Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

06 May 2015

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 89


14TH NAMA winners honoured: (From left) Memory Chirere, author of NAMA award winning Bhuku Risina Basa Nekuti Rakanyorwa Masikati, Beaven Tapureta, Director of WIN-Zimbabwe which won NAMA online media award for its blog (this blog!) and Cynthia Marangwanda, author of NAMA award winning Shards
(Photo: Tinashe Muchuri)

We are grateful to the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe for promoting artists in our country. Today, May 6, 2015, NACZ honored Harare-based winners in the 14th edition of National Arts Merit Awards. NACZ was in Bulawayo last week to honour NAMA winners based in that region. Artists in Harare received each a G-TEL phone, courtesy of G-TEL which has come on board to support arts and culture. The phones will indeed enhance artists' business. The NAMA Awards prize top up ceremony took place at the Book Cafe, Harare. 
Meanwhile, we hope you enjoyed the just ended Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) that was happening in the city and what with the thrilling performances the artists rendered each day of the festival!
We herewith feed you with yet another issue of our ambrosial newsletter and if truth be told, we are so grateful to you for taking the time to read our newsletters. Please enjoy.


(Report by WIN-Zimbabwe)

 Kelvin Mangwende

Kelvin Mangwende is a writer who believes in putting into creative writing his personal analysis of the world around him. He does this through his plays and poetry.
In a brief chat with WIN, Mangwende revealed that he is passionate about themes of greed and corruption and how these evils dismantle society. He shows this in his plays which he says follow the ‘old world’ model.
So far Mangwende has published two Shona plays Chaminuka and Chimurenga and a poetry anthology titled The Rainbird is Dead. All three books were published by an emerging publisher Tatenda Munyuki Publishers.
About his poetry collection The Rainbird is Dead he said he wrote it while he was in Namibia, teaching at a pre-school. He lived in Namibia for three years and the cultural exchange he had with Namibians inspired him so much so that poetry oozed from him as an expression of his deeper feelings.  
He has also traveled to countries such as Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and the different cultures he experienced in those countries have had a lot of influence on his writing.
Chaminuka, his Shona play, is described as having an “interesting plot that covers diverse themes ranging from power, corruption, gender, chauvinism and feminism, among other issues” (Silence Charumbira review in the Newsday, 2014).
Asked what he thinks about the local book publishing industry, Mangwende said big publishers shun budding writers.
“Publishing chances in Zimbabwe are very slim. I submitted about six manuscripts at a local well known publisher in 2003 and the editor said my work is good but not good enough to be considered marketable school material,” complained Mangwende.
His feelings about the local publishing industry are common with new writers who have now found haven in emerging small presses rescuing them to break into print. But again, to the conscious, one question appears when one looks around and sees various publishing houses sprouting: is it a sign of writing growth we have been awaiting or it is the coming of the localized vanity press against which we have been warned all the time?
Born in 1986 in Murehwa, Mangwende did his primary at Farai Primary in Chitungwiza and then pursued his secondary education at various schools. He also has poems published in two local anthologies featuring various poets titled Sons and Daughters and Black Stars. Mangwende says he loves reading the works of the Zimbabwean writing icon Charles Mungoshi.  


Saraba Magazine Issue 17: SURVIVAL

Saraba is pleased to announce the publication of its seventeenth issue on the theme of “Survival.”

A word from the 1590s, “survival” implies the “act of surviving,” of “continuation after some event.” To “survive” suggests to outlive, and to continue in existence after the death of another. From Latin supervivere, “live beyond, live longer than”; from super “over, beyond” + vivere “to live.”

In our recent issue, we put together poems, stories and portraits that articulate the nature and expediency of survival. The issue includes the poetry of Kelechi Nwaike, Tonye Willie-Pepple, Adeyinka Elujoba, Paul Wairia, Aisha Nelson, Jen Thorpe, Kate Hampton, Sarah Haughn, and Omukuvah Otido. It includes fiction by Damilola Yakubu, Glendaliz Camacho, and Alexander Ikawah, and non-fiction by Kabu Okai-Davies, Hal O’Leary, and Itoro Udofia. The portraits are by Nigerian photographer Logor’ Muyiwa Adeyemi. Our contributors are from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, the United Kingdom, and U.S.A.

As always, the magazine is available for free download on our website. Visit to download a copy of the issue, and do not hesitate to spread the word.

Enquiries about our next issue, reproduction, and collaboration can be sent to the attention of our Managing Editor,


Mimi Machakaire

My Mother, My Inspiration

What does it mean to be a writer in Zimbabwe? Yes times are difficult and you have to really establish yourself before you can go anywhere. You have to work from the ground up and hopefully in the next few years if you’ve worked hard enough people will start to know your name as a storyteller. Yet, you have to know the right people to get to where you want to go. The question that now remains is: what does it mean to be a woman and a writer?
To be a woman cannot be defined within the English dictionary because it can only give you the biological term of what it means to be a woman. As an individual, you can define that through how you were raised. 
For example, my mother (insert: Dr. E.A.J Tumbarare) has been a great inspiration to me. She is a great woman. She taught me to be strong, intelligent and to fight for what I believe in. She has taught me to work hard so that I won’t have to be dependent on anyone in the future. She has taught me that life is not all about wanting to be looked after by someone else but to know how to look after myself first. 
When I told my mom that I want to become a writer she encouraged me to do just that. She knew that I had the talent to become someone who is amazing in the future and with that, she has supported me through every step of the way. 

