Stars of tomorrow: Pupils from different primary schools in Harare expressed promising understanding of literature at the Children’s Reading Tent during the 2014 ZIBF. The Tent is annually run by Harare City Library.
At times a writer’s work gets so overwhelming and interesting, you suddenly realize the sun has just set and still, for you, the sun (the midnight candle) has just risen. There is a book to read through the night, a story or poem to write, a certain idea you have to ponder, there is always something you haven’t written….
We welcome you to our long-awaited 79th issue of the WIN Newsletter, we hope you will enjoy.
WIN-ZIM WELCOMES NEW VOLUNTEER
Odreck Nyika, the new volunteer
We would like to welcome our new volunteer Odreck Nyika, who becomes the fifth volunteer to help in WIN-Zimbabwe ever since the association was formed in 2010.
Supa Mafuta, an aspiring writer, is currently volunteering in Epworth where WIN has a running outreach programme. Mafuta also chairs the Epworth branch. Three other hard working volunteers who have been with WIN in the past are Moira Marangwanda, Paida Mudzamba, and Tawanda Kandenga.
We are indeed very grateful to these volunteers for committing themselves to the WIN dream.
WIN-Zimbabwe believes that volunteerism is one way among others that can keep the organisation going until such a time when the organisation will be capable of remunerating. Volunteers, who are also mostly aspirants in writing world, also learn as they carry out their work. Through donation of their time, ideas, and labour to the organisation, volunteers have become a major part of WIN in terms of coordination of work. We thank everyone who has believed in us.
Supa Mafuta, volunteer and Chairperson of WIN Epworth Branch. Mafuta has been with WIN from its birth.
Previous WIN Volunteers
Moira Marangwanda volunteered in WIN in 2012.
Tawanda Kandenga is seen here in office at our previous location in Highlands. Kandenga helped in WIN as an attaché & volunteer from September 2013 to earlier this year
Paida Mudzamba, a violin-lover, also helped in WIN last year
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK – MIMI MACHAKAIRE
Mimi Machakaire holds her baby at the BookLove stand at this year's ZIBF
Mimi Machakaire (pictured above) , who is a regular contributor to the exciting Youth Perspective column in WIN Newsletters, is a happy young writer after she had her debut novel Princess Gangster published this year by BookLove Publishers, Gweru (Zimbabwe). The novel was launched at the 2014 Zimbabwe International Book Fair.
Mimi (in red T-shirt) with her peers at the Matthew Rusike College
Soon after the Book Fair, Mimi accompanied WIN to Matthew Rusike College Writers Club (Matthew Rusike Children’s Home) in Epworth where she spoke about her book and encouraged her peers to continue to write and persevere. The visit to Epworth was part of the follow-up meetings with writers’ club falling under the WIN Epworth Community Outreach Programme. The visits will resume next term.
Princess Gangster is available at the WIN office for members to read and construct their own critical reviews.
A CHANCE TO ENJOY STORYTELLING
Ten Tickets for WIN!
Writer and storyteller Ignatius Mabasa has donated ten tickets to WIN; that means ten of our members will attend and enjoy the above storytelling events for free! Thank you Mr. Mabasa, thanks for the support.
THE YOUTH PERSPECTIVE
Title: Skizzo Vs The Bully
Author: Martin Mahenga
Year of Publication: 2014
Category: Comic picture book for children
We have all had those moments at school when we were called names and made fun of for just about everything we did. School kids these days can be mean and if you don’t have at least one good friend that you can rely on for the rest of the school year then you are in trouble. I for one don’t condone bullying because I’ve been bullied before and I know how it feels to have your self-esteem ripped apart. There even comes a time when you are forced into bullying someone else because of peer pressure and you feel like if you don’t you won’t fit in the group. Its survival of the fittest out there in the school playground and only the people with the most confident personalities know how to survive.
Just recently I was given an opportunity by WINZ to review a comic picture book on bullying entitled Skizzo VS The Bully by Martin Mahenga. This is a touching story about Skizzo’s battle with the big, the bad, and the ugly bullies who terrorize him at school, along with several other students. It all starts with his transfer from boarding school to another High school during the start of second term and he is in for a rude awakening on how different things are going to be from now on. His first encounter with bullies named Franko Mvundla A.K.A “GENERAL”, Dennis Hawlett A.K.A “XERXES” and Penwell Chitupa A.K.A “SLASH” unfortunately happens on his first day at school when he arrives late. The bullies corner him by the gate and attempt to force him to pay a fine for coming late. Taking this as a joke Skizzo casually ignores their unreasonable request and continues on his way to class. Sadly he’s been paying for that encounter since then and things only go from bad to worse.
