Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

05 March 2015

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 86


Welcome, welcome to our post-NAMA newsletter! You would imagine we were still recovering from the historic victory! What does the NAMA Award mean to us, to our members, to all whose works in different genres and languages we have featured here on the blog? Put simply, we are on the right track and we have this will to expand our newsletter. Out of this platform we shall see literary wonders that will result in different publications! Meanwhile, please note that WIN has moved from its Kaguvi office indefinitely. God knows why while we were winning NAMA on February 14, we were being evicted in the background. We are not afraid however. We are moving on and as we have been saying, so many changes are likely to take place in our beloved organisation so that we are posed for greater heights. Once again, thank you all for being such wonderful friends in writing and reading. Thank you. Please enjoy...

 (Report by WIN-Zimbabwe)

Debra Vakira (pictured above) is the author of ‘A Struggle Alike’ which was nominated this year at the 14th National Arts Merit Awards for the Outstanding First Creative Published Work award. 
A writer, mother and wife, Vakira was born in the mining town of Redcliff in Kwekwe.
Her writing talent was discovered when she was doing her Advanced Level at Shungu High School where she wrote speeches for public speaking purposes. This nonfiction type of writing saw Vakira presenting at the United Nations Model Conference held at Africa University in 2001.
Little did Vakira know that she would plunge into fiction writing soon!
“I can say I have loved books all my life. I am peaceful when I write,” she says.
It was in 2010 when she joined the Zimbabwe Women Writers which acted as a springboard for her writing career.
“I participated in the short story contests such as the Norma Kitson Writing Competition.  I realized that I could write seriously when I was second runner-up in 2013,” says Vakira.
The same year, 2013, she sat down to write her first novel which would launch her career to some level.  ‘A Struggle Alike’, a thrilling story, got a positive nod from ZWW which right away sought funding for it.
It was then published in 2014 by ZWW and got nominated this year for a NAMA award.

The NAMAs provide a platform for growing, whether one is nominated or is a winner. For Vakira, being nominated for the first time with a first work was elevating.
“The NAMA nomination was an eye-opener as I interacted with other artists and got more insight into the arts. I was inspired. I am already working on some more creative works. I am now more serious than I was before. I am more confident as a writer,” Vakira says.

Another thing that inspired Vakira at this year’s NAMA awards especially in the literary section was the presence of more women writers. The spirit of sisterhood was established and if more women could be encouraged to write, their cause would be understood.
Debra Vakira has a dream. And the dream is to bring about social change so that women are emancipated and empowered to deal with societal ills. She hopes to develop literature that is entertaining as well as therapeutic.
Vakira also writes for the press and success stories of entrepreneurs for organisations such as Empretec Zimbabwe which groomed her. She is also an entrepreneur in the consulting business providing services such as counseling, behaviour change and communication skills.


With Mimi Machakaire (author of novel 'Princess Gangster')

From Books to the Screen
My fellow youthful writers, let’s take a journey back in time and remember what our lives where like when TV and movies where introduced. How some think-tank had enough intelligence to figure out a way we could not only tell our stories but show them as well. How many ideas have been taken since then? So many apparently to the point where even something as simple and mindless as people going out clubbing can be considered good entertainment? Not in my book. 

It’s about time we should be coming up with stories that will make the audience actually think for a change. As youths yes we are drawn to the idealistic lifestyle of the everyday celebrity because we secretly hope to one day be as successful as they are but the sad truth is that there is nothing else to focus on other than that.  If we had some intelligent, enticing and tastefully told stories to learn from that can also educate us and at the same time entertain us. We would honestly pay attention because at this point even the world wide wrestling entertainment (WWE) shows have better story-lines. At least they try to talk about something different other than showing us a good fight. Why? Because they actually take the time to script out their fictional characters that will later build up to the next match.  There’s dialogue and background information released for each wrestler, which if you pay attention to what they are portraying it would actually make for a really good overall story.
It all starts from the moment our pens hit that paper or our fingers tap each letter from that keyboard.  