At least there is hope...

Although it could be a little saddening that there are not a lot of woman writers in Zimbabwe that the younger generation can look up to, at least there are a few who have internationally made it. Had it not been for the main writers’ organisations such as Zimbabwe Women Writers (ZWW), Zimbabwe Academic and Non-Fiction Authors, Zimbabwe Writers Association, Writers International Network Zimbabwe and other small groups of writers, there would be a total paucity of motivation for women who want to express themselves through creative writing. These organisations hold workshops, literacy training courses and other activities. The aforesaid are some of the perfect grassroots associations that I know can inspire other women writers out there to take part in this craft we all know and love. For instance, ZWW has published various writings by Zimbabwean women.

Apart from writing, younger women can be part of certain organisations that encourage the empowerment of women. This empowerment can act as a baseline for further motivation to write and what’s more, these organisations can act as research centres for one’s stories! Women inspire women! There are groups such as Women Action Group (WAG), a human rights group, Indigenous Business Women Organization (IBWO) which develops business women.
These groups are encouraging women, including those that write, to be greater than they are today.
Writers such as the late Yvonne Vera, Tsitsi Dangarebga, Virginia Phiri and a lot more established ones across Zimbabwe are an inspiration to us young female writers. The deal is that writers do not succeed because they are a woman or man but because of the hard work that they invest in their work as I said earlier.

I hope and pray that these amazing women who have made it before us continue to lead us kids into a better future not just with our writing but to teach us how to become someone that we can be proud of. We need such leaders who can inspire the youth and set the example by showing us that the world can change into something more than what it is today. Because the question is not why there are not enough woman writers in Zimbabwe but it is: what are the ones who are there now doing to help make a difference?  So far I think that we are off to an incredible start and maybe in the next 20+ years we might turn into something so wonderful that the world out there will look to us and say they made it. Let’s write!

(Mimi Machakaire is the author of Princess Gangster (2014, BookLove Publishers, Gweru).


 Chidavaenzi poses with copies of his books

The waiting is over as Phillip Chidavaenzi’s second novel The Ties That Bind published this year by New Heritage Press is now available in Zimbabwe. Readers can now place orders via texting, calling or Whatsapp on +263 772952851 or +775521665. It’s US$12.00 per copy. Let us read!



Poetry Thursday

This Thursday Bulawayo-based poet H.R.H. Khumbulani Maphosa (pictured above)takes to the stage as he reads a special selection of his poems from his soon to be published English poetry Of Hyenas, Cheetahs and Vultures

Where: Indaba Book Café, Bulawayo (9th Avenue & J Tongogara St)
Date: Thursday, May 7, 2015
Time: 5.30pm -6.30pm
Fee: $3 (and you get a free drink)

It’s an evening not to miss! Maphosa is the author of the mind-blowing Ndebele poetry anthology ‘Vuka Mthwakazi’

Revive Africa

By Simbarashe Chichinye (above), Bulawayo

In the terrains below the mountains,
There I found affluent fountains.
I used to capture moments by ink.
Drawing life on the granites by the river’s brink.
I used to indulge in the ecstasies of the mbira.
Drinking and dining in reminiscence of the bira.
Music and dance swept away dirges.
Bliss and gaiety were badges
On the faces of my bona fide friends.
Now vilified and adulterated my world trends
To an intricate maze of downright disorder.
Yet Mother Africa aches with desire for order

‘Hail Mother Africa!’
I bellow from between the two streams.
From this hollow I sound my screams.
What has become of my sister in the far south?
Grown fat in treasure, and so stout!
Groans and laments have reached my ears.
My guts have succumbed to fears:
Will my sons and daughters survive the rage
That has escaped like wild birds from a cage?

Banished be this blood feud and quarrels!
Peace is chained by hatchets and gun barrels.

Revive Mother Africa!
My garden is rich in its soils
Yet my broken hoes have rendered worthless my toils.
From the West I seek a hoe to borrow.
But they trample on the profuse of my sorrow.
In the days yore they ate of the same field
And seized all grapes it used to yield.
My fight and passion for freedom is mistaken for hatred
All in my bid to make this domain sacred.
Revive, Mother Africa, revive!

(26 year old Simbarashe Chichinye is an aspiring poet living in Greenhill, Bulawayo. Chichinye is moved to write by everyday situations and he says he is making his first attempt at a novel about human trafficking.)


 Dr. Thompson K. Tsodzo, one of respected old generation of Zimbabwean writers, pictured here at a Zimbabwe Writers Association meeting this year in March. Pafunge, his Shona novel of 1972, is just unforgettable!






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