our career and therefore this process I am sharing now instructs you to stay cautious, learn and grow. 
One thing I have always said is that there is one big reason why I love my role model. This is because I admire the amount of times someone has fallen and not the amount of times they have succeeded.  I admire them because they have fallen before they wanted to find a way to get back up and stay up; your mistakes won’t mean anything if you haven’t acknowledged that they have been mistakes to begin with.
If you become successful in the world, it won’t mean anything unless you are humbled by it. No one will appreciate just how much it means to you to have what you have. You can neither change what has happened in the past nor can you run away from it and ignore it but you can create a brighter future and you can make yourself a better person because of it (the past). That attitude will give you the confidence to advance your career as a writer and with the help of your role model you can gain ideas from them that will teach you how to get the deserved recognition for your work. Lastly I have this to say: there are millions of Literatures out there in the whole world but there is only one voice that each youth of today will listen to and that voice is in you.     


Writing for the e-book market: A guide for Zimbabwean authors
By Masimba Musodza

With the phenomenal growth in the mobile phone and internet sectors, the emergence of digital publishing was inevitable. We used to speculate on this, my brother Chris and I, back in the day when e-books were only someone typing out a whole novel and posting it on the net for free and no one had thought of having the internet on a mobile phone. But now, it’s all here; mobile phones with full broadband capability and e-books. Just as mp3s were, for a while, just a sideshow for industry players, eBooks are a complete business on their own now with some specialising exclusively in eBooks. Between the tech guys, such as Chris, and businesspeople, a
way was figured out to sell eBooks and pay authors royalties.
Ebooks are not the only medium for delivering digital content commercially. There are platforms offering stories for free to readers, with revenue generated from advertising. There are also writers who post stories for free and attach a Paypal widget, hoping that people will feel moved to send them a tip.
Unfortunately, Zimbabwean writers have been missing out on all this action for a while now. Even those based abroad have found it hard to deal with the fact that ChiShona and SiNdebele (let alone Nyanja and other Zimbabwean languages) are not supported by the main distributors of digital content such as Amazon Kindle, Kobo etc. My MunaHacha Maive Nei? was the first novel published in ChiShona first in digital format before going to print. But after Kindle worked out that it was not in English, they pulled it down. Of course, I had already experienced the potential of eBooks. I was making about £60-100 a month on ebook sales alone on The Man
Who Turned into a Rastafarian. If I had been based in Zimbabwe at the time, this would have been a very princely sum indeed. Since then, I have established a reputation as a pioneer in Zimbabwean eBooks. Three recent developments now facilitate the Zimbabwe-based writer’s foray in to the world of epublishing. The first is the use of stable currencies, such as the American dollar, in the everyday economy, which has made possible international payment services such as VISA DEBIT and PayPal to operate in Zimbabwe. The second is the growth of the mobile phone
industry, including the capacity to conduct financial transactions via a handset... The third, is the appearance of a distribution platform,, which supports local languages. So, all that is left is for authors to come up with stories that readers will be glad to part their money with.
What would work for the Zimbabwean ebook industry?

Keep it byte-sized

If you are a new author, I suggest pulp. Something light. The first reason I recommend this approach is technical and therefore economic. You would have to be one of those established writers who sells millions of copies of a novel that isn’t even written yet before you expect readers to part with, say, $10, to download one of your works. A novella with no pictures will require less megabytes, which means the retail price is affordable to more people. A 25000 word steamy, pacey story at 75 cents a pop that costs nothing to download as it is barely half a megabyte, will reach more people than that 150000 word tome with 30 colour images. Pulp fiction is easy to write and easy to sell. You put out one of these a week and you could make
a living off being a writer or at least be able to pay one of your bills. Another method is break down your 150000 epic in to a series. This was how pulp stories used to be delivered in Victorian Britain. Pennydreadfuls, they were called. And several writers of that time defied the intellectual snobbery of the Establishment and churned out these pennydreadfuls for considerable profit.
The second reason is cultural and physical. People use their phones for other things, like making a call. No matter how engrossing your story is, no one wants to stare at a phone screen for hours as if they are studying sacred texts. They would rather get a print book. There is also such as thing as a reading device, such as a kindle. But these are still expensive. Moreover, rather bulky to carry around when you have a phone too. So, you want your story to be practical to read and one way to achieve this is to keep it short.

Keep it interesting.

Easy to read doesn’t mean something the reader forgets as soon as they slip their mobile back into their purse or pocket. You want them to be able to tell someone about it, spread the word, beg for more. Such reactions do not hurt the sales at all, so why not? How do you keep it interesting? Those of us who stick out from the crowd have our own shtick (excuse the pun). Some delve into controversial subjects. Some delve into that all-time favourite with Zimbabwean internet users- sex. Others delve into controversial subjects about sex. It is not for me to tell you what to write exactly. In fact, you don’t need me to tell you to keep your readers engaged. Which leads us to…..

Online presence

It is virtually impossible to sell digital content without an online presence. Not having much of an online presence and expecting sales is the same as expecting your book to fly off the shelves when it can only be found in three bookstores in the entire world. You need a website. You need a blog. You need a YouTube channel, and a Facebook page. There are several other free internet tools to capture your audience. Keeping them interested is then down to what you have for them, otherwise they will just wander off across the cyber plains, seeking other pastures to graze on.

(Masimba Musodza is a UK-based Zimbabwean writer)


The beautiful countryside of Zimbabwe

By Angazi Chiratidzo Ngwarati (Mutare)

Oh how i love the countryside of my birth, Zimbabwe
Nothing else can compare with it, not even the Zimbabwe ruins
Oh how so full of bursting colours
Everything seems to be painted in a vivid glow
The scent of the wet earth from the recent rains
Makes me crave to taste the grains and makes the blood in my veins flow with ever increasing strains of excitement
The feel of the crisp morning air caressing my cheeks
Covers my skin with streaks of vitality to the peak
The sound of the chirping birds in the heath
Is like music flirting with the strings of my heart
The water gushing from the mountain streams
Makes me think this might be but a dream
See how exquisite the flowers look in their natural splendour
Not even Solomon’s temple could be so tender
And as the golden petals fall to the ground like confetti at a wedding
I look around with renewed awe of God’s majestic placing
Beneath the rich soil i know it’s teeming with life
Worms, germs and every little creeping thing
The peace i feel here could easily ensnare me
Oh how i wish i could tear myself away from the city
Away from the hustle of noisy traffic
Away from the bustle of city life
Times moves ever so slowly here
This is the paradise i call my country home, Zimbabwe

We welcome your feedback so we can grow. 
Thank you for reading.


  1. excellent wonderfull.I like it . So real touching .TINOTENDA MOYO