Thursday, February 25, 2021

KwaChirere reads Tanaka Chidora's Because Sadness is Beautiful?


 

 

Because Sadness is Beautiful? Poems in English by Tanaka Chidora,(with a foreword by Magdalena Pfalzgraf), published by Mwanaka Media and Publishing, Harare, 2019, isbn:978-1-77929-596-5

Tanaka Chidora’s first book of poems in English, Because Sadness is Beautiful? dazzles with that question mark at the end of the title. That question mark flips in the reader’s mind like disco lights. I think it is meant to challenge you to look at things inside out. That way, you may experience what the late David Mungoshi calls on the book's blurb “a near out of body experience.”

Beauty, as we know it cannot live side by side with sadness. They are meant to fight like fire and water or light and darkness. I will suggest that sadness, as you find in these poems, is beautiful because the poet has found a way of linking that sadness with concrete historical movements in Zimbabwe and all Africa. Put differently, sadness becomes beautiful when you can trace it back to its source. You start to separate man from his shadow, however hard they try to mingle. A terrible beauty is born in these poems, not because a revolution is waged, but because you have been persuaded to look and understand very clearly how you have become and how long the road ahead is.

Many of these poems talk about ‘the old that hides in the folds of the new.’ Growing up, our uncles told us horrifying stories about straying through sacred grounds at night where you run and run and run but always feeling that you were on the same spot! For Chidora the poet, “the ugly underbelly of the new/ reveals itself to a few.”

As a result, Chidora invents phrases and lines that startle through their intense internal opposition, like when he writes about ‘peace armed to the teeth,’ like ‘someone touched the hem of my smile,’ like ‘one day peace decided to have children,’ like ‘the river roaring, spinning and tearing its clothes…’ and ‘open your eyes and see that there is nothing to see.’

In that regard, you may probably like that short poem called ‘Leaving.’ For some people, as shown in this poem, leaving one’s country comes when one stops talking about the terrible situation in their country. It is strange that you may actually leave a country when you give up on it, while you are still in it, that you may not leave it physically. The poet could be suggesting that people and country are like the dog and its tail! One can never catch the other during a chase. Also, nobody may effectively leave a country once you are born to it and experience it.

The poem ‘Father’ could be the watershed poem in this collection. Father is a hopeless drunkard but you can see that he is also a protector, sometimes he is a preacher-philosopher and sometimes he is your weak friend whose injured body has to be ferried home by others. You do not need to open your eyes to see father because you see him with your eyes closed, because he is painted by Chidora with care and ease. Chidora’s ‘Father’ is not drawn with the usual stereotypical brush used for parents in literature. Chidora’s ‘Mother’ poem which comes earlier will definitely struggle against the ‘Father’ poem. Chidora's mother poem is a given. But, the father poem is a challenge.

Mbare features prominently in these poems. Mbare is often side-lined in Zimbabwean literature. ‘Magamba hostels’ portrays the known hostels as a wreckage seen from the sea shores at different times of day, sparking different mixed thoughts. Then there is another longer poem that dedicates a stanza to each of the 13 blocks of that historical hostel. Mbare is described as a cultural melting pot. Mbare is an embarrassment to the politicians who give empty promises. Mbare is a place where small men and women have opportunity to recreate and re-arrange themselves. Mbare is a language by itself. Mbare is a place of waiting, of arrival and departures.

These poems are torn between belonging and disinterest in the country. They search for something to hold on to, something beyond the misery around us. You come away from this book with the idea that; whatever the very crucial things we have experienced in history, they may not be good enough to keep us together for as long as we do not achieve peace, prosperity and harmony. I am also touched by the fact that this is one of the last few books that the late great David Mungoshi edited before his exit.

+Reviewed by Memory Chirere, University of Zimbabwe  

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A VIDEO of me reading


 You can see and listen to me reading “Roja rababa vaBiggie” (from my book, Tudikidiki) to a writing workshop audience on top of Chisiya Hill, Zvishavane way back in 2015, October. The video is here> Roja raBaba vaBiggie - YouTube

++the actual short story: Roja rababa vaBiggie

Vanhu vose vaiona roja rababa vaBiggie richikwidza nekudzika naKashangura mazuva okutanga vaingoti, “Iri ndiro roja ratiri kutsvaga tichishaya.  Baba vaBiggie vakaita zvavo mhanza.  Iro ndiro roja rinonzi roja.”

 

Chinhu chinofadza kuita roja rako rinoshanda, rine mhuri diki, rinogeza, risingadhakwe zvakanyanya, rinodzika naKashangura rakanyarara dakara rasvika pamba.

 

Mumwe musi takazoona roja rababa vaBiggie richitenga chibage chokugocha richinogara padombo richidya.  Takangotiwo ndizvo zvinoita roja kwaro kumbotenga chibage pamusika richidyawo.

 

Roja riye rakasimuka ndokunotenga mumwe muguri wechibage ndokudzoka padombo kunodya.  Takangotiwo ndizvo zvinoita roja kwaro kana ragarisa risingadye chibage chokugocha.  Ko, miguri miviri yokugocha yakaipei? Chakaipei chibage chinogochwa nanaamai vepamusika?

 

Asika roja riye rakasimuka kechitatu, kechina … richitenga chibage richidya rigere padombo kumhiri kwemugwagwa.

 

Munhu kana achidya chibage chekugocha anoita kunge ari kuridza bhosvo.  Roja kana richidya miguri yechibage chokugocha rigere mhiri kwemugwagwa, rinobva ratanga kunakidza.

 

Mamwe mazuva tairiona richidzika naKashangura richiteverwa mumashure nemukadzi waro mupfupi, mutsvuku akabereka mwana.  Vaiteverana vasingataure, vachiita kunge mombe dziri kuenda kunonwa mvura. 

 

Zvavo havo baba vaBiggie.

 

Tairiona zvakare roja riye rakatakura mwana  mumaoko richinotenga muriwo pamusika.  Taingotiwo ndizvo zvinoita roja kwaro kumbotakurawo mwana waro wekubereka.

