SPECIAL ISSUE! SPECIAL ISSUE!
WIN-Zimbabwe Founder and Director, Beaven Tapureta
We joyfully welcome you to our special issue of the WIN Newsletter. Reaching this 100th issue has really been a motivating and passionate journey which we started few years ago. We thank everyone for the support. We are indebted to our former and current board members for the guidance and patient love, to our membership for the commitment, and to our many writing friends. It’s something existing within us, this that pushes us to read and write anywhere anyhow. We thank you very much for the support. We love our literature and we are strong. It is satisfying that we have not stopped reading and writing no matter the challenges. We are hopeful 2017 is bringing us more opportunities to realize the dreams we have for our growing membership. We thank the Lord for bringing us thus far with yet more energy to cross over into the new seasons…Enjoy!
HARARE BOOK CLUB ENCOURAGES READING
The regular Harare Book Club meetings have been intellectually fun-filled and educative. Every month, the club members have enjoyed reading and discussing books by local and international authors. A book is selected and for some days members circulate the few copies available among themselves to allow everyone a chance to read. Afterwards, the members meet for a discussion.
The next book club meeting will be in January 2017 and will focus on discussing The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The venue and exact date will be announced soon. For more details on how to be part of the club, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
LITFEST IN IMAGES
From November 30 to December 3, 2016, LitFest Harare (International Literature Festival) inspired artists with a number of activities which featured comedy, discussions, spoken word, music and many more. The festival ran under the theme ‘We write. We Speak. We inspire.’ Below are a few images from LitFest:
Poet Philani Nyoni (right) rendering a brilliant opening act, here he is captured performing with this young woman he picked from the audience
Memory Chirere reads from Bhuku Risina Basa Nokuti Rakanyorwa Masikati during a ‘Poet to Poet Conversation’ on December 3. With him are Joseph Woods and Mbizo Chirasha
Mbizo Chirasha the Black Poet ‘dances’ with his powerful poetry on stage
Aleck Kaposa (AK) is an author who from his budding days was one of the active members of Norton Branch of the Budding Writers Association of Zimbabwe (BWAZ). For the time it existed the organisation played the role of a ‘writers’ college’ as it imparted writing skills to aspiring authors. Kaposa and hundreds of other BWAZ members spread across the country participated in writing skills training workshops and competitions, from which poems and stories were born and were to be ‘foundational bricks’ to some of the beautiful scripts being published today by those who passed through BWAZ. Today, BWAZ is no longer there but there is us, WIN-Zimbabwe, designed specifically for budding writers and there are also various other long-established writers’ organisations that were formed almost at the same time with BWAZ. Kaposa, now a published author, is a member of WIN-Zimbabwe, helping aspiring writers and poets in various ways. Below, he is being interviewed by Pumulani Chipandambira (PC), a member of WIN-Zim. Enjoy some insights into Kaposa’s writing life experience and different issues. Chipandambira is a voluntary WIN newsletter reporter whom WIN is proudly mentoring. This is his first assignment.
PC: Kaposa, reading your book titled A Bag of Memories was for me quite an experience. Oftentimes I have seen that a number of the characters, although fictional they seem ‘too’ autobiographical. I also wondered why in this book these characters face painful or tragic deaths. Are your memories littered with death or funerals? For example, the untimely death of your brother Willie, the death of your friend Panga, Laina the prostitute and a toddler son shot by the overzealous law enforcers, the death of Dhikondo. Why death?
AK: I was not aware of my obsession with morbidity until someone pointed it out after reading my short stories over the years in the school magazine. Maybe I should analyse my background psychologically. It’s a fact that my brother died in 1982 when I was about 7 years old and then two years later papa died. Mother was sick throughout, even up to now and so to me death hovered above us and I feared it. Perhaps my theme stem from this close-range experience. I also read many terror/ horror stories in my formative years. Locally, the Sunday Mail featured plenty of short stories by writers such as Stephen Alumenda, Wonder Guchu, Chemist Mafuba and others and very often the subject was death. I believe that's how it caught up with me. I am trying to break out of that cocoon but I guess death is always around us. Somewhere down the lane, the street, the village there is a funeral. If you look around, death lurks somewhere, waiting, like a vulture, to pounce on us....
PC: You mentioned Wonder Guchu, Chemist Mafuba and Stephen Alumenda. I don’t have their works in my home library. It’s hard to even get works of some prominent writers in the local bookshops. Do you have any idea why their works are becoming extinct?
AK: I think some of these writers' works are not being found because of a number of reasons. The publishing houses might have closed shop or scaled down, and when the available copies were sold out there were no reprints for posterity. Or the writers left it to the publishers to decide the fate of their works. Or publishing hard copies is now expensive compared to e- books/ internet so the publishers/writers could not make money to sustain publishing or making reprints.
