LIVING ART- ZIMBABWE’S SHONA POETS – TETE ELIZA

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The love of poetry led to this review of several spectacular Shona poetry by some Zimbabwean poets. Living art, is to love and live art.  Zimbabwean Shona poetry is no exception. Ethel Kagwato (2016) alludes poetry as a means of expression. It allows a poet the freedom to be happy, sad, or inspirational. She further elaborates “poetry is therapeutic. I like writing about socio-political issues. I live in the present, the here and now. I rarely revisit the past”. It is the present of today that goes unnoticed by most Zimbabwean poets. Kabwato (2016) also hinds that “Poetry serves as social commentary. In the absence of freedom of expression or censorship; one can reach a wider audience by simply being subtle or satirical”. Several Shona poets have abandoned Shona praise poetry works and have ventured into current ‘popular culture’ poetry.

Chiwowe (1992) opines that many poets have moved away from writing praise poetry to current culture poetry because, “The lack of interest in traditional African aesthetics is the result of prejudices and theories emanating from colonialist- evolutionists scholarship” (pg1). It seems the culprit is the prejudice caused by equating technological simplicity with artistic backwardness. This is worsened by concluding that “Africa is artistically underdeveloped” (Chiwowe 1992:pg.1). However, this mental conquest is now water under the bridge as the current breed of Zimbabwean poets are now venturing into different current trends of poetry.

Zimbabwe in the recent years has been overwhelmed with political and economic challenges. The economic arena has proved to be very cold. Most people have given up hope of seeing Zimbabwe’s glory mainly because of high costs of living. People are sceptical about the government’s mantra of ‘middle income status by 2030’. The annual inflation rate has sky rocketed to 75.86% in April 2019 from 66.8% of March 2019. Yet it is against this uncertain backdrop that the art sector still finds hope in the country. The hardships most Zimbabweans are facing require psychological therapy. Chiwowe (1992) believes that research in psychotherapy is important as it, “attempts to explain art in scientific terms”. This further shows that psychology study has proved, “human behaviour is scientifically observable and analysable. It explains the impact of art on the mind in terms of the synchronized working of the left and right hemisphere of the brain, that is, those areas controlling the rational and logical activities of the individual work together with those controlling creative and the imaginative” (Chiwowe 1992:pg 1). Therefore, to understand art is to understand human behaviour

In April 2019 a young poet, Lincoln Chibvongodze mesmerized the congregants at church one Sunday morning. He made us realize that there is more to life than just economic challenges. He recited a poem titled ‘Ini Ndinoti.’, as a way of encouraging the church youths of today to participate in the future building of the church. His mandate was to remind people that the future of this country lies in the hands of the young and the youth. What he encouraged, is to give youths a chance to shine. The poem uplifted the congregant’s spirits and we really enjoyed the service that Sunday. The young poet did the poem in Shona as a tribute and as an appreciation of his first lingual language.

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Lincoln Chibvongodze (Poet)

Photo courtesy of Tete Eliza pics

Ini ndinoti…………….

 

Nerupawo uye namweya azere mavari,

Papa Francis vakakura nzira

Kuti iwe neni tiwanirwe nyasha nawedenga.

Gore retsitsi rakaparurwa

Donzvo riri rekudzamisa pfungwa

Tidzokere kuna Tenzi.

Wakakomborerwa wakariona gore iroro.

 

Gore remhuri,

Kugarwa nhaka negore revechidiki

Simiyoni wemuno muAfrica wakavhura mukova,

Mambo akafadzwa newe

Kuvandudzwa kwerevechidiki

Papa vakafadzwa nemuzvare wemuno muAFrica

Uyo akazevezera nhunha nezvishuwo zvevechidiki munzeve dzavo

Kuvhurira pwere mukana wekuzvivandudza.

 

Nhasi tiripano

Imi vabereki,

Hupenyu hwedu idambudziko remwoyo yenyu

Rutendo rukuru kunemi vafudzi nana Sorojena

Ana chipanga mazano vedu

Vamwe vedu vakambozama ndokugumira munzira nokuneta

 

Kana isu zvindumurwa tichiri kukosora tirimo musangano

Samatenga ngaarumbidzwe

Musaneta kuvhumbamira nhiyo dzenyu

Matendo makuru anobva kuna Musiki

 

Hama dzangu

Guta rotorarama rinonzi Chisimo Chii

Hama neshamwari dzotosangana nadzo

Vanonzi ana Timwe, Tidye, Tifare, Kufa Kwakauya

Hupenyu idivakamwe

Zvaitirwa iwe chindumurwa

Rumurwa uchiona ramangwana

Sekuru Paringira naSekuru Nhapi vosimira magogorosi,

Haasi emucheno kwete

Kuratidza kuti nguva yafamba

Voringira pedo.