 

Richingobva kumuriwo, raibereka mwana kumusana rakananga kumagirosa.  Taingoti ndizvo zvinoita roja kwaro kumboitawo zvinhu zvatisati tamboona zvichiitwa muno muChipadze.

 

Richidzika naKashangura riine mwana kumusana, richibva kumagirosa, vakadzi vachiriona vachirovana kobo nepaheji, varume vachitarisana mhiri nemhiri kwaKashangura vachizunza misoro.

 

Baba vaBiggie vakabva vateverawo mumashure, rimwe zuva, vachimhanya, heti iri muhapwa, vachiti, “Jackson, Jackson!” Asi roja ravo rakanga ratopinda mugedhi kare nemwana waro kumusana.

 

Vakadzi vakarovana kobo nepaheji, varume vakazunza misoro.  Pane  munhu mumwechete akangoti, “Baba vaBiggie neroja ravo vari kurasika papi?”

 

Izvozvo ndizvo zvinoita munhu anonakidza.  Musi waunotanga kumuona hapana kana chaunoona paari.  Vakawanda vanhu vanonakidza vatinosangana navo mutown, kuChiwaridzo nekuChipindura asi hativazive.

 

Umwe usiku takamutswa nemhere mhere.  Baba vakabuda vakangopfeka chikabudura chavo chete. Takabva tavatevera zvisina kunzi teverai. Takamhanyira kumugwagwa, kutara.  Chii? Chiiko chiri kuitika muno muChipadze?

 

Takanzwa kuti mhere mhere iye yaibva kutower-light.  Takawana vanhu vaungana vakatarisa kumusoro soro kwetower-light.

 

Roja rababa vaBiggie rakanga riri pamunhongonya petower-light! Kuita kunge tsoko iri kuita misikanzwa.  Vanhu vainge vachishevedzera, “Buruka iwe! Ukadonha kubva ipapo unofira mahara!”

 

Roja rababa vaBiggie rakatarisa pasi pataive ndokuseka.  Rakaseka asi maziso aro aive nemisodzi.  Takasekwa neaichema!

 

Zvakatinetsa saka takapindirawo tichiti, “Buruka! Unofira mahara iwe-e!”

 

Roja rakazviramba, “Handiburuke!  Handiburuke!”  Rakatenderera tenderera pazvisimbi zvetower – light kuita seraive pamasofa.

 

“Buruka! Buruka!”  Chipadze yakaimba.  Misodzi yevanhu yakabuda.  Chokwadi, chiiko chinoita kuti roja kwaro zvakadaro ridaro? 

 

“Heyi! Murume aita seiko uyo?  Anomuziva ndianiko?”

 

Asi roja harina kupa vanhu mukana.  “Ndoda kufa! Ndoda kufa!”  Rakabata patower-light neruoko rumwechete, muviri wose uchirembere semuzerere.  Takabata matumbu ndokuteterera, ndokuombera.  Raigona kuwa kubva kumusoro soro ikoko.

 

Roja rakazodzorera makumbo patower-light vanhu vakatura befu.  Roja rakachema, “Amai! Amaiwe-e-e-e,”  zviye zvinoita mushini webhucha kana uchicheka nyama ine bhonzo.  “Ibvai pano! Handina kukushevedzai!”  Rakatanga kurembera zvekare.  Kuita muzurere.  Kuita chipepa chiri mumhepo.  Kuita kunge chinhu chisiri munhu.  Takagwagwadza.

 

“Munofunga kuti ndakapusa, saka regai ndife!  Ndinoda kufa!”  Roja rakadzorera makumbo patower-light. Chipadze yakatura befu zvakare.

 

“Hamudi kubva, ha?”  Roja rakabvunza rakatarisa Chipadze.  Raive kure, kudenga kusingakwirwe nemupenyu.  “Hamudi, nhaika?” Chipadze yakabvunzwa.  Roja rakakatanura hembe ndokuikanda pasi.  Hembe chena ine dikita nyoro kumusana. Yakakoromoka ndokuti zivha-a kumhara painge pasudurukwa nevanhu.

 

Taiti zvapera asi roja rakanyatsogara pazvisimbi ndokutanga kukumura bhurugwa!

 

Vakadzi vose nevasikana vakabva vati, “Yowe-e! yuwi-i!” vachitarisa pasi nokumhanyira mudzimba.

 

Roja rakatobva rakwamatata, “Mirai! Murikutiza chii?  Mirai!”

 

Hamhenowo mumwe murume asina matyira akati, “Heyi! Zvaita seiko? Unoda chiiko?”

 

Roja rikati, “Ndinoda kufa nekuti munoti ndakapusa!”  Rakatanga zvakare kurembera.  Rakati pidigu ndokurembera nemusoro, nemaoko rakabatirira pazvisimbi nemakumbo.  Varume vane chitsama vakaverereka neheji ndokuenda vachiti, “Hatichazvigona, tingazonzi taivepo.”

 

Roja rakarembera, musoro uchiita sewejongwe riri padara refu refu. “Regai ndife! Ndavakufa amai! Ndofira mari yangu, amai!”  Roja rakabowa kuita hwemhuru chaiyo.  “Ama-a-ai!”

 

Ndipo pakazosvika baba vaBiggie, vachisimudza heti yavo vachipukuta dikita pamhanza nehengechepfu.  Takasuduruka.  “Regai zvipedzerane.  Nyaya hatiizive.  Iwe mudhara, pedzerana neroja rako!”

 

Baba vaBiggie vaifemereka.  Vakatarisa mudenga ndokuti, “Jackson! Jackson! Kana uchida mari yako ndinokupa mhani!”

 

Roja rakati pidigu ndokugara patower light.  Takaombera maoko.  Takaridza mheterwa. Takatura befu. “Iri kupi mari yacho?  Ndoda mari yangu! Zvisizvo, ndofa nhasi chaiye.  Hazvitombonetsa!”

 

Baba vaBiggie vakadedera.  Vakadzikisa ruoko mubhachi ndokuburitsa rumbu remari. “Mari yako iyi mwanangu, buruka!”

 

“Iri kupi?”  roja rakabvunza richitarisa pasi.  “Iri kupi?  Handisi kuiona!”

