Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

12 December 2015

WIN Newsletter, Issue No 94


WIN-Zimbabwe Board Chair Mrs. Josephine Muganiwa holding our NAMA award which we won in February this year for Outstanding Online Media.

Welcome to our 94th newsletter, coming as 2015 comes to an end. Ours has been a journey of literary adventure, learning and hope. Hope is indeed a powerful resource. Our membership continues to grow and we express our heartfelt gratitude for the unconditional support and encouragement we received throughout the year from different organisations and individuals in the book sector and from relatives and friends. Thank you very much. We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous 2016. We are one family, one love. Please enjoy.


Kudos – Tawanda Kandenga (left) all smiles with friend Denis Mauya at their graduation ceremony

Tawanda Kandenga, who spent a wonderful time with us when he was on attachment, just got us on our feet and we found ourselves dancing! Kandenga, who is also a gifted aspiring poet, was one of the students from the Bindura University who were capped last month. He wrote to WIN to express his gratitude for the educative moments he spent with us. We are touched also as we know that we learnt quite a lot from the young man. We would like to thank Kandenga for believing in us. The picture (insert) shows Tawanda Kandenga in the WIN office in Highlands last year. With permission from Kandenga, we publish his letter to WIN below:

Dear WIN-Zimbabwe,

I would like to take this opportunity to pass my bottomless gratitude to WIN Zimbabwe for allowing me an opportunity to be part of such a striving organisation in such a learning process that proved to be my corner stone in my academic achievement. Without WIN Zimbabwe my graduation which took place yesterday on the 20th of November 2015 would not have been that blissful.
The 23rd of September 2013 marks the day that WIN Zimbabwe opened its doors for me. From there and then my practical exposure to the real world became more real by the day.
I have had and still have adoration for writers all my life. Working for a writers’ organisation made me realize the link between the writer and development, and the imprints that writing boldly leaves on development. Be it human development, economic development, social development, sustainable development- the writers holds a powerful place in all that. Thus for a Development Studies student coming into a writers organisation for an industrial attachment is not a mistake but a well-considered thought and a high-profile opportunity. I have nothing left to say that writers are the "surgeons of the society".
I learnt a lot of this with WIN Zimbabwe's projects from issues that has to do with project development and management, communication and development, cultural values and so on. The main projects that I participated in were the writers training workshops (meant to develop and nurture young writers’ talents and skills) and the WIN Zimbabwe Epworth Community Outreach Program which involves 10 writers clubs launched in different schools around Epworth. Throughout such projects my knowledge improved in as far as project development and management is concerned which was the core of my degree. My greatest satisfaction rests in the way that writers can shape the society by addressing all the social vices and ills which are corruption, environmental degradation, climate change, gender-based violence, crime, prostitution, HIV/Aids and so forth.
I would like to say thank you WIN-Zimbabwe for enlightening me all the way from day one to the end of my attachment. God surely blesses this organisation. Thank you

Tawanda Kandenga


(Report by WIN-Zim)

Chimuka’s book will be launched on December 16

We have heard of expressions such as ‘a sound mind in a sound body’ and maybe we wondered what it really means. Debra Chimuka has brought an answer!
Chimuka is a writer who is concerned with mental health. An independent self-published author, she strongly wishes to equip her readers through her new book titled Meditation in High Definition, the first of her Tranquil World Series. This is a practical book which, according to its blurb, values meditation as “a basic human need and the first essential need, necessary to nurture love, life and work”. The author further states in the blurb, “Meditation is not a new religion. Every single religion has a practice that it calls meditation. Hence it is not a drill of one particular religion, tradition or history. The focus of meditation is on the human mind and how, it relates to itself; teachings, people and the environment. How the human mind relates to itself and teachings has an emotional impact on human attitudes, behavior and conduct. A study of meditation seeks to understand how the human mind operates, to create a path for taming it. This means meditation is an activity done with a clear intention.”

While Chimuka will be launching her book on December 16 at the Zimbabwe-German Society in Harare, she has been actively promoting the book through various platforms. Last week, Debra was on television to talk about her book. On Tuesday, December 8, she hosted a discussion of her book at the American Embassy.

WIN-Zimbabwe also invited Chimuka to briefly talk to its members on the WIN Whatsapp Group platform. WIN members were curious to know what really inspired Chimuka to write on this topic.

“I chose the topic to bring understanding to the subject of meditation. The book is promoting spirit, soul and body meditation,” she said. Her focus is on the synergy or relationship between the spirit, soul and body.

Asked if she had a particular target audience, Chimuka said, “I have defined meditation as thought management. And thought management is for men, women, and children who register thought. Challenges of not having cash, time for social activities and being misunderstood.” Chimuka went on to describe her book as having a Christian bias as she is also a Christian.

Meditation High Definition is being sold for US$20 as a means to finance its complete publication. The author plans to publish three more workbooks for thought management expected to be available early next year. The three workbooks are for everyday life meditation, schools, and organisations.