 

Garai pedyo navo unzwe nhapitapi yechitendero

Chishuwo kuona zvirikure vagopanga mazano

Kuziva mbuya huudzwa

Gara pedyo uchirava chitendero

Kuzadzikisa magamuchidzanwa esangano

Bvumawo kutsiurwa

Panorairwa mwana washe muranda teya nzeve.

 

Rega kuvachikweke kumubereki

Zvawaputudza nokusamhuka wavachigondora

Ushasha kuva WhatsApp admin

Zvinoonekwa nokuzeyewa pambozhanhare

Zvifadza nyama nameso

ChinehuMwari chaicho dololooo

Tsika nemagariro zvova zvechingezi

Kuva nohukama nechivhiti vhiti kudarika weropa

Mweya uzere maronda

 

Dzamisa pfungwa Sarudzai,Runyararo, Joshua, Ruvarashe newe Farai

Dzidza chitendero chako

Ugamuchire zvawakatarwa kuti uite

Usava dambudzo muhupenyu

Edzavo kuva diziro revanotsvaga nyaradzo yomweya

Usaita saTinarwo

Kana ofamba anoita seakabereka dhirihora

Kukosora badzi ungati waringana neDelta

Hwema hwoita makwikwi kubuda

Lion, Castle, Zambezi, Super neZed

Nechabuda chinekumeso chaicho hapana

Kana magate 50 anozokwanisa kukurapa here

Unonzwa oti

Chirau hakuna mabasa

Dzamisa pfungwa muchitendero

Uone hupfumi huri muchikatorike

Hazvina kumbonzwikwa kana nakare kose kuti ani nani akatizira kuna amai akashaya rubatsiro.

 

Pfugama unamate

Zvaraparurwa

Ivawo nerako raunobata

Batawo mabasa mukirike

Dzanawo nevamwe mukurumbidza musiki

Ivawo muyenzaniso unokwezvera vamwe kuna Tenzi

Ziva uri Tseu yekirike

Vimbo netariro mauri ingoda

Bvumawo kudyarwa ugobukira

Ugobereka michero yakanaka

Sangano ranhasi namangwana ndiwe neni

 

Rega kudududza

Nzunzutira muminzwa nemasoso

Zvaakabaya vangani vakafa

Dzidza kushandira kirike

Ita kanzatu kanzatu tinosvika chete

Saga resugar rakapera neteaspoon

Ndini ndazvireva

Matanga kunwa,

Asinganwe inamabvondwe

Sikomo pambili

Ndatenda

Siyabonga

I thank you

 

Done by Lincoln “Chichena” Chibvongodze –

 

The poem by Lincoln clearly shows the importance of the youth in the society. The poem is packaged with questions, answers and solutions to some challenges the youths of today face. He saw it fit to enlighten the church on how the young generation feels and thinks.

My second poet is Edwin Msipa aka Black Mampara. He writes poetry about everyday ghetto life. His poetry is inspired by the people he lives around with. He sees his social media poems as ‘english shona funny poetry our daily dose’. Mampara is a member of Zimbabwe Writer’s whats app group called ‘Writing Issues’. On daily bases he doses members with poetry. He has done political, sport, art, social poetry among others. This is how Mampara lives his life as an artist in the current Zimbabwe.

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Edwin Msipa – poet

Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics

One of the Shona poems that recently caught my attention is, titled Kundofambawo on 26 May 2019.

Kundofambawo

 

Imi woye!

Kuona ndakati fefemu-kupiyapiya.

Kusviba sandi tsvina.

Kuunyana uso sandi kuroyi.

Kuti ndakutsikai zivai imhosho,

Wandinoshonha muhana ndiDhiyabhorosi,

Satani unokanda kachoro

Muusavi hwendumure,

Ini andinaba chandinacho,

Mbudu dzakashama,

Ndingori munhuwo!

Kundofambawo!