PC: Are these the same reasons why you stopped publishing your 2008 NAMA nominee The New Voices Magazine that you had founded and edited since 2004?
AK: I started publishing The NVM after BWAZ was not able to take my proposal to publish a magazine for Norton due to lack of funding. We wanted to give a voice to new writers, to provide a regular outlet for new writers. There had been the Tsotso Magazine published by Grassroots Books and I sort of grew up on it, then it died a natural death. There was a vacuum, so I challenged myself and went on to publish the magazine at national level. Subsequently it was nominated for the NAMA awards. The magazine attracted interest from all over Zimbabwe and in some African countries. After 4 years I stopped publishing it due to economic hardships. Things were grinding to a halt everywhere back there.
PC: Coming back to A Bag of Memory, I think your voice is esoteric, you protest although you seem to have hope? Like the Italian writer ltalo Calvino, in your stories there is conflict between your creative characters and their environment. For example, the political environment pre-determined the death of Dhikondo and even the fate of a mother who died in a squatter camp.
AK: It might be protest, yes; it’s my protest against what I see as injustice, it’s also a record for posterity. I try to infuse my writing with hope otherwise life would be tragic!
PC: In the book you wrote about your Mother when she used to recite verses from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Do we still have mothers like your mother who read?
AK: I think generally reading has gone down as compared to my mother's generation. They used to read elementary literature. A lot of it was European literature, Shakespeare in particular. These days you hardly find adults, children or even teenagers reciting local writings from the heart.
PC: I have only been able to read your Soliloquies Of A Mangy Dog and this A Bag of Memory. Do you have any other published books?
AK: Yes, I have The Magician & Other Stories, children’s stories collection published in 2013 by Essential Books Publishing Co.
PC: What advice can you offer to the budding writers like me!
AK: I would encourage upcoming writers to work hard, to avoid copying other writers' styles. They should be original, innovative and read a lot. Practise writing a lot. I repeat, be original. Write to influence society positively. Avoid vulgar language by all means.
PC: Thank you very much Kaposa, wishing you the best in your writings.
AK: Thank you.
THE YOUTH PERSPECTIVE
The Best Things In Life Happen Unexpectedly
The Best Things In Life Happen Unexpectedly
I like to believe that the best things in life happen unexpectedly. Meaning that you can make all the plans in the world but not everything will go according to plan perfectly. Something will be different along the way and it'll be the thing that you've been waiting for. You just don’t know it yet until it happens. It takes going through life with the right attitude and having just enough patients to get the results you’ve been waiting for.
You can tell yourself you will go to school exactly in order. Primary, High school, College and University but maybe in-between that time you might meet the love of your life and decide to settle down early or you might find your dream job half way through college and you no longer see the point in going to University. In a different scenario, you might be happy living where you are now but someone might come and offer you a job that puts you in a whole new environment and you find yourself being perfectly happy moving and starting a new life.
Life in all its unpredictability changes who you are as a person but it's the energy you put out into the world that the world will give back to you in return. In other words, if you put out positive energy into the world and be kind to others always even when it feels like your hurting or they may not deserve it God will continue to bless you with more and more each day.
This doesn’t mean overwhelming the public with unrealistic optimism but simply having a good attitude to the events that happen to you in the day. Respecting the space of the people around you and at the same time knowing how to make sure that your friends, family and loved ones are taken care of with not just their physical needs but emotional needs as well.
Above all be yourself. Live the life that you’ve always wanted, do things that make you happy not for the sake of others but simply because you enjoy it. Don’t put too much emphasis on what people think of you cause at the end of the day it’s what you think of yourself that matters the most. If something happens that wasn’t part of the plan, don’t panic. Rather find a way to make the best of it and don’t be afraid to show the world how truly unique you can be because as I mentioned once before the best things in life happen unexpectedly.
WIN-Zimbabwe is happy to welcome its new volunteer Liberty Farai Chaza, a self-taught, freelance photographer and budding writer who will help strengthen the impact of our blog.
Liberty holds a National Diploma in Mass Communication (HEXCO) with a deep passion for photography. He also did computer programming from 2002 to 2004 and in his writing career he has composed beautiful puns which are yet to be published. As a member of the WIN online media crew, his experience will bring creativity to the blog which also believes in telling stories through the art of photography.
As a voluntary photo journalist in the WIN online media team, Liberty will be responsible for covering all WIN events and other writers’ events.
UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE MEGA BOOK LAUNCH
About seventeen titles were officially launched by the University of Zimbabwe in November this year. For more details, visit the following link: ACADEMICS URGED TO PUBLISH MORE
Writer Memory Chirere holding one of the books launched, a Shona poetry collection Gwatakwata Renhetembo (2016, Secondary Book Press) edited by Munyaradzi Gunduza. With Chirere is fellow writer Clever Kavenga who has poems in the anthology.
