Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

02 April 2015

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 87


Anesu Mukombiwa (above)

We welcome you to our 87th  issue of the WIN Newsletter. It has been a long break though, but we are back again. It’s congrats to Anesu Mukombiwa (above), our new writing star, for taking the courage to ‘try’ and actually do it. We would like to thank you all for the patience to read the educative, entertaining and informative bits on our blog. We hope you enjoy our latest newsletter and a happy Easter to you all.


(Report by WIN-Zimbabwe)

Cover of Genetic Twists

Anesu Mukombiwa is a new star on the block. 
Last year, the Dominican Convent Girls High student published a small teenage novel titled Genetic Twists which is a moving tale dealing with issues of domestic violence, child adoption, child employment, and the pursuit of a true happiness in a land far from the hypocrisy of the rich and proud.
Born thirteen years ago, Anesu confirmed to WIN that her book Genetic Twists is entirely her own original work although as an avid reader, she drew lots of writing ideas from her favourite authors and movies.
“The book does not reflect any part of my childhood or who I am. It is purely fictional and shows my ability to create a whole new world. I hope everyone who reads the book sees how fun it is to be enveloped in a new world by a mere book!” said Anesu.
Writing talent, when it strives to be put on paper, is unstoppable. Anesu began writing while in primary school. Although she was not one of the best composition writers, just creating images through words satisfy something in her.
“For me, writing was a way of embracing my imagination. In primary school I was not good at ‘creative writing’ but each time I wrote, despite my low marks, I would feel like I have done myself justice,” Anesu said.
The need to share the vivid stories she created in her gifted mind grew stronger that she finally decided to try writing a small novel.
In Genetic Twists, thirteen year old Greta who is the narrator and her brother Bonny, who is 7 years old, are exposed to domestic violence at home. Theirs is a poor family. As much as Greta intelligently tries to protect his little brother from directly witnessing their mother (who adopted them) arguing and fighting with father, she (Greta) fails and eventually they lose their mother in one of the violent fights.
Aggrieved and without home, Greta and little brother set off in search of their real father as well as happiness. To survive, they work as slaves at a certain hotel and yet Bonny, being too young to work, dies. For Greta, events come with a double punch but the author’s skill never loses the teenage adventurous spirit.
Only courage and hope leads Greta on and one event leads to another.
This is a touching story which appeals to young and old people.  Anesu uses a perspective normally overlooked in matters dealing with the impact of GBV on the minds of young people. Her command of language is exceptional, ringing with such vibrating courage which sticks to its young innocence.

Supa Mafuta (unpublished writer and member of WIN Epworth Branch)

I loved reading this recent work by one of my favourite Zimbabwean writers. Aaron Chiundura Moyo’s play titled Kereke Inofa (2014, BookLove Publishers, Gweru) is very educative.
The play touches on the secret consultations with witchdoctors by deceiving Christians, use of the church for financial and personal gains, and more importantly, the fulfillment of lustful desires characterizing some Pastors who divert from the true heavenly call.
In the play, Pastor Gift Mwenje claims sole ownership of the church on the basis that he personally founded it. He declares personal freedom and does as he pleases with the church, making himself equal to God. His adulterous affair with Sarah, a wife of a member of his church comes to the knowledge of Sarah’s husband but already Sarah has secretly given birth to Gift’s child.
Pastor Gift Mwenje is nowhere near repenting from his sin but is determined to cover his evils from other church members.
I think Kereke Inofa tells it loud and clear that excessive trust towards Pastors is not advisable.