 

With the high rate of unemployment, Zimbabwe has become a haven for criminal activities that include theft, robberies, murder, corruption to mention but a few. It seems Mampara has this picture in mind when he was writing Kundofambawo. Several people are being robbed and killed by thieves whilst walking at night. It seems the thieves attack travellers thinking that they have money, cell phones or other valuable things. And yet they know very well that most people are suffering. Mampara’s 2017 poem Kugona Mbavha goes further to buttress the harshness of the world we are living in.

Kugona Mbavha

 

Vose vainokomba mogo,

Kachiutsi kachiti togo-o!

Nochomukati mapapu achiti zvii-,

Urwere hwegomarara

Huchinyangira huri zii,

Wavaruma nzeve voti rega

Tizvionere pamhino sefodya,

Hunzi hachina kuipa chokudya.

Tarira mabhurukwa kurembera,

Kuita gafutu Mauro vachipembera,

Mhete munzeve vanakomana vakapfeka.

Kufamba vachiita sevanokavira nyimo,

Mudare nyaya dzichivapotsa sevasimo.

Nzeve dzakadziirirwa nenamo dzewairosi dzinodandauka,

Nomumigwagwa vachingoti

Dau dau dau dau!

Haa, vakomana vachooka!

Maziso akanzi je-e sevakatarisa,

Gamba njere dzakashanya.

Vazvikiirwa zvavo kwete nechimera chakakora

Asi nomuti wevanokosora.

Kuvati hero badza,

Voti vanoda zibhodho rekugadza.

 

Musi washaikwa yemukombe,

Zvonzi chikwambo chemumusha chihombe,

Gamba hapana, kuzvipa hurombe.

Kugona mbavha huirongera,

Hapachada zvokutenderera,

Yakwana nguva yokurova dare,

Ngavati pitipiti mudare.

Vakuru modzikisa gejo murimo makare,

Mhoti, tikasapabata zvakanaka

Zimba remabwe,ringaparare.

Edwin Msipa- Bhuku: Mafuro Manyoro (2017, p:63-64)

Mampara’s Kugona Mbavha clearly shows the climax of Zimbabwe’s challenges. We call Zimbabwe’s situation as challenges because we believe through right government policies and changes we will return to the glory of Zimbabwe of the early eighties. The economic situations have left our young people to live like vagrants, riffraffs, beggars, inter alia. The young generation have resorted to the abuse of bronchitis a cough mixture that is taken as drugs. Mampara’s ghetto mirroring has a melancholy effect about the world.

 

The third review of living art poets come from a poem by Hampton Dhibi. His writing is very lyrical. Most of his poems make women feel loved, appreciated and acknowledged. Whenever he is feeling jovial, he simply writes a poem. A few weeks I was mesmerized by a poem he gave me titled Ndichashinga Chete. Although the narrator in the poem seems not courageous enough to tell his secret lover that he loves her, his hope is that one he will tell Fadzi what he really feels. The poet has abundance love towards his lover and this is what he hangs on to, ‘Ndichashinga Chete’.

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Hampton Dhibi (Poet)

Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics

 

Ndichashinga chete

Kunyemwerera here uko mwanasikana,

Zvakunenge kupenya kwemheni yemvura yemunakamwe.

Ndava yei uchindidai kudai

Iwo maziso ako kunge

Mupasha wabaya pakati pediti rangu,

Kusiya waita mwoyo wangu setsamwaradzi dzehari

Yadonhera paruware.

Kungokuringa chete, haiwawo ndobva ndanzwa ngazi yangu

Kuita mafashamo mukati metsinga dzemuiri weshe.

Kudoti nditi shoko kwauri hero,

Simba racho robva randiti nzvee ini sare deno

Zvino ndokumbirawo here

Vadzimu vangu kuti tiite humwe kuti ndipedze

Jemedzanwa rangu iri.

Dai zvaibira ndaingokuti dzvii, tsoka ndidetsere

Ndakananga kanyi kwangu.

Hameno akazoti musengabere wave kusungisa,

Zvino ini nyakupererwa nemashoko

Ndofawo her endiri muyawe.

 

Mumoyo mangu rudo

Runopfachukira kanai mwana wevaridzi,

Ndatove nenguwa ndakatogadzirira kamuri rako muhana yangu,

Kungondida chete Fadzanai,

Unobva waita chikaide change mhera nekare.

Asi zvingaita sei ini wacho shoko riri kurambira pahuro.

Ndiyani angandipawo mutombo kuti ndigone

Kukuronzera zviri mumwoyo wangu, ndai Fadzi?