However, television has also come with bad influence upon the youth. Most television shows and movies these days are superficial, nonsensical and give our youths of today the wrong impression on what life is really all about. That’s why half of youth’s society is out there partying and doing all the wrong things because they are being influenced through what they see on screen. Even half of the music we unfortunately listen to, tells the same story. We are sadly constantly reminded that if we do not live the life of a “celebrity” then it means we are automatically boring. This refers to those who are easily influenced, that is. For those who are strong enough to live the lives they want, they should have enough sense to encourage the ones who are not. Why? Because they are too afraid to look like they are nagging or to look like they don’t know what we are talking about when something goes unexpected. 

At the same time we get those few who are not afraid to tell it like it is no matter what the outcome. I encourage those types of people to lead others along with them because they are the ones who will tell the truth in their stories. If you are that person who is not afraid to tell the truth especially to the ones who don’t want to listen then take that ability and use it to your advantage. You have the resources in front of you now run with it.
Your stories should be filled with not only just the glamour but to have an all rounded effect which includes the hard times as well. Let’s change our stories, so that by the time they appear on screen they will actually make someone feel laughter, sadness, anger and all of the emotions put together. Best of all as they feel all of that emotion, I repeat; let’s make them think at the same time because even just thinking about what you’ve just watched can make all the difference in the world. 


The Zimbabwe Writers Association (ZWA) is inviting you all to its next Harare member’s bi-monthly meeting to be held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, 20 Julius Nyerere Way, Harare, on Saturday 7, March 2015 from 11:30 to 4:00pm.

This time the discussion topic is ‘Issues in Publishing.’ Irene Staunton, Editor at Weaver Press and Limbikani Makani expert on online matters will each give a brief presentation before a fully-fledged discussion on this topical issue. Later on, Cynthia Marangwanda will read from and talk about her NAMA award winning debut novel, Shards. 

N.B.We are operating on a zero budget, so bring a drink for yourself and a friend. The gallery shop will be selling drinks. We are all reminded to bring $10 membership fees. New members are most welcome. Remember: the major objective of ZWA is to bring together all willing individual writers of Zimbabwe in order to encourage creative writing, reading and publishing in all forms possible, conduct workshops, and provide for literary discussions. Zimbabwe Writers Association (ZWA) is the newest nationally inclusive writers Organization whose formation started in July 2010 leading to the AGM of June 4, 2011. It was fully registered with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in January 2011.
++Memory Chirere, Zwa Secretary: 0733755834,


Writers Shimmer Chinodya and Valerie Tagwira met students from three high schools in Harare to discuss their novels ‘Strife’ and ‘Uncertainty of Hope’. The event took place at Prince Edward Boys High on February 19. For a full article about this, please visit this link. We, however, share with you few photos from this significant encounter between writers and students.


With Tendai Chinhoro

Social stratification systems also have a bearing on side-lining creative talents and other intelligent people. Stratification systems according to Florida (2012) are either closed, meaning they allow little change in social position, or open, meaning they allow movement and interaction between the layers. A caste system is a good example. Chaundry (2013) define a caste system as one in which social standing is based on ascribed status or birth. Caste systems are closed stratification systems in which people can do little or nothing to change their social standing. A caste system is one in which people are born into their social standing and will remain in it their whole lives. People are assigned occupations regardless of their talents, interests, or potential. There are virtually no opportunities to improve one’s social position. In the Hindu caste tradition, people are expected to work in the occupation of their caste and to enter into marriage according to their caste. Accepting this social standing is considered a moral duty. Cultural values reinforce the system. Caste systems promote beliefs in fate, destiny, and the will of a higher power, rather than promoting individual freedom as a value. A person who lives in a caste society is socialized to accept his or her social standing. While we may not have a caste system in Zimbabwe the general economic gap between the poor and the rich is in many cases wide and continue to widen with the prevailing economic meltdown where the creatively talented and intelligent cannot manoeuvre to the top regardless of education due to the malfunctioning socio-economic institutions
Buchholz (1997) see solitude as a pre-requisite for a creative artist: an important route to creativity; indeed, research on creative and talented teenagers suggests that the most talented youngsters are those who treasure their solitude. However, the artist in all of us must risk disconnection, for forging a happy and worthwhile life and navigating through that life fully and gracefully is itself a creative act. The value of solitude or alone time not loneliness or isolation to a creative work life is immeasurable. However, shrinking leisure time and mental and physical exhaustion are by-products of our accelerated work shifts. People sleep as soon as they get home. Even breaks in the workday are rapidly disappearing. People today, caught in a struggle to produce work at the rate demanded by society, never consider the lack of alone moments. Once they do, they may decide to take control of their professional life by self-demoting, turning down promotions, career shifting by changing to a less-pressured field. There is no more time for creative exploration to those who have pursued other professions in place of their creative ones due to their job demands.
While societal institutions play a pivotal role in side-lining the development of creative talents and other intelligences other factors like personality play a role. According to Warlonick (1993) the role of personality in this developmental mess is evident in the little voice in our heads giving all the reasons why we can't do something, or why something won't work. We must silence the voice during the initial stages of creative process. Logical, critical and judgmental thoughts will reduce the quality of the initial creative process. Berman (1989) made adaptations to Freud's theory and discusses how creativity is thwarted in the young child. In fact, several researchers have found that creative people tend to be more depressed than the general population. They are more prone to alcoholism, mood-swings and suicide. Emotionally disturbed and behaviour-disorientated children often show creativity levels exceeding their peers. It is interesting, however, that while these relationships exist; creativity itself is manifested during comparatively stable emotional states.