 

“Iyi! Iyi” Takadaro tichinongedzera mari. “Buruka utore mari!”

 

“Imarii?” roja rakabvunza. “Verengai ndichiona. Verengai ndichiona! Handidi zvokunyeperwa!”  Maziso eroja akavaima.

 

Yakaverengwa.  Mazana emazana.  Kuita matutu matutu, izvozvo roja rakaringa pasi.  Kuita  rimwewo zinhu riri pamusoro soro riri kubhadharwa nevari pasi.

 

Roja rakazoti, “Chisudurukai!” Takaita saizvozvo.  Takanomira kure kwazvo, takapeta maoko, takabata hana, tichitura befu.  Takaona roja richidzika, simbi nesimbi, richiridza kamuridzo, musana waro - usina hembe – uchipenya muchiedza chetower – light.

+naMemory Chirere


Monday, February 8, 2021

KwaChirere reads Grey Angels by Virginia Phiri

 


Grey Angels, novel in English by Virginia Phiri,

Published/reprinted in 2019, by Corals Services, Harare, Isbn: 9781779295033

Reviewed by Memory Chirere

When it finally breaks into mainstream reading society, Virginia Phiri’s latest novel, Grey Angels will definitely set tongues wagging, in Zimbabwe and beyond, for a number of reasons.

“I Linda Jojo, who is supposed to be Prof Joseph Jojo’s daughter decided to do the unthinkable…” says the narrator from the very start. And yet Virginia Phiri is using a clever technique coined “the unreliable narrator” by Wayne C. Booth way back in 1961.  

In this kind of writing the narrator's unreliability is never fully revealed but only hinted at, leaving readers to wonder how much the narrator should be trusted and how the story should be interpreted.

Put differently; what Linda is seeing is very difficult for her or the less discerning reader to comprehend. It is our duty to find out the meaning of what she says she has seen. You may need to read between the lines and read backwards, or sideways, all the way. That is Virginia Phiri territory.

Linda’s father is an enigma. He is a master of sorcery, even opening what Linda calls “a bush school” in which selected children are forced to train in both cultural issues and the dark arts. Linda’s father is a leading Biologist in the country and has come up with ground breaking scientific researches. He is also a devout Christian upon whom the whole church relies. You keep on asking, is he a fake or a genius?

When Linda is born, he disappears with her to some unknown place during the full moon. When he returns, the baby is covered up in ritual blood. His mouth is dripping blood.  He tells his cowed wife not to bath the baby for a specific period. And yet he does not tell his wife whether the blood is from animal or man.

On Saturdays, he takes the teenage Linda to the bush school for initiations which include; incisions, lacerations and having dragon tattoos drawn across her thighs. On Sundays he happily takes Linda and the family to the Christian church in his Pontiac. At some point, he tries to arrange a marriage for Linda but she wriggles out. He has a mentor, a shadowy university colleague called Dr Swaga Swaga. Together, they are indomitable until one is caught in bed with the other’s wife.

Linda offers passive resistance in order to save her mother and siblings from the marauding professor. Linda’s mother, Tandeka Jojo, is a hapless school dropout who was forced to marry a man double her age. She doesn’t know the real day to day activities of her very-very learned husband. She does not understand why her husband keeps bodies of various dead rodents and insects in the house. She does not understand the countless rituals that her husband performs everywhere in the house.

When the professor is inflicted by insanity and dies, the family is relieved as it is safer to mourn him than to live with him. The manuscript of his memoir is in the house, ready for publishing. Maybe only from that book will the truth emerge. His major weakness is not to reveal his agenda to the people around him. His angels can only be grey and not bright.

Virginia Phiri is no stranger to the genre of taboo writing. In Desperate, her collection of short stories of 2002, she writes about women in various kinds of prostitution. In Destiny, her novel of 2006, she writes about a character who is a hermaphrodite. In Highway Queen a work of 2010, she writes about the cross boarder trading women of Zimbabwe and the horrors that they confront and triumph over.

Virginia Phiri has featured in various poetry and short story anthologies in English, Shona and Ndebele. She has also contributed in non-fiction anthologies such as Women in Resilience (2000). Phiri is also an African Orchids expert and has published many articles in international orchid journals. In 1999, a new species of orchid was named after her. The orchid is called “Polystachya Phirii”.

Friday, February 5, 2021

The selected poems of Memory Chirere


 

The selected Memory Chirere poems

Selected from Bhuku Risina Basa Nokuti Rakanyorwa Masikati

published 2014 by Bhabhu Books, Harare.

 

 

Mashoko ekutanga

Sei mumabhuku ose andinoverenga

Musinawo zita rangu?

Kuti pakashayawo akatondera zita rangu?

Ndokushayawo akagona kuperetera zita rangu?

Kuti pane asingazive nyaya yangu?

Ndinofanira kunyora ndega zita rangu,

Ndichisima miti

Ndichitsikisa mabhuku

Ndichizvara vana!

Kurinyora parisingaore, zita rangu.

 

 

Bembera

Pamakambondishandisa

ndakati kudii?

Zvandave kuzvishandira

moti kudii?

Moti hero rombe

riri kuita zvinhu zvaro?

 

 

 

Pikicha

Mune iyi, ndainge ndichangozvarwa

ndakaradzikwa mubhasikiti zvaJesu chaizvo.

Ivo vachitoitawo saJosefa naMaria!

 

Mune iyi, takasimudza mawoko tagohwesa bhora.

Tarisa kushama kwatakaita kunge zvigatawa!

 

Mune iyo, mukuru wechikoro ari kunyemwerera achindikorokotedza.

Ndainge ndawana mubairo weChirungu chandaisataura kumba.

 

Mune iyi, ndainge ndakakugukuchira tiri mupaki, Sekai.

Ndaisaziva kuti rudo rwemukadzi rwunonaka nekuvava zvese.

 

Pane iri pakavha yebhuku rangu rekutanga,

ndainge ndakatarisa mberi ndichifunga kuti ndini Soyinka.

Ndaisaziva kuti bhuku haripere kunyorwa.

 

Mune iyi ndakatarisa mwana wangu wekutanga

ndichitya kuti achararama here.