Kuti ndikaikwetsura mhere ungauyawo here kwandiri

Uri chahwiriri?

 

Ko ndikakuembera karwiyo ungandimbundirawo nhai

Mukunda wevaridzi?

Ko ndikati hande kufirimu,

Zvingaitawo here chisikana ukabvuma?

Ko kubhora, ko kudhorobha, ko ndikati kushoo,

Nhai ndozvitanga sei kani

Madhodha hama dzangu!

Ndambofunga kukubata paApp, asi mwoyo wangu

Wabva warova ngoma yechoto kuti kindi kindi,

Kuti ndoita kari katsamba?

Ndabva ndazeze ungazonditi ndaita ‘old fashion’,

Ndabva ndazviseka zvangu kunge chembere taizwa

Nembeva yayaida kuti iite usavi.

Ndamboda kurova kanhare

Nhai chibhebhi, asi maiwee ndaona zvaramba.

 

Iwe Fadi, Fadzanai

Mufemberi, wadii wangondionawo kuti wangu

Mwoyo imbaura, kupisa kupisira

Dai wangonditi hongu,

Chokwadi mwanasikana ndinopika inini.

Rwangu rudo mucheche wezviyo usina chibi,

Kungoti eya wada, mwanasikana zvese

Unopinda machena.

 

Chindidawo zvako tsvarakadenga kani,

Fadzi chindifadzawo ka

Nerunako rwako.

Tsika dzako haiwa zvadzinonditora kundiisa

Pandisingagoni kutsanangura,

Mhuri yako zvainoyemurika wani

Wadii wanditorawo ndiite umwe wekwenyu,

Nerimwe chete zuva, Fadzanai, zuva rimwe chete iri,

Ndicahafa ndaedza chete,

Ndicharikanda chete shoko,

Kwauri, rimwe rinotaura chaizvo zvandinonzwa pakati pediti rangu!

Ndicahshinga chete

Fadzi, neirori zuva uchaziva chete kuti…….

 

Dhibi, 23 May 2019

 

What is interesting about Zimbabwean Shona poetry is that academics also write Shona poetry to narrate their unique stories. Dr Tanaka Chidora a researcher in Literature, Literary Theory, meta-criticism, popular culture and literature and World Literatures wrote the following Shona poem in memory of Cyclone Idai disaster victims. The poem is titled, Kunewe Mvura

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Tanaka Chidora (Writer)

Photo courtesy of tete Eliza pics

Kunewe Mvura

 

Isu tinokutakura

Tinokunwa

Tinokuisa pamiviri yedu

Kuti ipenye semhanza

Chionazve kana tofamba

Tokanyaira mumasendiraini

Ungazoti tisu?

 

Asi gwendo guno

Ndiwe watimwa

Watigeza

Watitakura

Wakanyaira wakatibata

Semibairo yewagona basa

Asi rawagona ibasai?

 

Tanaka Chidora (2019)

 

The period of Cyclone Idai disaster was a devastating moment in Zimbabwe. It seems the natural disaster that killed hundreds of people in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi was a bad omen for some unforeseen happenings in Zimbabwe. A lot of speculations were made about the cause of the Cyclone. Others alluded the disaster to mythical happenings of mermaids, others opined that it was because some areas in the affected places had become like Sodom and Gomorrah, many also smuggled theories of nuclear attacks from the Indian Ocean. The speculations indicate that Zimbabwe is still desperately looking for answers to quench the sadness that engulfs it up today. Chidora’s poem makes us realise that water is a precious natural resource but it is also a killer. Instead of celebrating when it rains, our celebrations were turned into mourning as the water wiped everything along its path. Chidora clearly sees the water in its reverse purpose, “Asi gwendo guno, ndiwe watimwa, watigeza, watitakura.

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Linda Gabriel (Performance Poet)

Picture courtesy of newsday.co.zw

Linda Gabriel is a female poet known by the stage name Poetic Angel. Her type of poetry is known as performance poetry. The beauty of Linda Gabriel’s poetry is that she performs in either Shona or English. Her linguistic versatility enables her to create beautiful intimate poems.

