Sunday, May 29, 2011

'a woman grows on love' by Nyasha Mboti

A Woman grows on love
(poem By Nyasha Mboti)

There is only
One way to love a woman
And that
Is to love her.

Love her like
She exists in a dream.

Love her
And give her unforgettableness
Unforgettable sweetness.

Ah, use your hands to find her
Bring her to your side
Give her gifts of fire.

Love a woman
Because she grows on love
She grows and grows
And you wonder at her ripeness.

Do not cheat a woman
Do not ask her things
That she cannot answer.

Do to a woman, love.
Do to a woman the good things
That are in a man
Do to her, love.

There is only
One way to love her
To reserve all your gentleness
For her
To conserve your manliness
To please her:
Then she will grow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Remembering late writer, Reuben Pakaenda

On 27 May 2008 I did an obituary on a young and very promising writer, Reuben Pakaenda. It was published by The Herald in Harare. This week I remember his passing on and I reproduce (below)the obituary as it was then. May his soul rest in peace.

Writer Pakaenda Dies
by Memory Chirere
Young writer Reuben Pakaenda has died. His friends in the Budding Writers Association of Zimbabwe (BWAZ) across the country will sorely miss him.

Rarely do young men and women leave their beer and fashion shows and hole themselves up in the lonely business of writing. Writing in Zimbabwe does not pay. It fares very badly when put against the lure of selling five litre pitchers of petrol by the road side.

But Reuben would not quit. He knew the power of art as a tool. In 2004, he eventually published 13 brilliant poems in the ZPH anthology called Zviri Muchinokoro Kunaka! alongside his heroes, Ignatius Mabasa and Chirikure Chirikure.

He wrote about the joys of friendship and the frailty of the human soul. The book is now on the Advanced Level school syllabus.

That publication gave Reuben intense joy and confidence. At writing workshops in Chiredzi, Mudzi, Abre Acres, Chinyaradzo . . . you would see the glitter in his eyes as he volunteered to perform new and old poems. He liked and respected the late great Mordekai Hamutyinei and loved to talk about his troubled relationship with the elderly poet. Well before he was through with his Ordinary Level studies, Reuben had written a letter to Hamutyinei in Gutu, asking if he could show him a collection of poems.

It is said Hamutyinei took out his red pen and marked Reuben's letter for spelling errors until it bled red and wrote on the flipside: "Kana muchivhiringa kunyora tsamba chaiyo, muchiri kure Changamire."

Reuben kept the letter all his life. He had learnt a lesson that all young writers learn in the long run. The need to perfect one's art. Now a published young writer, Reuben never looked back. You would see him with novels like Jekanyika, Kutonhodzwa KwaChauruka, Feso, Tambaoga Mwanangu and many more.

He wanted to specialise on the old world novel, he said. Three days after his burial, a local publisher said they had received an old world novel manuscript from one Reuben Pakaenda entitled Hameno Kuti Sei. It is a well neatly typed and bound script in a folder with cream seams.

Reuben knew that good writers are wide readers. He liked Mungoshi's Ndiko Kupindana Kwemazuva especially moments when Rex Mbare introspects.

He liked Steibeck's Tortilla Flats and The Grapes of Wrath. On his deathbed at Parirenyatwa he said he had discovered Hemingway's Old Man and The Sea. He talked about the old man's famous question: When I was away, was I missed? Reuben liked the struggle between man and fish in that story. We told Reuben that he was now like the old man in the story and must talk to the "disease" so that he could get well and come out of hospital. But that was the last time we talked books with him. He died on Friday May 16 just before the evening's visiting's hour.

His closest friend and fellow writer, Tinashe Muchuri says towards the end of his life Reuben had developed a kind of responsible haste especially where his writing was concerned.

Friends at Sharon School in Milton Park where he worked as a clerk receptionist, say he was an understanding man who loved the arts in general.

And when the largely Christian gathering almost forbade Trust Mutekwa from playing the mbira at the funeral, Reuben's mother helped out and doused the altercation.

"Gwenyambira, mwanangu, huya zvako uridze mbire," she said amid laughter and celebration.

As mbira played her mother cried out: "Ndizvo zvaaida izvozvi mwana wangu." As Mutekwa played you looked in the fire and the winter night resonated with mbira.

Reuben will be remembered for his never-die attitude to life and his art. BWAZ workshops will never be the same without him. He believed in its founding concept and whenever he stood up to make remarks, he would speak with animation and the director, Dudziro Nhengu's voice would ring out with caution, "Ndakunzwa Reuben. Thank You Reuben".

He would go out into the lobby to take a quick cigarette.