Asi nhasi ave kukwira ega bhazi achienda mativi mana.

 

Mune iyo, vana vandaiticha vakasimudza maoko

asi nhasi vazhinji vavo vave kutonga nyika.

Ndinovaverenga mupepa ndoseka zvangu.

 

Mune iyi, ndakasunga tayi

ndiri pedyo chaizvo negurukota rehurumende.

Vari kumusha vanoti ndinodya namambo.

 

Apa, ndiri parufu rwaFarai

ndakakotamisa hope yangu pabhokisi rake

ndichiti, “Famba zvakanaka Fatso, ndichatevera.”

 

Mune yanhasi, ndiri pamunda wangu.

Ndini here uyu akapfeka kabudura kemurimi

achiteerera zvake kukura kwechibage?

 

Vasikana ava handichaziva mazita avo.

Asi uyu mutsvuku ndakamushaira mukana tiri pachikoro.

Kwaari ikoko Mwari ngaandichengetere.

 

Mune iyo iri pamusoro pesofa, mai mwana

tiri pamuchato wedu tichitsvodana tatumwa namufundisi.

Uchazvigona here izvi pazere vanhu?

 

 

 

Shamwari yaSarudzai

Shamwari yako inondinyara, Saru.

Kana ndikamutarisa anoringa pasi

asi ndikaringa divi anobva anditarisa.

Shamwari yako inoshereketa, Saru.

Patinomhoresana anoramba akandibata ruoko

ndonzwa kupiswa nemagetsi ake akawanda.

Shamwari yako ine shungu, Saru.

Patinombundikirana anozvambarara pachipfuva changu

ndonzwa kuremerwa nemusoro wake.

Shamwari yako inoona, Saru.

Kana ndikapfeka zvakanaka anokutangira kuzviona.

Kana ndikadikitira anokasika kubudisa hengechepfu.

Shamwari yako inonzwa, Saru.

Ndikataura zvinofadza anobva aseka kudarika iwe

achibuda tumisodzi tuchena tunenge mvura.

Shamwari yako haina guhwa, Saru.

Kana ndichitaura newe anoringa divi

achimirira kuti tipedzerane pachedu.

Shamwari yako inoyemura, Saru.

Kana mandioneka modigaira moenda

ndikangocheuka ndinoona achicheukawo.

Shamwari yako inondivhiringidza, Saru.

Anondivinga kuhope achiti tiende kwatete vake

asi iwe hausati wandiendesa kana kumukoma wako.

Shamwari yako inokasika, Saru.

Ndakasangana naye aine mukoma wake mukuru

vakanyemwerera vachinditi, “Kaziwai, babamunini!”

Ndakatarisa pasi ndokunyarara zvangu

nokuti unondinzwisa tsitsi kwazvo, Saru.

 

 

 

 

 

Nyika yedu

Tinoda nyika ino neupfumi hwayo hwose.

Kuti tiidye zvishoma nezvishoma pauzima.

Tichiseva muto wayo nemusuva wesadza.

Tichinyenyeredza pane nyama nedomasi.

Kuti tizozvinhonga pakupedzisira kwemutambo.

Tinoda nyika ino neupfumi hwayo hwose.

Kuti tiicheke hafu toisa mukabati.

Todya hafu yacho izvozvi nhasi uno.

Imwe hafu toti ndeyemangwana.

Hafu yanhasi toizora bhata zvese nedovi nejamhu.

Tozomira zvedu pavhuranda tichiidya.

Tichionekwa nevana vepaseri kuti tiri kudya.

Tinoda nyika ino neupfumi hwayo hwose.

Kuti tigoimenya tega seranjisi.

Tichikachidzwa neutsi hwayo tichikosora.

Tichibudisa tumisodzi tunokonzerwa nekunakirwa.

Tozoibvanzura tichiisa mukanwa ichingotapira.

Muto uchiyerera uchidzika nemagokora edu.

Tozounanzva futi muto iwoyo nerurimi rwunogwagwadza.

Tinoda nyika ino nerunako rwayo rwose.

Kuti tigoona zuva rayo richibuda muchikomo.

Tichiritya utsvuku hwaro hunoshamisa pamangwanani.

Tichiudzana zvedu nhasi kuchapisa mwachewe.

Tigoona mwedzi uchigara pamusoro pezviruvi zvemba.

Uchiita sekamwana kagere mudumbu maamai vako.

Tinoda nyika ino zvinototirwadza chaizvo.

Kunyanya kana zviye tiri kure-kure nayo.

Tinotorota tiri mumunda wechibage chakasvibirira

Tichitsvaga pane magaka, ipwa  nemabvembe.

Tichizotyora chibage chinyoro tichiimba

Tichinochibika mumabhodho anopfungarara pamoto.

Hwema hweZhizha huchikwidza nemaraini.

Tinoitondera nemisodzi chaiyo nyika ino.

Nokuti yakatida tisati tatomboziva kuti tisu vanaani.

Tikaidawo tisati taziva kuti chinonzi rudo chii.

Yakatipa mazita anosekwa kwese kwatinoenda.

Vana Lovemore, Rosewita, Doesmatter naEvernice.

Hatiseke nokuti tinoziva zvaanoreva mukusareva kwawo.

Takatozoita zvokuchata nayo nyika ino muhana dzedu.

Saka painominyuka tinofashaidza mvura pamoto.

Kwave kuitova zvinyoronyoro nejira mumvura inopfumbuka.

Painoyuwirawo nesu tinonzwa hana kusimuka dzichibvondoka.

Tinoinzwisisa nemutsa nyika ino.

Painodikitira tinoipukuta nehengechepfu chena inenge gore.

Painochema semhuru tinonzwa mukaka kusisa mumazamhu edu.

Nyika ino ticharamba tichifa isu kuti iyo irarame zvayo.

Tichasiya tanyora mazita edu pamapazi ayo.

Tichishandisa mapanga, matemo, mbezo, reza namapadza.

Kuti vanopfuura nepano taenda vagoziva kuti tainge tiri panowo.

Naivowo vafambe zvinyoronyoro vasiye nyika ino chiri chidadiso.