Her poem Swedera Pedyo Neni shows how intimate lovers should be. Reading it, one feels as if he or she is watching a romantic or an SNL (Sex Nudity and Language) rated movie. One continues to echo the poet’s sentiments, “Saka nhai mudiwa, zvakaipei kana ndikati swedera pedyo neni”. The poem shows that Zimbabwean’s should not shun the Shona language of love. With all the economic, political and social problems facing Zimbabwe, the lover’s arena has been jeopardized as well. So the poem seems to be saying forgot about all the problems, so ‘darling come closer’ forget about fuel problems, food problems and other problems.

Swedera Pedyo Neni

 

Ko nhai mudiwa.

zvakaipei kana ndikati swedera pedyo neni,

uswedere pedyo kuti undipewo

zvako zviya?

 

Undibate zvinyoro nyoro,

zvakaporera,

zvinotekenyedza,

zvinozipa,

zvinodakadza,

zvine hunyanzvi!

 

Nyatsoswedera,

ndoda chipfuva chako chive pane change,

mazamu angu neako ave mapatya,

hana yangu irove pamusoro peyako.

Yorova sendinomhanyiswa,

makumbo nemaoko zvobvunda.

 

Zvakaipei kana, ndikati swedera pedyo neni

muimba yokubikira,

vana vasipo?

Maoko ako onyatsotamba pamuviri wangu,

uchizevezera nyaya dzerudo munzeve dzangu.

Uchinyatso zuwa kuti uchandiita sei,

ini ndichinyatsoteerera pamwe nekunyerekedzwa.

Saka zvakaipei kana ndikati, swedera pedyo neni

muimba yokugeza.

 

Ndikukweshe musana,

topupumisa sipo,

undibate muchiuno ndikuvhurire,

undibate ndikutambire?

Titambe chitsvambe nechihwande-hwande chavakuru.

Saka nhai Mudiwa,

zvakaipei kana ndikati, swedera pedyo neni?

 

Linda Gabriel- 2015

It is difficult to review current poets without mentioning seasoned poets such as Tinashe Muchuri. Muchuri is a very staunch Shona writer. His Shona writings are not for people who might be learning Shona language for the first time. It took me a year to finish his novel titled Chibarabada because of deep Shona vocabulary. Muchuri is a guru in the Shona anti-novel writing. He published a poetry book titled, Dzinonyandura Svinga re Nduri. The depth of his Shona is interestingly beautiful and difficulty. You need to read his writings with a Shona dictionary nearby. He wrote this short poem titled Hatina Kufamba.

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Tinashe Muchuri (Writer, Poet)

Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics

Hatina Kufamba

 

Timirepo panzvimbo

Mhepo yerusungunuko kutovhuvhuta

Tikati yauya kuzotitakura

kuenda nesu kure nenhamo

Izvo manyautsamukanwa

 

Takaroverwa mbambo

Kutsirwa pano senheyo

Kunyauya mhepomupenyo

Rambei tiri zete!

Hautsukudzuri

 

Takatsingwa nezvitunha

Tashaya matsimba

Tashaya pokutsika tichisiya matsimba

Tichasiyei?

 

© Tinashe Muchuri, 2019.

 

The poem was difficult to dissect and it shows what Chivasa and Mutswanga (2016) says on the examinations of the contributions of Shona poetry to peacebuilding in Zimbabwean communities that, “poetry is one of those methods that have traditionally been used for addressing interpersonal conflicts across cultures” (2016, p:62). It seems we get to understand the world of poets through their writings.

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Chirikure Chirikure (Poet)

Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics

Chirikure Chirikure is a poet, songwriter, and writer. Chirikure has published the following volumes of his poetry: Rukuvhute (1989,). Rukuvhute is one of the first books to be published from a single poet collection- alongside Samuel Chimusoro’s collection Dama Rekutanga (1989). Before that, all poetry in Shona was in anthologies featuring several poets.  Chamupupuri (1994, College Press, Harare); Hakurarwi – We Shall not Sleep (1998, Baobab Books, Harare) and Aussicht Auf Eigene Schatten (Shona and English poems with German translations) (2011, Afrika Wunderhorn, Heidelberg, Germany). He has also contributed some pieces in a number of poetry anthologies, including Zviri Muchinokoro (2005, ZPH Publishers), Intwasa Poetry (2008, AmaBooks Publishers), Schicksal Afrika (ed. Horst Kohler) (2010, Rowohlt Verlag), No Serenity Here – An Anthology of African Poetry in Chinese, (2010 Moonchu Foundation). His poetry has been translated into a number of languages. He has also written and translated a number of children’s stories and educational books.