In conclusion, one can say that, societal institutions truly side-line creative talents and intelligent people in communities, especially at the influence of cultural values, norms, and expectations, where conformity to these override individual vocation and subsumes it in socially acceptable careers. All the same it must be pointed out that, talented and intelligent people themselves must act radically against institutional hindrances for their own self-actualisation.

(This is the last part of Chinhoro’s serialised academic essay. We hope you enjoyed and learnt one or two things.)


Please CLICK HERE for the full article


Ndini Zvangu WIN-Zimbabwe

Na Tilda Gozho

Ndini zvangu WIN-Zim
Chokwadi kukura hakutani
Zuro uno ndaive chicheche
Vazhinji vaindinyomba
Vamwewo ndivo vaiti rega tione
Nhasi ndave jaya royevedza
Chimhandara chobubudza

Maitiro aNyadenga chishamiso
Vangu baba Tapureta varipo nhasi
Varikuribata basa
Wangu mukoma Amai Muganiwa vanondipa rudo rwaamai
Idzo shamwari dzepamoyo dzinondirera
vaSigauke, vaHartmann, vaMlalazi nevamwe vose
Ko ivo vaChirere neshamwari dzavo?
Pandaineta vaindisimbisa
Handikanganwe mushakabvu Sekuru vaMuparutsa

Ndichasimudzira vese vane zvipo
Ndichasimudzira rwaamai rurimi
Ndichasimudzira zita remhuri
Na Musiki ndinosvika chete!

(A former member of Glen View 2 High writers club (Harare), 20 year old Tilda Benadaty Gozho is now an Advanced Level student at Mucheke High School in Masvingo where she is doing History, Shona and Literature in English. Tilda is one of our consistent young poets to ever come from Glen View 2 High and she has been with WIN since 2010. She is the last born in a family of three.)


Na Patrick Hwande

Zita rake yakave mviromviro
Yemararamiro ake
Vabereki vakange varotswa
Raizova dambudzo
Njeremupengo ndodzakave shosha
Kusagadzikana mupfungwa
Ndorakave dambudzo
Munyori wemandiriri
Wehupenyu hwemasiriri
Ndiyeka Dambudzo
Akatopinda mutsinga dzevamwe vedu
Pamuchero idyai zvinodyiwa
Morasa zvisingadyiwe
Kwete kuzova dambudzo!

I Shall Cry Never

By Chenjerai Sithole Mhondera

I am planted in pain
But I harvest no sorrow
Even when bitterness
Rains on my worries
And vengeance floods my field
The Lord is my helper
I shall drain it off!
When my enemies grow weeds in my field
He establishes me
He watches me grow
And waters me with his joy

Just Around the Corner
By Handsome Madzonga

A man in tattered, greasy clothes
Face pale like withered cucumber
Lips as white as snow
In vain he waits to hear a sound
Of a coin falling into his begging bowl

He will wait all day long
Back home kids and a wife
Wait also
For some food for their bellies
All the same
He vacates the corner a disgruntled man
Hoping tomorrow will be better

Thank you for reading!

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