 

 

 

Mukuru wekuchechi kwedu

Mukuru wekuchechi kwedu

ave kuita sewachi zvino

zvokuti achafira mumaoko evanhu.

 

Mukuru wekuchechi kwedu

anenge nguva yechando

paanoenda tichachema nemufaro

 

Mukuru wekuchechi kwedu

Anenge zimukuyu repanzira

nyora zita rako pariri ufambe, uyende.

 

Mukuru wekuchechi kwedu

anenge kapoto kasina ridhi

Kanokwata kusvikira kapwa

 

Mukuru wekuchechi kwedu

anenge kakova kasina bhiriji

Unotoyambuka kaserera.

 

Mukuru wekuchechi kwedu

anenge doro repataundishipi

Munotobvunzana, “Nhasi rakadii?” musati matenga.

 

Mukuru wekuchechi kwedu

anenge redhiyo ine bhatiri idzva

Munotokotsira achingorira.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aka katetembo hakana basa nokuti kakanyorwa masikati:

Kakova kanonzi rudo rwangu

Kanobva pano kusvika pandinozofa apo-o!

 

 

 

 

Kana uchifudza

Kana uchifudza mombe;

unoramba zvaunoziva

ugobvuma zvausingazive

ugoziva wega zvaunoziva.

 

Kana uchifudza mbudzi;

unotadza kuziva kuti

uchiri kuenda here kana kudzoka,

Wotanga zvino kumhanyira kwauri kubva!

 

Kana uchifudza hwai;

unotadza kuziva kuti ndiriinhi zviya,

pawakamboona zvauri kuona.

 

Kana uchifudza vanhu;

uri kutsvaga chiri kukutsvagawo

Kana wasvika pachanga chiri,

Icho chinenge chave pawambenge uri!

 

 

 

 

Rudo

Rudo rwandisina kukupa:

kashiri kanodya masefa kachicheuka.

Rudo rwandisina kukupa:

ibenzi riri kumhanyira kwariri kubva

saka harisvike zvachose iwe!

Rudo rwandisina kukupa:

rwunombogwamba mandiri semafuta

rwuchizopepuka chete kana ndakuona

rwosimudza musoro senyoka yaona gonzo.

Ndinobva ndarwupuruzira iwe-e-e-e

kuti rwurare zvarwo sekatsi yakaguta

nokuti kana rwaona iwe rwunogwagwadza

rwozvongonyoka senyoka mumunda uchangorimwa.

A, ndiri kudzidzira kudzikama pandinokuona

nokuti rudo rwandisina kukupa:

imhodzi isina kuwira pavhu kwaro kuti imere.

Rudo rwandisina kuzokupa:

unorwuonawo here mumeso edu kana tasangana?

Kana kuti unongoti:

“Zvatakapotsa hanga, todya zvedu makunguwo.”

 

 

 

 

 

Pamuviri paShamiso

Zvinonzi Shamiso ane pamuviri pangu

nokuti tinonzwikwa tichiseka zvedu tose

kuchipisa, kuchitonhora kana kuchivhuvhuta

zvokuti vanhu vanosiya poto dzichitsva pamoto

kana kusiya nhau dzichiverengwa pawairesi

kana kusiya pombi dzichirasa zvadzo mvura

vachingotarisa ini naShami tichiseka zvedu.

Zvanzi tinoonekwa tiri tose kwose-kwose zvako

paMugovera, paChishanu, paChitatu kana paChina

vanhu vachitondera vachirasika zvakarewo

kuti kave kechingani vachiona ini naShamiso

kuye-keye-e zuva riye-riye-e nepaye-paye-e!

Saka zvinonzi pamuviri paShami pacho ndepangu chete

nokuti Shamiso kana aneni zviya anoshamisa

zvokuti haaite kunge kune imwe nguva nenzvimbo

iri nani muupenyu hwose hwatinoziva kunze kwepandiri.

Kwanzi kana aneni anoseka chikwe-e chaicho chamunoziva

iyo mitezo yake yakaita rurasademo chairwo

kunge pasi pano pasina minzwa, mafeso kana chaguduma.

Zvinonzi kana aneni, Shami anoita seane hama yake chaiyo

asi vozoona kuti hama nehama chaidzo-idzo dzatinoziva

hadzingakwizane mapendekete dzichiswera dzose saizvozvi!

Zvinonzi ndepangu chete pamuviri paShami, hakuna mumwe

nokuti handivhundutswe nenzeve dzake dzave kunjenjemera

kana kusvipa-svipa kwaave kungoita nekusarudza twokudya.

Zvinonzi ini pano husiku chaihwo hwezhizha nokuti

handione kuti dumbu raShami riri kungokura zuva nezuva.

Vanotaura vanoti pamuviri paShamiso ndepangu

nokuti murume nemukadzi havagone kungoshamwaridzana

zvikaperera chete muhurukuro nekuseka nekunzwanana.

Zvanzi chiripo chete chandinoda kubva kunaShamiso

chandinowana nyore-nyore nokuti dzangu dzakatenderera

zvakare dzaShamiwo dzinenge zinyekenyeke sedzangu.

Zvanzi vane nharo ngavamirire chete pachapona Shami

vagoona kuti ini naShami hataingoita zvekuseka chete.

Asika; ini naShamiso tinozviziva zvose izvozvo

ndosaka tichigaroseka zvedu sekunge kusina denga nepasi

tichitofara zvedu sekusina mangwana kana gore rinouya.

 

 

 

 

Chipikiri

Chipikiri chinorohwa nesando

musoro wega-wega uyu.

Chichidzika chichipinda  chichibaya.

Chichirohwa musoro wese uyu.

Chichiimba  chichihuta  chichichema.

Chichidzama  chichitenderera  chichidzika.

Chichirohwa nesando musoro wese iwoyo.

Chichipfidza  chichikumbira ruregerero.

Asi wesando anongoda musoro iwoyo.

Musoro-musoro musoro-musoro chete.

Achiunanga achiurova achiukoma.

Achiimbirira achitukirira achinyetera

Chipikiri chichienda chichidzama.

Chichinoita basa revamwe zvavo.