Chirikure performs his poetry solo and/or with DeteMbira mbira music ensemble. He regularly performed and toured with the late musician Chiwoniso Maraire. With support from family and friends, he has also recorded an album of his poetry with contemporary music, Chisina Basa (2011, Metro Studios Harare/Inyasha Studios UK).  He also recorded an album of poetry and music, in collaboration with poet Albert Nyathi. The album, Connected, was released in May 2014

Chirikure has also written lyrics for a number of leading Zimbabwean musicians and he occasionally performs and has recorded with some of these musicians. He has also contributed lyrics, translations, and voice-overs in films and documentaries, and has acted in some theatre productions. He has also been an occasional contributor to the print media and used to run a radio program for young Shona writers. He has also been involved in advertising, as a creator, conceptualizer/visualizer, actor and voice artist.

His performance poetry is hilarious. He leaves the audience crying with laughter. That is how Chirikure lives his life as a Zimbabwean artist.  He makes people cry their worries away. Many see him as a comedian poet and that’s living art. The following poems are some of the poems to be published in his forthcoming collection. Chirikure Chirikure is probably a poet with the highest number of published poems in Shona to date.

 

ZVIGUNWE

 

zvigunwe

ngazvirege kungotokonya

ngazvirege kurova mbama

ngazvirege kukunga chibhakera

ngazvirege kudzipa pahuro

 

zvigunwe

zvinokwenya panovava

zvinopuruzvira panorwadza

zvinotova-tova pakazvimba

zvinoswatanudza pakaninguka

 

zvigunwe

zvingava hazvo zvitete

asi zvine simba serenzou

zvingava hazvo zvakawanda

asi zvinotongwa nemusoro mumwe

 

© Chirikure Chirikure

     10/05/2018

Mbodza

Sadza rine nzira yarinobikwa naro

Kubva pakukurunga kusvika kumona

Nzira inotevedzwa kubva makare

 

Ukada kuita zvemusoro wako

Kunzvenga nzira dzepasichigare

Unodokerwa wabika sadza mbodza

 

Uchinge wabika mbodza zvatoshata:

Mhuri ichavata nematumbu ane mhepo

Kana kumanikidzira kudya voita manyoka

 

Ungava nehungwaru hwakaita sei

Kana hunyope hwakasimba sei

Asi zvimwe zveupenyu hazvigurisirwi

 

(c) Chirikure Chirikure 21/01/2017

 

 

 

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Ignatius Mabasa (Writer, Story Teller)

Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics

 

Ignatius Mabasa is known in oral tales and story circles. The beauty of most of Zimbabwe’s artists is that they have a deep respect for their first language. Mabasa also uses English and Shona. He started as a poet before venturing into prose writing. He is well known for his two Shona anti-novels, Mapenzi, and Imbwa yeMunhu. His writing is full of irony. To live like an artist and to live art in Zimbabwe is to know how to use irony and satire. Many critics have tried to figure out his political affiliations and it has proved difficult. It is difficult to center him, he is neither here nor there. He has written Shona poetry and the poems are found in Tipeiwo Dariro and Muchinokoro Kunaka. I was glad when he wrote the following short poem for this article.

Wati Ndikukandire

Wati ndikukandire

Asi huku hadzisi kukandira

Unoziva kubva Ndira takarindira

Vachiti zvave kuzodirwa shuga

Kuti zvizipe togotapirirwa.

 

Wati ndikukandire,

Asi ndinokanda chii

Ndisina kana pandimire?

Kana uchida ndichakukandira

Kushaya ugobatawo shaya

Yekushaya

 

Ignatius Mabasa 2019

 

The poem is full of humor and one wonders, “Wati Ndikukandire” when one wonders what exactly you can give someone when you have nothing. People expects sugar to be poured but alas nothing comes. Humans cannot lay eggs like chicken, “kukandira”. The poem is a riddle and is very ironic when digesting it.

 

As an amateur artist whose research interests include literature, Afrofuturism studies, African Mythology, and Science Fiction, I have seen it fit to write a Shona poem titled, ‘Chimutundu museresere Changu’

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Elizabeth Dakwa Samakande- Tete Eliza (Writer blogger

Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics

Chimutundu Museresere Changu

 

Ndainge ndigere zvangu

Mugadeni ndichiyeva maruva, nyuchi, mabhatafrai ne shiri.