Chimuka holds a Social Science degree and a Human Resource Management Diploma from the University of Cape Town – South Africa (1994, 1995).


Tinashe Muchuri’s debut Shona novel Chibarabada, published by Bhabhu Books this month comes as a Christmas gift and our holiday reading is getting more exciting.
We found the latest interview with Muchuri done in the Herald. Please enjoy the story behind the story of Chibarabada by clicking this link: The Wait is Over for Muchuri.


Maria Selin (left) SIDA Head of Development Cooperation prepares to declare the book ‘Status of Women in the Arts & Culture Sector’ officially launched while Culture Fund Board Chair Susan Mutangadura looks on.

The Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust has published an insightful research-based 56-page booklet titled Status of Women in the Arts and Culture Sector.
The booklet, which covers film, literary arts, dance, music, theatre, visual arts and cultural heritage, was launched on November 24, 2015, at the Culture Fund head office in Milton Park, Harare. 

While it contains useful information for all arts and culture stakeholders, including policy makers, the booklet also celebrates the resilience of female artists.
Speaking at the launch, Maria Selin, Head of Development (SIDA), said it is still more difficult for women to get resources and this problem can be solved by recognising the capabilities of women in society. Guests at the launch were treated to music and poetry from Edith WeUtonga and Shumirai Nhanhanga respectively.
Major findings of the study confirm the gender discrepancies in the arts and culture sector particularly in terms of leadership.
Training programmes for women in the sector are few and yet training is greatly needed for improving their status as artists.
Due to the economic hardship, income has become a priority and the research established that women, particularly those in the crafts sub-sector, are in the arts to financially supplement their earnings. According to the study, 76% of the female respondents said they are “involved in other business activities other than their creative work”.
However, despite challenges faced by female artists, there are positive stories. The study, for instance, says that the local film industry provides evidence enough to show how women have dominated this sub-sector. Successful women in film include Tsitsi Dangarebga, Hope Ranganayi, Priscilla Sithole, Nakai Matema, Danai Gurira, Rumbi Katedza, Dorothy Meck, Charity Maruta and many others.
Actually the book has a section where some of renowned female artists from various arts and culture sub-sectors tell their stories. From the literary arts there are two writers Virginia Phiri and Ericah Gwetai (the late writer Yvonne Vera’s mother) who narrate the opportunities and difficult circumstances they and other women face in the literary arts.
The book Status of Women in the Arts and Culture Sector is a result of research which was commissioned by Culture Fund in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Harare.



Mimi Machakaire in South Africa

A Visit to a Bookstore in Bloemfontein
Late last month my family and I took a trip to Bloemfontein. Whilst there I was able to visit a book store called Exclusive Books. This store is a large franchise, located in a number of countries such as South Africa and Botswana. It was founded in 1951 by the Josephs (that is, Philip Joseph, Pamela Joseph and Pauline Joseph).
I first found out about Exclusive Books when I was living in Botswana some time back. As a reader I fell in love with the range of books this store had to offer. If they did not have a book in the store, they would order it for me from Europe or America and within weeks they would call me saying that my books have arrived. It was absolutely thrilling to be able to visit the store every other weekend and spend hours searching for my favourite novels. Their cheap prices and helpful, friendly staff made it easy for me to get what I needed. The best part about it was the way in which they organized the store, allowing you to read the books before you buy it. Going back to Exclusive Books made me feel like I was visiting an old friend. 
It has a comfortable feel to it like no other book store I have ever been to. I have been to a lot of book stores before but this one will always top the list! What’s more, they do not just sell books but also little goodies like this nifty little device that lights up and enables you to read your books in the dark. If there is a specific book you are looking for, all you have to do is ask the staff and they will point it out for you.  The staff’s classy attire and efficiency makes the experience of buying books more than just simply buying books.
I was able to buy these classics and stock my library full of my favourite childhood stories. Wanting to read the original ending to some of these beloved stories, my eyes buzzed with excitement at the sight of the books sitting there in all their glory. I bought the lot at a reasonable price. They truly have everything and more!
Exclusive Books surely helped me quench that thirst of  mine by not only letting me relive all the classics but catch up on the latest, seek in new genres and inspire those who need a little spark in their lives.
How good it feels to know that if they do not have what a reader is looking for, they will find it by all means. And next, it is call from them and they welcome you back ‘home’ with open arms like one of their very own. Exclusive Books, if truth be told, know their thing!


A busy Weaver Press desk at the launch of Writing Mystery and Mayhem
Click here to read more about the launch



Get in touch with WIN for more details of the author and how you can have your copy!


Watch this space for reviews of the above books!

We will be officially creating a separate page for the serialization of Nomsa Tsitsi Ngwenya’s Ndebele novel titled Inyawo Zayizolo. We apologize for the long delay in continuing with the next part. Once we resume, we will keep you enjoying the novel.
Nomsa Tsitsi Ngwenya, author of Inyawo Zayizolo


A Tribute to Chenjerai Hove

 Tafadzwa, Hove’s daughter, speaking at Litfest

This event literally set the Litfest Harare in motion. Held at the SAPES Trust on November 26 in the afternoon, the session, particularly the slide show of his various photos, brought back fond memories of the late Hove. 