Chichisiya ngoma inonaka ichingorira

chichiasiya mabhebhi, maruva nemakeke…

 

 

 

 

Shoko Rekupedzisira

Mazwi evana vari kutamba panze apo

ndiro simba redu rasara:

         dai kukaramba kuine zuva

        dai kukaramba kuine mvura

        dai kukaramba kuine mhepo

        dai kukaramba kuine ivhu nembeu

Ndavanzwa ndikati:

        Dai waro kwaramba kuine vana.

 

 

Mazwi emupepeti (Editor’s note)

Kupihwa kwandakaitwa nhetembo dzino naMemory Chirere kuti ndiverenge, rakave rombo rakanaka. Paakazodzoka zvakare kwandiri achiti ndipepete pamwe chete nekuzodziburitsa sebhuku saizvozvi, kwakave kukudzwa kukuru.

Chirere haachisiri chikomana chiya chandakanga ndichidzidzira kunyora nhetembo pamwe nacho tiri vana vechikoro kuUniversity of Zimbabwe kutanga kwema 1990. Iko zvino chitarisai muone! Atotumbuka muchekechera. Kunyora kwake kwave nemuchochororo nezvimbi. Kwave kunyora kwakatsiga kunge mabwe akagarana aunogona kufunga kuti achakuwira, asi iwe usingazive kuti kana naChaminuka akaawana akadaro, akangoasiya akadaro.

 

Mazuva andakashamwaridzana naChirere pamakore edu kuUniversity of Zimbabwe, takanga tichinyora nhetembo nehama dzinenge Chiedza Musengezi naNhamo Mhiripiri, naRuzvidzo Mupfudza, naZvisinei Sandi, naEmmanuel Sigauke, naThabisani Ndlovu, naJoyce Mutiti, naEresina Hwede nevamwe. Aive mazuva ekunakirwa nemukaka wenhetembo, kufanana nemhuru inoyamwa. Takanga tine pfungwa dzizere ngano, netsumo, nemadimikira, nezvirahwe pamwe chete nemabhuku evanyori vakuru vataida zvikuru. Takanga tisati taziva kuti nesuwo rimwe zuva tichazoitawo mabhuku edu asina basa kudai.

 

Kunyora kunobva kure. Tine mazuva atainyora nekuti takanga tichinyenga vasikana vachitiramba. Shungu. Tine mazuva atakanga tichinyora nekuti takanga tichisuwa hupenyu hwatakanga takura tiri mahuri kuDande uko kwatinobva, kune makomo eMavhuradonha. Ndiwo mazuva ataiona kuti nenhetembo dzedu dzakafanana nevasikana vacho vatainyenga. Kune nhetembo dzaitiramba, dzimwe dzichititiza. Kune nhetembo dzatairota nedzimwe dzaitishaisa hope. Asi nekufamba kwenguva, pane nhetembo dzatakazoroora, dzikabvuma kuita vana nesu. Saka nhetembo dziri mubhuku rino, hupenyu hwaChirere, imhuri yaChirere, rwendo rwake! Wanaiwo pamunokwana.

 

Pane kuruka tyava, nekuridza tyava zvekuti tsuro, shiri zvese nevanhu zvinovhunduka kuti pane charira kunge pfuti, asi chisiri pfuti zvacho. Pane kurova netyava, kunobvarura ganda, kuchitungidza moto wemarwadzo mukati menyama musingagone kukwenyeka. Ndizvo zvakaita manyorero aChirere izvozvo. Kuita Memory Chirere kunge mango mbishi yekuti ukadya inokukora igokudzidzisa kuti uiremekedze.

 

Pane kunyora kune maonero anodarika kuona kwemaziso. Kunyora kunoita kuti iwe muverengi unzwe ruzha rwekudonha kweumhutu chaiko. Ndiko kunyora kwaChirere mubhuku rino. Kunyora kunouya nemazwi akasiyana-siyana uye asingajairike. Kunyora kunoroya! Kunyora kunokutema nyora paganda ukazivikanwa nevanhu vese kuti wabva kun’anga. Chirere haasi ega! Handizive kuti vangani mukati make. Chirere mutinhimira.

 

Ndinofunga kuti; Zimbabwe haichawana mumwe nyanduri wechiShona anonyora saChirere. Kunyora kunenge kudada, kunenge kutsvinya, kunenge kutamba asi kwausingakoshiwe! Chirere ane chipo chekupaza, kupfudzunura, kutsokodzera nekupisa hunhu hwechinhu chamagara muchiti ndicho nhetembo. Nhetembo dzake dzinofamba nemakumbo dzichibva pamakadzirongedza, dzichienda kunogara pamaifunga kuti hapagarwe kana kusvikwa nenhetembo.

Mubhuku rino hamuna nhetembo dzandingati idzi ndidzo dzinotapira kudarika dzimwe. Nhetembo imwe neimwe mubhuku rino ine masimukiro ayo, nemagariro ayo akasiyana nedzimwe. Bhuku iri rinenge muti wakarembera nemichero yakaibva zvekuti unoshaya kuti ndotangira papi uye kana watanga kudya, unenge usisade kurega kudya. Handikwanise kuti ndisarudze nhetembo imwe chete kuti ndigoti iyi ndiyo yakabata bhuku. Uyewo, handina kuda kuti tiise nhetembo idzi muzvikamu – kwete! Takangoita zarura dzibayane, nekuda kwekuti zvekuronga nhetembo zvinonetsa kana uchishanda nenhetembo dzeshasha dzechimbo dzinenge Chirere.

 

Iwe unogona kufunga kuti nhetembo yake iri kutaura nezverudo, asi ukaramba uchiipindura mupfungwa dzako, ndipo pauchazoona kuti kwete – inogona kunge iri kutotaura nezverufu kana nezvematongerwo emusha! Zvakarewo, handibvume kuti kana nyanduri achikupai nhapitapi yemuchero wenhetembo, akumenyerei, obva akutsengerai, imi mozongomedza chete. Kwete. Zvibayei mega mungazoti mupepeti akaipa.