After his condemnable efforts at changing how things were done at the school by going to the teachers and reporting the matter, forlornly he still failed as the teachers and even his parents did not see the seriousness behind his case. His last option was to approach Principal Stox but that did not work also. Lost and confused he resorted to drastic measures and brought a gun into school, hoping that it would at least scare off his bullies. His intentions were not to hurt anyone but he thought that he would look tougher than he was if he held it in his hands. There was good news and bad news to this behavior. He managed to scare off his bullies but only for the moment and he was suspended for three weeks for unwanted violence in the school. Little did Skizzo know that things were going to change as time went on because on his arrival back to school things had changed for the better.
A new principal had arrived after the old principal was fired for embezzling school funds and this time they got a principal who was understanding, caring and valued the opinion of others. This new change gave Skizzo hope and he saw this as an opportunity to tell his side to the story despite the bullies’ attempt to make him look bad in front of the new principal Mr. Mshengu. A lot happened later and Skizzo was the main force behind the creation of a better school environment.
I think the author’s portrayal of bullying is quite compelling as he manages to generalize on the state of things and still create an interesting take on the victim. How he focused on the reaction by Skizzo brings about a very important issue that has often occurred in different situations at schools. We have all seen or heard this on the news about kids bringing guns to school and we fear that there are some disturbed minds at play but we forget to look at it from the children’s point of view and understand what their intentions were at the time that thought came to mind. Yes it is scary to think that someone could have gotten hurt but with counseling and extensive therapy we can make a difference to these troubled kids because we know we have been victims at some point.
Overall I think that the storyline itself offers some food for thought as the characters that the writer created are easy to identify with. The illustrations on their own matched the emotions of the characters that were being portrayed in the story and made it that much more entertaining. The book also offers some helpful tips on how to handle bullies at school and can be read leisurely.
A Gift I Will Always Cherish
By Mudikani Gondora (above)
The moment I started this life’s journey
With a loud cry
I embarked on it with a passion
Into your loving arms you held me
And in them I would remain
As I took my first steps
Your eagle-eyes never left me
And your tender hands were always there
Patience you never lacked
and joy you always showed
Your smile warm and bright
Was my the light
Careful not to lead me astray
You endeavored to bring the best out of me
With unaltered love you were always present
Those hands for me are now cracked
So that I could never say I lacked
(Seventeen year old Mudikani Gondora is doing her Lower Six at Marlborough High School, Harare. She did her secondary education at Hartzel High in Mutare and primary at Old Windsor Primary School in Ruwa. Mudikani says her favourite writers are William Shakespeare, Charles Mungoshi and Ignatius Mabasa. Poetry for her is not ‘hobby’ but a something so dear that she hopes to take it to greater heights.)
Na Tsoka Vaida, Muguta Writers Club, Epworth
Handinyengereri, ndakanyenga kare
Handikusekereri, ndakaseka kare
Handikunyenamire, ndakanyenama zvakapera
Handikuregereri, ndakaregerera zvikapera
Wajaira, ini handijairi
Wandiona nezhara rega ndiziye
Wandiona ndichikamhina, usandisundidzira
WHAT IS AN AFRICAN STORY?
There is a new wave of intellectual criticism that is sweeping across Africa regarding the role of Western literary prizes in shaping the African story. In 2009 I covered a literary discussion at the Book Café then situated at Fife Avenue Shopping centre in Harare, where the topic was ‘‘Do prizes play a role in arts development?’’ Read More...
2014 Caine Prize: ‘The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories’ Launch in Pictures
Writer and academic Memory Chirere anchored a discussion at the launch
Damary Nafula, Consular of Kenyan Embassy in Zimbabwe, who was Guest of Honour, presenting her speech
Isabella Matambanadzo reading her story in "The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories" anthology
Lawrence Hoba also read his story 'Pam Pam' in the Gonjon Pin anthology
Award-winning poet Philani A Nyoni read his story 'The Sonneteer', also in the anthology
Violet Masilo reading her short story in the anthology
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