WIN lets the young writers meet their heroes
Welcome, welcome, hoping that you are all fine. The year is coming to an end, how fast time moves! Anyway, we bring you a special menu in this newsletter for you to relax and enjoy. Thank you so much for the support. Enjoy!
WIN ‘INSPIRATIONAL SATURDAYS’ UPDATE
Paida Mudzamba, an upcoming poet, playing the violin which she says has a poetic effect on her
On Saturday, October 25, WIN held its second ‘Inspirational Saturday’ meeting at its office in Harare.
The members who attended had an elevating discussion on the links between poetry and music, psychology and characterization. Paida Mudzamba, a poet, is also a gifted violinist who explained how she is inspired by music in the composition of her poetry. Paida also played some of her songs to demonstrate her points.
Another member Mimi Machakaire, author of the novel ‘Princess Gangster’ (2014, BookLove Publishers, Gweru) and a regular columnist for our WIN Newsletter, shared how in her novel she avoided following the good-girl-gone-bad plot and rather used the bad-girl-gone-worse string to bring out a new perspective.
Mimi, a teenage writer, could be one of a few published teenage writers in Zimbabwe and the discussants realized that lack of serious writers from this age group is possibly caused by lack of parental/family support.
The next meeting is expected to take place on November 8, 2014, same time at the same venue.
ZWA INVITES YOU
Writer Virginia Phiri is one of the key presenters
Prof Vitalis Nyawaranda, Virginia Phiri and Tinashe Muchuri
Readings by the authors and discussions on their work
FREE, all welcome!
Date: Thursday, 30 October, 2014
Venue: Book Cafe, Harare (139 Samora Machel Ave, Cnr 6th Street)
Date: Thursday, 30 October, 2014
Venue: Book Cafe, Harare (139 Samora Machel Ave, Cnr 6th Street)
(Presented by the Zimbabwe Writers’ Association)
THE YOUTH PERSPECTIVE
Negativity at every corner
This is an issue based on tough love. Some people do not realize how hard it is to be a writer and think that they can just wake up one day and make it happen. It is not that easy. In this world people can be cruel about your decision to be a writer and the honest brutal fact is that not everyone will support you. If you are lucky you might get one or two people who will stand by you but at the end of the day we walk this earth alone and we need to be as durable as we can be to keep up with the lack of enthusiasm that society always throw at us. As youths we tend to feed off encouragement and when we come across that one person who says ‘no’ we shut down. That needs to stop. Whether you like it or not, you will come across enemies because once we have put ourselves out there we are automatically exposed to critics in every land and everyone who is not walking on the same path as you, sees themselves as such.
As a writer we will dish out our manuscript to any publisher that we can find and wait anxiously to hear their thoughts on our story. We would have spent many moons working on our talents and when the job is done we think that we will be published instantly. Then when the first critic says ‘no’ we doubt ourselves as storytellers. Yet the thought of fame and fortune comes to mind as well as the sheer passion for our interests and this helps us persevere. Those of us who are brave enough to do so in any case will keep fighting patiently. For those who are not timid they need to be hit with the harsh reality that not everyone is going to enjoy reading your work but you cannot let that stop you from being published.
Even the best of the best out there were denied by several publishers at some point in their careers and because they did not allow the rejection to mess up their confidence and eventually they were finally heard. A great philosopher once said that no story lives until someone is there to listen, so know that if you keep your story hidden it will never exist. Keep pushing and ignore the ridicule that may come your way.
Instead of ignoring readers who say your story makes no sense, embrace them and try to figure out if their criticism can help you. Genuine critics help you become a success. Ignore the loud boos that might deafen your ears and ignore the people who say that you will be better off with a backup plan in case this career does not work out. Only you and you only know the ‘voice great within you’.
Being a writer is problematic to say the least and I will keep saying how hard it is because there are many writers of my generation out there who are not prepared to understand the consequences that come with it. It is challenging to take on the crowd on your own.
There will come a time when you will have what is called a writers’ block and you cannot come up with anything to add to your story. There will come a time when you will be tempted to plagiarize and end up taking over an idea that is not your own. There will come a time when you will be uninspired or got not the imagination to tell your story because someone else has told you that you will receive a lot of backlash from the audience. Every story has its own reaction but that should not limit your imagination. If you want to write a story about an alien who lands in an African village and takes over that community then go for it because the mark of a true storyteller is the impact that they bring upon their audience. If society is not talking about it then you have not done anything.