 

Kubudikidza nebhuku rino, Chirere avhura chitsauko chitsva pamanyorerwo nemashandisirwo enhetembo muZimbabwe. Pano pari kushandiswa mazwi mashomashoma akatetepa ayo aunogaroshandisawo iwe zvako mazuva ose. Bhuku Risina Basa Mazwi ari pano akashandiswa zvisina mutsimba zvekuti unogona kufunga kuti kunyora detembo kwakareruka sekunhonga mari munzira. Madetembo mapfupi aya akanyorerwa kuti akubatsire kuzvibvunza kuti: ndini ani, ndiri kuenda nekubva kupi, ndinodei panyika uye zvandinoita zviye ndinozviitirei? Pfungwa huru yebhuku iri ndeyekuti; funga, funga, funga! Funga usingamhanye, usingavhunduke. Kanawo izvi zvirizvo zvakasanganikwa nemumwe mundangariro nemuhupenyu, iwe sanganawo nazvo asi muri mubhuku! Ndinovimba kuti vana vedu muZimbabwe, kubva pafomu yechitatu zvichikwira, vachadzidza nekutapirirwa nemudyandakasungwa uyu. Bhuku ndiro risina basa, asi nhetembo dzirimo dzine basa! Dzakanyorwa masikati asi verengai zvenyu chero nguva.

+Ignatius T. Mabasa, Harare, 2014

Here is a link to a review of Bhuku Risina Basa: Diary of a 45 Year Old Poet - Zimbo Jam

A link to a second book review: Interfacing with Memory Chirere in verse – NewsDay Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, January 15, 2021

MISQUOTED, a memoir by Desmond Kumbuka


 

 

Title: ‘Misquoted’: a Personal Experience in Journalism

Author: Desmond Kumbuka

Published by Passpoint Publishers Private Limited, Harare, 2020

Isbn:0 36000291452,210 pages.

 Book Review by Memory Chirere

Desmond Kumbuka indicates on the blurb that his book is “not journalism text book and does not pretend to be one.” I agree with him entirely.  I however think that this memoir becomes many other things, becoming even more useful than the ordinary journalism text book. This is a story about what journalism has taught one man. It is a story about the good and bad goings on in the back stage of journalism.

 

For those into Media in Zimbabwe studies and the connoisseurs of journalism in Zimbabwe, Kumbuka’s book offers what I could call an intelligent peek into the  who is who of key media personalities in Zambia and Zimbabwe, in the past forty years. The rich thread takes you from the mournful doe eyed Emmanuel Nyirenda, the irascible Vincent Mijoni, Adam Hamiwe, Giles Kuimba, Eric Richmond, Keith Simpson, Bill Saidi, Tonic Sakaike, Gilbert Mawarire, Stephen Mpofu, Davison Maruziva, Bester Kanyama, Douglas Takundwa, Chen Chimutengwende, Willie Dzawanda Musarurwa, Bornwell Chakaodza to Geofrey Nyarota and many others. It is more of an evaluation sheet through which you see the rise and fall of an array of characters and organisations in the local media.    

 

I could not put this book down from the moment I first held it. Sometimes I took a break just in order to laugh or to shake my head in disbelief. Here is a book that reads like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. A book with the capacity to arm many young journalists with the do’s and don’ts of journalism, albeit in very subtle ways.  In this story, the hero (Kumbuka) seems to be always falling into one misfortune after another, just like Pimbirimano from the Shona folk lore, but always getting out of trouble through his own resourcefulness, only to fall into a much bigger misfortune – on and on, without the possibility of a happily ever after.

 

Look at this: sometime in 1976, young reporter Desmond Kumbuka, who is coming from a nasty pub fight, walks home with a very ugly black eye. He is asked by his editor to attend a press conference at President Kenneth Kaunda’s State House. To hide this embarrassing injury, Kumbuka hurriedly acquires a pair of dark glasses on the streets of Lusaka. But President Kaunda singles out the suspicious young man with ill fitting dark goggles in the crowd and loudly offers to help him acquire appropriate spectacles. The President genuinely thinks that the young journalist has a real eye problem. Later, Kumbuka writes a letter thanking Kaunda for his kindness for he went to see the offered eye specialist. But Kaunda is not done. He writes back to poor Kumbuka, saying the young man’s letter was sincere and that “I (Kaunda) value your letter so much that I am asking you to sign it for you forgot to do that. I would wish to have it back for my personal file.” Journalists rarely receive such attention from heads of state.

 

It is while at the Zambia Daily Mail that Kumbuka is accused of actually misquoting a whole Police Commissioner of Zambia, one Fabiano Chela. Kumbuka story had made it on the front page of the daily, claiming that the Commissioner had actually said that the Zambian police force was full of criminals! The tragic headline read: “CRIMINALS RECRUITED IN THE POLICE FORCE - CHELA.”

 

Kumbuka is dragged before the feared police commissioner, regardless of the fact that the commissioner himself had told Kumbuka that “it is very possible (that criminals could be recruited into the Zambian police). We are not God. So how would we know whether one has criminal tendencies unless they have a criminal record on our data-base? It is possible to recruit criminals as police officers…”

 

Desmond Kumbuka is instantly dismissed from the Zambia Daily Mail. And the lesson learnt? “In the complex game of politics and corporate gamesmanship, it is not uncommon for a supposedly responsible national leader… to vigorously, and usually with a straight face, disown reports of actions or words attributed to them in the media, if such reports or actions expose them…

 

Kumbuka also admits somewhere in this book that reads like a thriller that; as a young journalist, he had the rather romantic notion that you find in most young journalists that a good reporter is that brusque, rough living, hard drinking and roguish character who causes the authorities headaches with probing and incisive questioning and articles that leave government officials with the proverbial egg on their faces.

 

He admits too to having a long affair with crime literature, through reading the likes of Spaghetti thrillers, James Hardley Chase, Mickey Spillane, Oliver Strange, Wilbur Smith, Mario Puzo and others, leading Kumbuka to enjoy crime reporting. At some point Kumbuka would actually join the police during their patrols so that he is acquainted with the crimes and the criminals he so much liked to write about. Clearly, this means a reporter ought to have an inherent interest in an area of his chosen specialization.