Reuben Pakaenda is survived by his wife Joyce Gwiza. He was buried in Hoyuyu Resettlement scheme in Mutoko.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Genitals Are Assets

A stimulating and provocative new book on sexual behaviour patterns of the street youths of Harare, Zimbabwe. The author, Watch Ruparanganda, holds a Phd in Social Anthropology. He is a lecturer in the department of Sociology of the University of Zimbabwe where he is the current chairperson. He spent sometime on the streets of Harare, observing and relating with the street youths who live and sleep in the open. This book reads like a tragic-comedy, beginning with the origins of orphanage, destitution and street dwelling. The book was published by Lambert Academic Publishing in Germany. Order:
The author wishes to chat with you at mobile:00263773000080 0r

Friday, May 13, 2011

The inimitable Linda Gabriel!

Linda Gabriel performing the poem below at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa)a fortnight ago.

Swedera Pedyo Neni
(by Linda Gabriel)

Ko nhai mudiwa
zvakaipei kana ndikati:
Swedera pedyo neni?
Uswedere pedyo kuti undipewo
Zvako zviya zvegore rakapera,
mwedzi wakapfura,
vhiki rakapera
Kunyangwe nanhasi mangwanani
muimba yekubikira
Undibate zvinyoro nyoro,
zvine unyanzvi

Zvakaipei kana ndikati swedera pedyo neni
Undibate zvako zviya zvamazuva ose?
Ini ndinonyatsobvuma
Muviri wose wodairira
Makumbo nemaoko zvobvunda
Hana yorova sendinomhanyiswa

Saka zvakaipei
kana ndikati swedera pedyo neni?
chipfuva chako chive pane changu
Mazamu angu neako ave mapatya
Ndoda kuti hana yangu irove
pamusoro peyako
Maoko ako onyatsotamba pamuviri wangu
Uchizevezera nyaya dzerudo
munzeve dzangu
Uchinyatsozuwa kuti uchandiita sei
Ini ndichinyatsoteerera

Saka zvakaipei
kana ndikati
swedera pedyo neni?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Zimbabwe's latest thriller novel!

This is a thriller in 13 chapters by new author, Violet Masilo and published by the Zimbabwe Women Writers.It is highly engaging!It is written in a simple and at times earthy language that you will be able to identify with. The text explores the lives of four city girls of the fast lane;Anne, Heather, Joylee and Catherine. Thy often meet at the Tea Cosy, a place famed for its drinks and the music. The place also has got a cosmopolitan hue where people of different races and the ‘yuppie’are found. From the Tea Cosy, we tend to get the lives of the four ladies through their thought patterns, in the fashion of a stream of consciousness that is individualistic. The individualistic voices then pour onto a communal voice. Never mind my use of ‘communal’ in this regard because there is a lot of subversion, intrigue, individualistic cunning and craftiness.

At the centre of the narrative is a case of culpable homicide. Steve is killed by Heather and Catherine. In the documentation of this crime we tend to get resonates of Sigmund Freud’s theory.In this case Catherine is quick to get into a rage of fury due to an attempted rape suffered at a tender age. Also, Steve had been sodomised by a Nigerian neighbor in Europe and in return he vents vengeance on the society starting with sexually abusing Mrs Gwen’s daughter in Europe.Still related to crime, Steve becomes a drug addict and together with Farai they dabble in cocaine, etc. It also takes the esoteric gift of Ma Sibanda to point directly to Joylee that she aborted three times in her life. This is a sick society. Corruption is captured from the level of the individual and this in turn corrodes the society.Each of these women here has great style. She knows how to reward a good man. She knows how to take down a brute and more important, how to move on into the setting sun, in search of love, treasure, trust and fulfilment.(Taken from Edwin Mhandu's review)
++For orders Tel:00263712525228

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crime in Alice Walker's works

Published and distributed by Lambert Academic Publishers in Germany (, this insightful book explorers the portrayal of crime in Alice Walker’s works especially The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, In Love and Trouble, You can’t Keep a Good Woman Down and The Colour Purple. Alice Walker captures a wide range of crimes such as rape, incest, theft murder, public fighting, infanticide, domestic violence, among others.

The author, Edwin Mhandu lectures in Literature in the Department of English, University of Zimbabwe. He insists that the definition of morality and crime in the US is a product of the Puritanical values of its founding fathers and is skewed against black people and that by some scantily defined logic, the Blackman is projected as the driving force behind women’s indulgence in prostitution, adultery and extra marital affairs.In any case, Mhandu argues,the portrayal of black women as prostitutes and adulteresses feeds onto the canon of the black bitch stereotypes created by Caucasian America.