Look at the amount of harsh comments both good and bad that the writer/s behind the movie script called ‘2012’ got after its release. Everyone pulled out their Bibles in order to understand the hidden messages that the film might or might not have had. The audience assumed this was a warning; they were frightened that the world was going to end and one citizen in particular even emptied out his bank account, gave away all his money, sold his house and awaited his death at a motel, simply because he thought that 2012 was the end. This is how great the impact of the movie had.
That kind of storytelling is what we need to keep the world entertained. No matter how controversial people will say it is, don’t be narrow-minded enough to accept that kind of disapproval. Society is afraid of something different but once it is presented to them they will go one of three ways. They will either accept that it is there and enjoy its company, or they might pretend that it is not or be angered by its existence or in their closed minded ways, try to destroy it.
As writers let us take a risk and think outside the box. Let us avoid being so petrified to experiment or be timid to see the outcome. Let us be adventurous with our work and develop a backbone which is strong enough to defend our inspiration when need comes. Your passion for this career, despite all its challenges, should mean everything to you. Without passion there is no creativity behind your story. Finally, yet importantly, I say: Be READY for the negativity you WILL find at every corner of this earth BUT let us also believe in ourselves as writers because if we cannot, chances are too slim someone out there will take the time to believe in us.
CALL FOR POEMS
CAPITALS is a proposed poetry anthology on the capital cities of the world edited by the award-winning poet-diplomat Abhay K. If you are a poet and have poems on a national capital city, please send it to: email@example.com
General Submission Guidelines
General Submission Guidelines
- Poems on national capital cities only. In English only. Maximum length-2 pages.
- Previously unpublished work will be preferred; however, reprints will be considered, if you have the rights and give credit to original publication.
- Poets retain rights.
- Electronic submissions only.
- Please submit only one poem on one capital city. The deadline is 31st December 2014.
- Include a first page with your contact information, a brief bio (100 words max), the title of your poem and a brief story of your connection with the capital city.
- Use a 12 point Arial font.
- More info at http://www.abhayk.com/p/global-poetry-project.html
CREATIVITY AND OUR COMMUNITY
Although the benefits of creativity to society as a whole have been well documented, social attitudes about this topic remain divided. According to Weis (2000), the wealth of literature regarding the development of creativity and the profusion of creativity techniques indicate wide acceptance, at least among academics, that creativity is desirable. There is, however, a dark side to creativity, in that it represents a "quest for a radical autonomy apart from the constraints of social responsibility". In other words, by encouraging creativity we are encouraging a departure from society's existing norms and values, (Weis, 2000). It is the aim of this column to explore such societal institutions and see how they impinge on the successful development and growth of creative talents and intelligent people in general. Maslow’s self-actualization theory note that one reason that a person does not move through the needs to self-actualization is because of the hindrances placed in their way by society. For example, education can act to inhibit a person's potential though also of course it can promote personal growth, so can other aspects of the family and culture, gender, school environment, religion, stratification all act to condition and funnel an individual into a role that is not fulfilling. However I will also show that while societal institutions are big sources of setback in nurturing creative talents, some have argued for the radical action by the artists themselves to escape this conditioning, and thus, a person has to awaken to their situation, to realize that their life could be different, that there are changes that can be made in the direction of self-realisation.
Intelligence is the ability to learn from experiences, solve problems, and use our knowledge to adapt to new situations. Creative intelligence is also defined as the ability to go beyond the existing and to create novel ideas and interesting ideas. Thus creatively intelligent people go beyond the norm, the expected; they bring about amusement in the way they do their things. It is this movement from the usual and the norm that may clash with the standards expected by the society and thus end up failing to get necessary support needed to facilitate success in the individual. Robert Sternberg (1985, 1999, and 2003) argues that creative intelligence makes people adapt to novel situations, generate novel ideas and have the ability to produce ideas that are both novel and valuable.