 

But discipline was not one of the strong points of young Kumbuka. In his next post at the Mining Mirror, a newspaper based in Mufulira, a small mining town bordering the then Zaire and Zambia, Kumbuka joins colleagues to drink regularly across the border in Mokambo. They have a nice time with buxom Congolese women “with their ample bosoms and rather accommodating proclivities.” It turns out that the guys are spending the proceeds from the sales of the paper, with the hope of repaying the money on the Monday, which was a pay day. On a Saturday, way before pay day, the Editor in Chief in distant Ndola, instructs them to bring the money to Ndola “right now!” Kumbuka and his colleagues get fired for it. He is back on the streets and the misery of a man in a foreign country is evident.

 

But Kumbuka’s life has not only known the down turns, which include sleeping in the open and in noisy 24 hour bars due to lack of accommodation. Life has taken Kumbuka to many very respectable stages. It is a life well lived. After Zimbabwe’s independence, Kumbuka finds himself at the eminent Sunday Mail in Harare, where he quickly establishes himself as a reporter and columnist, later taking over from Henry Maarsdop, a prolific columnist who penned a popular Sunday column called ‘Henry Maarsdop on Sunday.’ Kumbuka’s own column became known as ‘Muongorori’s View’ and it ran side by side with the one by Maarsdop.

 

For several years, Kumbuka branched off into public relations. At the inception of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), Kumbuka founded The Express Newspaper in Chitungwiza along with several other weeklies. He also found himself at what became the Daily News and Daily News on Sunday. Prior to his stint with ANZ, Kumbuka was also involved in the establishment of another newspaper, the Daily Gazette for which he was Deputy Editor.

 

It is very interesting that although Geofrey Nyarota ably edited this book alongside Ruby Magosvongwe of the University of Zimbabwe, Nyarota himself is not spared in this book. He is given his due; praised here and blasted, whenever Kumbuka thinks it is necessary. That Nyarota has allowed this to stand as it is, is a plus for Nyarota! ‘Misquoted’ is the most informative book that I read in 2020. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

something coming soon-.

memory chirere. picture
by shasha chirere










Thursday, April 18, 2019

Call for Book Chapters on Musaemura Zimunya

Call for Book Chapters on Musaemura Zimunya
Proposed Title: Reading Musaemura Zimunya: Critical Reflections
Editors: Tanaka Chidora and Sheunesu Mandizvidza (Department of English, University of Zimbabwe)
Prospective Publisher: TBA
Musaemura Bonus Zimunya is regarded as one of the leading modern Zimbabwean poets writing in both English and Shona. He is usually read in universities alongside the likes of Okigbo, Okara and Mapanje who are also regarded as pioneers in the development of modern African poetry. He broke into print gradually in the early 1970s in periodicals like Two-Tone and Chirimo. Later, he appeared more emphatically in group anthologies like Kizito Muchemwa’s Zimbabwean Poetry in English (1978) and Gwenyambira (1979). Afterwards, the floodgates opened in such a record-breaking way for Zimunya. He published the following books of poetry: And Now The Poets Speak (1981) which he edited with Mudereri Kadhani, Thought Tracks (1982), Kingfisher, Jikinya and other poems (1982), Country Dawns and City Lights (1985), Samora! (co-authored in 1987), Chakarira Chindunduma (co-authored and edited it 1985), Birthright (1989), The fate of Vultures (1989), Selected Poems of Zimunya (published in a Serbian language and in English in 1995), and Perfect Poise (1993).
But that is just one side of Zimunya. He is also a pioneer in the history of literary criticism in Zimbabwe with his ground-breaking Those Years of Drought and Hunger (1982) setting the stage for a rich tradition of literary criticism in Zimbabwe, and becoming seminal in the understanding of Zimbabwean literature, especially those texts written during ‘those years of drought and hunger’ of the colonial period.
He has also written short stories and has been anthologised in various collections including his own, Nightshift (1993).
In the literature sector of Zimbabwe, Musaemura Zimunya has played an instrumental role, administratively speaking, with Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF), Zimbabwe Writers Union (ZIWU) and Zimbabwe Writers Association (ZIWA). Thus, what we are looking at here is a literary career that spans decades.
Such a career means that Zimunya’s creative, critical and administrative intervention in Zimbabwean literature cannot go unnoticed. Although Musaemura Zimunya has been featured in many critical works like Veit-Wild’s Patterns of Poetry (1988) and Teachers, Preachers and Non-believers (1992) and many journal articles, there is an absence of a full-volume critical work dedicated to Musaemura Zimunya like what we have in Charles Mungoshi: A Critical Reader (edited by Memory Chirere and Maurice Vambe, 2006)) and Sign and Taboo (a critical volume on Yvone Vera edited by Robert Muponde and Mandi Taruvinga, 1992). This calls for such a gap to be filled, which is where this call for book chapters comes in.
What we are inviting here are abstracts for critical writings on Zimunya’s creative works, meta-critical writings on his critical approaches to Zimbabwean Literature and critical reflections. This means the project is an attempt to have a cross-cutting approach to Zimunya which involves scholarly writings from academics who have interacted with Zimunya’s work (both creative and critical) and reflective pieces and testimonies from those who have interacted with Zimunya himself as fellow artists and readers. Such reflective pieces can include interviews and essays. Because the approach is cross-cutting, we have decided to have a laissez-faire approach to themes. The idea is that good abstracts that capture the essence of ‘Reading Musaemura Zimunya’ in any form, including a collection of his photographs that capture his art and his life, will be published! The photographs will be published in a separate section of this book and should be history making photographs. We happen to know that besides being a poet, he is a guitarist, farmer, fisherman and an avid follower of Zimbabwe’s Dynamos Football Club and England’s Arsenal!) Our aim is to give readers, students and teachers of Zimunya’s writings the world over a comprehensive critical and reflective volume that captures the diversity of approaches to Zimunya’s own life, history, poetry, short stories and critical works.
A 250-word abstract/proposal and a brief biographical note are to be sent to Tanaka Chidora (tchidora@arts.uz.ac.zw; chidoratanaka@gmail.com) by the 30th of August 2019. The deadline for submission of the article, of about 6 000 - 8000 words, is 28 February 2020