Some of the poets who were published the two Shona anthologies Gwatakwata Renhetembo and Hodzeko Yenduri (2016, Secondary Press) also edited by Munyaradzi Gunduza
VOICE OF THE GIRL CHILD
Dear Young Lady
It's an honour to pen my heart to you young lady. May these sentiments find a deep, secure place in your heart and may they mean everything to your tender and vigorous mind. In humility, steadiness and diligence you establish yourself. Let these three be forever in your company and never let them slip away. Your construction to be a levelled lady requires great determination, focus and exceeding sacrifice. It is a defining and refining process which will bring out the best in you if taken with utmost dedication.
"Intelligence is inborn, diligence is a choice." These words should serve as guidelines to guard your moulding steps. In your heart it should be engraved deeply that choosing to be diligent will produce the finer lady in you. Intelligence is well-carved and portrayed after diligent efforts and sacrifices.
Purity and decency have taken pivotal roles in nurturing dignified ladies in all times. Upholding purity has been a struggle amongst young women and even older women today. It is that special property that you only find in outstanding fine ladies. It is slowly becoming a rare quality. I therefore earnestly impel you to uphold purity and decency as a young lady. Possessing such qualities will boost your self-esteem and personal inner beauty. Let your apparel be dignified. You are most likely to be confident when dressed comfortably. Dressing is very important as it is an important aspect when you are being judged.
Discretion and maturity are important spices in the dish. Critical analysis of situations is primarily vital before any attempt to reaction. All crucial decisions are to be made in a sober state. Your speech and talk should be composed and have substance. Your words should be scarce, so as your voice not be heard everywhere. However let your graceful smile radiate your inner beauty such that when you open your mouth opportune, sweet words flow.
Above all, a spiritually upright young lady with a true experience with God will ever be joyful. God is the best prescription one could ever give or be given to change lives. Young lady, I wish you the best of experiences in becoming a fine lady with substance in the New Year. Take care.
Girls on the move: (From left) Paula Hawkins, Chipo Chung and Petina Gappah
Renowned writer Petina Gappah turned December 3 evening into a magnificent literary occasion when she launched her third book Rotten Row (2016, Faber) at Reps Theatre in Harare.
The launch, which had international writer Paula Hawkins as guest of honor, was dubbed “The Girl on the Train meets Rotten Row’. The event was vibrant with the talk between Hawkins and Gappah, the performance and recital of extracts from Gappah’s new book.
Writer, reader and WIN Director Beaven Tapureta with author Paula Hawkins after the book launch
SERIALIZATION OF A NOVEL IN 2017
The WIN blog will, starting next year, serialize a novel written by Amanda Ranganawa titled Born of Blood. This is the second time we have tried to serialize a novel. The first time we tried we did not have the experience as we wanted some guarantee in matters of protecting the work. We are hopeful and confident that this time you will enjoy Born of Blood in our next newsletters without any hiccups.
Amanda Ranganawa is an Honors graduate in Theatre from the University of Zimbabwe and is Best Female Alumni Student from the institute. She is also a first year International Relations and Diplomacy student at UNISA. She is an award winning and several times nominated Theatre student. Amanda is a Scriptwriter, Director, Actress, Choreographer, Music Composer and former Radio Producer. She has written four plays, all which have been performed within Zimbabwe and is currently writing novels and has four feature films which she wishes to direct one day. Born and bred in Mutare, Amanda is a self-motivated go-getter who was fortunate to get entrance into the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts school based in Hollywood, America. However, she has not gotten enough funds to get her to attend the Academy. The young lady hopes to use her writing talent to make a big name for herself in order to pave way for her acting career abroad.
ANOTHER STEP FORWARD IN COPYRIGHT PROTECTION
We bring you some images from the Licensing and Copyright Development Workshop held on December 6, 2016, at Monomotapa Crowne Plaza, Harare. The event was organised by Zimcopy in partnership with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisation (IFRRO). For some details about the event, follow this link: WRITERS END YEAR IN STYLE
Dr. Samuel Makore making welcoming guests]
Caroline Morgan, the Chief Executive and Secretary General of IFRRO, speaking about the benefits of educational licensing to curb photocopying of copyright works in schools, colleges and universities
Elisha Ndanga presented on Technology Protection for Copyright Licensing
Writer Monica Cheru was the emcee
Olav Stokkmo, Special Advisor to International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organization (IFRRO) also talked about Public Lending Rights
A participant makes a contribution
Celebrated playwright Stephen Chifunyise performing a Shona folktale during break
Watch this space for a review of this new collection from South Africa based poet Catherine Magodo-Mutukwa!!
MAY THE GOOD LORD BE WITH YOU IN THE NEW YEAR 2017!