Mimi Machakaire

The Power of Books 

As I spend each day with my peers, I have noticed that majority have one thing in common. They do not like to read. When the conversation directs itself to each other’s interests and I mention that I enjoy reading a good novel, my peers are surprised by this. In fact, they are shocked on hearing that I would rather pick up any old book and spend the afternoon reading than watching whatever is on TV.  Not that I don’t enjoy spending time watching a good soap or movie but I have come to know that life is about taking things in moderation.
There are so many benefits that reading can provide and it saddens me that the youths of today do not take it seriously enough. When you read,  you not only broaden your vocabulary, spelling and grammar but reading is the easiest way to study language especially when you are a student writing exams and you are asked to write an essay portion for a specific paper. Once you are used to that structure, what would normally take hours for you to complete will now take only minutes out of your time. Why? All because you took at least 30 minutes a day to pay attention to a novel and that alone can develop your language skills.
We have spoken about the educational benefit of reading; now let me move on to the entertainment benefit. There is nothing better and pleasurable than taking a trip into your own thoughts and seeing where your imagination takes you as you read. Time goes by when you follow the characters that live their lives in that story. When you are a passenger traveling by train, bus, plane or car and all your electronic devises have run out of power,  you can remind yourself that you still have a second option. Once you are lost in that book, you forget just for a moment that in reality you are going somewhere and what was once going to look like a boring journey will now turn into something more interesting and fulfilling until you reach your destination. Books can turn one’s world upside down and inside out just by the way it can inspire the reader to be better, to do better. How? Because once the reader becomes a fan of the story they become a fan of the author and they will want to find out everything about how they became who they are today.
With all these remunerations that reading brings to an individual I ask myself again, why are kids not taking reading more seriously? Some say there is not enough time for them in the day whilst others say the kids would rather wait for the movie to come out. The rest just simply say it is hard to break into the reading  habit but the truth is they are too lazy to start. So the question that remains is: How do we fix this? Some schools have made it a point to add library time into their students schedule and force them to pick at least one book to read when the time comes with the hope that they will continue reading at home. Other schools have made sure that each of their students study the same book and have asked them to prepare for a class discussion during which each one of them would present. I commend those schools which have gone to these extents to get their kids to read but with every advantage comes a disadvantages. Whilst the kids are getting used to reading, there is a chance that it starts to feel more like a chore or homework than a source of entertainment and that makes them lose their passion to continue.
So how can we get kids of today to read without forcing them?  There is one last solution which has yet to be exhausted. Simply encourage the reader by making the book sound more exciting. Express in great terms what the story line is about, the different themes which are involved and how it has managed to capture the attention of so many others who are reading the same story. Once us youths have learnt that there is a book our friends are reading, there is that lingering fear which tells us that on the next outing there is a chance it will come up in conversation and we will not  know how to contribute. Even if it’s a joke in which they’ll refer the book too, we will wonder why they have made that connection.  In other words, the more information that is given to the potential reader about a particular book, the more intrigued they will be to find out what exactly is between its pages.
All in all, this is the kind of power that a book can cast upon its audience if one could only pay more attention to its story. As young writers, let us continue to break new grounds through our telling and spend some time convincing our audience that there is more to life than just electronics! 
As Easter is here once again, it is no curse to take a book and wander to some lonely place where you can read, cheered by the birds or the distant roar of the city! Let’s meet again.


The event may have slipped into the past but its memories still linger in our minds. This was a powerful Zimbabwe Writers Association (ZWA) Member’s bi-monthly meeting held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe on Saturday 7, March. The discussion topic was ‘Issues in Publishing.’ Irene Staunton, editor at Weaver Press, Limbikani Makani expert on online matters were the main presenters while Cynthia Marangwanda read from and talked about her NAMA award winning debut novel Shards.  We present to you photos from the meeting. 
For a full report, visit the following link:  ZWA Meeting

 Cynthia Marangwanda-Banda talks about her award-winning novella Shards

 Performance poet Barbara Anderson aka Breeze, doing what she knows best

Writer Memory Chirere joining in the discussion

 Author of Chivi Sunset, Monica Cheru, was the emcee. She also sits on the ZWA Board.

 Publisher Irene Staunton had valuable points for the writers

Jessesi Mungoshi, talented actress and wife of renowned writer Charles Mungoshi, never misses ZWA meetings and she makes sure she throws in an idea or two. We hear Charles speaking! However, Jesesi must be a writer because her ideas are so original and deep!

Writer and University of Zimbabwe lecturer Josephine Muganiwa, who also chairs the WIN Board, makes a point about Shards

 A participant steals some time to pore over a copy of Shards

 Limbikani explained in detail how best writers can utilize the internet to advance their writing business

 Prof J Wills from Zimbabwe Reads explains a point

 Our 'mudhara' Shimmer Chinodya, a prolific and interesting writer, is an inspiration at writers' meetings. He always sees to it that issues under discussion do not turn into hair-splitting arguments.



1 comment:

  1. Mimi, your post is really insightful. Young people in the US struggle with this concern too. Please continue to look for ways to encourage interest in reading.