Mhangami delivers Keynote Address: Literature, Stereotypes and Women’s Safety

Barbara Mhangami delivering her keynote address

USA-based Zimbabwean writer Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende could not help honoring the soil that identifies with her spirit. As she was about to deliver her keynote address, she removed her shoes so that her feet could be grounded, balanced and absorb the spiritual welcome sipping from the soil of her motherland.  Her session was moderated by Isabella Matambanadzo aka Bella, and had Culture Fund Director Farai Mpfunya as respondent.

Read more about this issue on this link: Tackling Stereotypes in African Literature

The Book Launch

With poet Nqobile Malinga (left) emceeing, Tendai Maduwa’s launch of his book Marry My Language got everyone titillated to read the poetry of the African Child as Maduwa is popularly known. It was a beautiful launch spiced with Tinashe Muchuri’s ‘whistle poetry’ (his term) and speeches by Maduwa’s comrades such as Rabison Shumba.  Soon after the launch, young and gifted Gary Tight entertained guests with his melodious guitar and voice.


The second Litfest day began with a panel discussion at the University of Zimbabwe. The topic “Research and the Novel; Fiction and Imagination” was scrutinized from different angles by Norwegian writer Elisabeth Beanca Halvorsen, local writers Shimmer Chinodya and Cynthia Marangwanda and poet/ literary critic Kizito Muchemwa. Barbara Mhangami moderated the discussion. 

After the panel discussion poet Han Lynn (above) from Burma reads from his English poetry collection Para (2015, Chant Chan Books). The collection is a translation from Burmese. Marangwanda and Bulawayo-based poet and writer Philani ‘Pan’ Nyoni also read and performed their poems respectively. After the UZ event, Litfest moved to Theatre in the Park for the Official Opening of Litfest and premiere of Guinea Fowl, a play based on the late writer Doris Lessing. The play was written by Elisabeth Beanca Halvorsen.


Mbira music is that kind of music that puts you in a certain mood of spiritual enlightenment. Your spirit rises. And this poet and storyteller, Ticha Muzavazi (above) is so gifted that when he plays his mbira and alternates it with bits of traditional stories, it is only after he goes off stage that you realize you have been somewhere far far away. His session at the Gallery Delta was enjoyable as well as educating.

The topic ‘Should Writers be called simply writers, that is, not African or Women Writers? At What Stage can One be Called a Writer: By their Calling or After Publication?’, although long, had very important lessons for writers. The panelists (from left) Memory Chirere, Barbara Mhangami, and Kizito Muchemwa shared their experiences regarding the topic.

Once again Beanca Halvorsen (right) joined other panelists Lawrence Hoba (left), and Fungai Machirori at the Gallery Delta to talk about ‘Literature on Digital Platforms – A Blessing or a Curse?’ Elizabeth Muchemwa moderated this discussion. The dynamics of the internet for writers were scrutinized and it seems after all has been said, no one can run away from the internet.
Soon after this discussion, performance poet Biko Mutsaurwa interviewed Han Lynn and writers got to know how Lynn views poetry from the perspective of someone conscious of his Burmese context.

Shepherd Mutamba (above) speaking about the topic ‘How deep (or far) Should Biographies Go?’ Mutamba is the author of ‘Tuku Backstage’, a biography of the iconic musician Oliver Mtukudzi. Mutamba was joined by panelists Joyce Makwenda and Pathisa Nyathi who have also published a number of biographies.

Joyce Makwenda (left) and Pathisa Nyathi (right) tackling the issue of biography writing

One of the exciting aspects of Litfest Harare was its attempt in pulling together artists from different arts and culture sub-sectors, particularly musicians. In the above photo, Prudence Katomeni (left), a celebrated musician, is having a conversation with Jabulani ‘J-Boss’ Hove under the topic ‘What My Lyrics Mean For Me and My Music’. Although Katomeni told her own story, we also really wanted to know what the rising dancehall artists have to say about this topic but unfortunately and dancehall artist Kinnah who was on the programme could not make it to Litfest.

Gifted musician Pauline Gunduza (left) made a surprise appearance at the Gallery Delta. She is posing with poets Han Lynn (center) and Tendai Maduwa (far right).

The LitFest Harare this year ran under the theme ‘Setting Off -Side by Side’
Thank You.


  1. The obsession with stereotypes of Africa and the search for ideal African literature is now irrelevant. The duty of the contemporary African (writer) is to tell the different 'fictions' of Africa and get published anywhere in the world.

    1. And this is what is actually happening, David. African writers are getting on with the job, finding their readers, or their readers find them. If the academics and critics are too stuck up to realise that there is a whole world out there they are missing out on, that is their loss.