The family is one such social institution which has a great effect on creative talents. Warlonick (1993) note that in most societies across the globe, education is regarded as the most convenient path an individual can take to be successful in life. It is basically the traditional way in most societies. Very few actually pursue something artistic and if a child shows some artistic inclination very few parents actually encourage it. For example in India most parents don't want their children to take risks and enter the creative fields. Most want their kids to be engineers and doctors and mostly kids either end up wanting to be an engineer or a doctor and many parents want just that. In many parts of the world like Asia or the middle east or Africa including Zimbabwean communities, parents have made sure their children pursue such perceived successful jobs and nothing else. One very important reason is for the child's own security as well as the parents when they get old. In underdeveloped rural communities in Zimbabwe, without a pension scheme old people must be looked after by the children. This means those ideas or passions that the children themselves have are ignored or trodden down whether this is an artistic pursuit or something else without an obvious monetary benefit. So gradually the arts have been slowly eradicated by underfunding both at family and national levels and a lack of appreciation except in cases where they were obviously successful such as in jobs which require some sort of artistic aptitude, like in architecture. This means the attached monetary value is what really matters. This undermines the meaning and value of art and so humanity is made a little more impoverished. Jung's path to individuation, the ego development required to overcome the Freudian superego, Adlerian theory and the stages of development of intellectual ability, all support the social support theory which observes that the family environment and subsequent socialization are primary factors in enabling the self to face the anxiety inherent in existence, where one's highest values may often be under threat. (To be continued)
(Tendai Chinhoro is a Kadoma-based upcoming novelist and musician. He is currently studying for his Masters in Community Psychology at the Midlands State University. Chinhoro is also a member of WIN)
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT MAZWI?
Mazwi is a new online platform to assist Zimbabwean book sellers, publishers and writers to market and sell books directly to mobile devices as well as receiving payment through mobile payment methods (EcoCash, textacash, V-payments, Visa and cash from anywhere in the world).
Local publishers and booksellers already using the Mazwi platform include Weaver Press, 'AmaBooks, Radiant Publishers, Inov8 Publishing, and Mambo Press. Writers have not been left behind. The platform boasts of having already started selling books on the platform by writers such as Pathisa Nyathi, Rabison Shumba, NoViolet Bulawayo and Shimmer Chinodya.
More information HERE
The poem Ode for Dr. Maya Angelou is a collaborative poem done by seven poets, including Donald Kuutsi and Benevolent Masora who are WIN members. The whole collaborative poem was first published in the Sunday Mail in July this year. We publish the part below written by Benevolent Masora as an independent poem.
An Ode to Dr. Maya Angelou
By Benevolent Masora (above)
DR Maya Angelou
How vivid your greatness seems
Now as you lay
In the slow dignity of your eternal pause,
Or is it some humble lay?
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,
That has been and may be again,
In the history of poetry, you sang a melancholy strain,
Only if your song had no ending,
As we listened motionless
And still the music in our hearts we
Long after it is heard no more,
For this, for everything we are out
For our noble titan has departed
From the long journey,
Encased in talent like uniform
But made weak by time and fate
Though much is taken, much still abides in us
That which we are, one equal temper
Of heroic hearts,
Strong in will to strive to seek, to find,
Joys we now inherit, seldom yet attained
By these young knights who fight
Ink expanding their conquered territories
Fled is the moment we visibly heard
But arrives that moment we sulk
Upon your wisdom
As you rest in eternal rest, can we
(Benevolent Masora is a Lower 6 student at Churchill Boys High, Harare)
Struggle of a Man
By Donald Kuutsi (ABOVE)
Roosters welcome the new day
A continuation of the journey
Sun rays protrude through the windows
As the sun rises
The struggle begins
Survival of the fittest
In order to make ends meet
Prolonging the future lifespan,
Working until late to keep on the light
For the family to remain in the spotlight
Putting food on the table to feed the bellies,
Conscience and fury trapped inside his thoughts
Cuffed with invisible chains
Fury and Fate
Engraved at the back of his thoughts
Tossing him day and night
Endless, sleepless nights
No matter how hard he tries to close his eyes
His eyes are the mirrors of his soul
Fate waits for him in dreamland
Thoughts cease to be at peace
Wide awake day & night
Thoughts cease to rest
Like a parachute that works whilst it’s open
Every day is a journey on its own
Being the pillar of the family, serving two masters,
Goodwill hunting and his siblings
A struggle which can’t be denied, just like trying to run away from your shadow
That’s the struggle of a man….
(Donald Munyaradzi Kuutsi was born on July 9, 1991, in Harare. He is currently studying for a National Diploma in Marketing Management at the Harare Polytechnic College. He is in his third year. For Donald, poetry simply means Pouring Out Emotions To Reach You)
GRANTA ACCEPTING UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS
After a long hiatus Granta, one of the world’s most prestigious literary magazines, is again accepting unsolicited submissions.
Please follow this link for more information, click here
WE NEED STAND-ALONE LITERARY AWARDS IN ZIMBABWE
We need stand-alone literary awards in Zimbabwe. Although people do not write their books to win awards, such awards have potential to elevate and enhance the visibility of Zimbabwean writers. Read More…
(You can enjoy his column 'Bookshelf' which comes out every Wednesday in the Herald)
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