Zvaidekera zvavo nokuziva kuti ‘Hakuna Matata’ panyika

Ndaingofungawo nhamo dzangu

Dzakandimomotera kunge nhundu yemago- mombe.

Ndaingoti zvangu nechomumoyo

Dai ndiri shiri, ndaingobhururukawo ndichienda kure

Dai ndiri nyuchi ndaingo nziririka ndichienda kumano dzemaruva.

 

Zvisinei chadzimira chakandibata,

Ndokuona dzainge hope,

Dzainge zviroto,

Hope iyi yakandinakidza zvikuru.

Kumberi kwangu kwakauya,

Chimutundu museresere.

Ndakachitarisa, ndokuchiyeva,

Nemaziso ekunakirwa nookutya zvekare.

 

Ndakaona kuti zvaive zviri,

Nani kuti chitundu museresere

Ichi chinditakure,

Pamwe nhamo ingapere.

Pandakangoti gumbo dhe-e pamusuwo wechimutundu museresere,

Zvipfeko zvangu zvakabva zvashanduka.

Kepisi yandanga ndakapfeka yakabva yaita yesimbi isingareme.

Chikabanga changu chakaita,

Mujivha unenge wemapurasitiki.

Mapatapata aiva mugombo,

Achibva aita shangu dzinenge

Simbi yemapepa.

Kana hana yangu kumborova zvayo haina.

Nokuti ndakanga ndapinda muchitundumu museresere.

 

Ndakatanga kutaura nechomumoyo.

Iwe chitundu museresere nditakure,

Ndiende kune umwe hupenyu,

Zvepano pasi handichade!

Zvimwe kuda ndiendese kumwedzi, kumazi, kujupita, kunyeredzi.

Kungoti fambei imwe nhanho,

Kupinda muchitundu museresere,

Ndakabva ndasanganidza meso,

Nevanhu vamwe vasiri verudzi rwepasi pano.

Meso avo aive makuru kuru.

Vanga vakapfupika kunge vana

Mandionerepi, asi nzeve dzavo dzaitenderere

Kunge kunge vhiri remotokari.

 

Ndipo pandazoona kuti,

Kuda zviro kwandiparira.

Vanhu ava handivazivi.

Pandakada kudzokera kumashure kuenda panze.

Musuwo wechitundu museresere uchibva wati twa- a  kuvharika.

 

Zvandakaona imomo zvakaita kuti hana

Yangu igadzikane.

Wanikei vanhu vamwe vaye vanotaura chiShona.

Pachaingokwira mudenga chitundu museresere chiya,

Ndakabva ndanzwa manyuku nyuku

Sechana chinotambira mumvura.

 

Pandakangoti go-o kugara,

Pachigaro chaisimudzwa nemuchina yemagetsi

Ndakaona sekuru Masamvu nembwa dzavo,

Toro, Bhasopo naFende vakagaramo pachigaro.

Sekuru Masamvu vakanditarisa,

Ini ndokutarisa imbwa dzavo,

Imbwa dzavo ndokutarisa vanhu vamwe,

Vanhu vamwe vaye vatatu

Ndokutarisa kudenga.

 

Takakwira mumakore tiri

Muchitundu museresere

Ini mwoyo wangu ndiye deka.

Ndichingoti deka

Ndakabva ndamuka

Wanikei ndirere zvangu mugadeni mangu nemanhede

Meso akangotarisa mudenga

Chimutundu museresere changu chaenda!

 

The poem shows that Africa should also envision other spaces and worlds. It is no secret that the world in which we are living will become inhabitable in the near future. African stories rarely mention people’s encounters with the UFO’s and aliens. The possibility is very high therefore, ‘Chimutundu museresere changu’ is a poem that looks into the possibility of us Africans encountering space ships and aliens. Even though the poem’s setting is extracted from a dream, nonetheless space ‘is mine’. The poem shows a mixture of oral stories especially when we see grandfather Masamvu with his three dogs inside the space ship. To several Africans, a space ship landing in Harare will never be a surprise.

 

To complete this review of current poetry from Zimbabwean poets living lives of true artists is Memory Chirere. Memory Chirere is a writer and poet. His book Kabhuku Kasina Basa nokuti kakanyorwa Masikati has poetry that speaks of living art. He was willing to share with me his Shona poems from his Facebook page.

image001

Memory Chirere (Writer & poet)

Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics

Kutadza

Pose pawatarisa
Unoona paine

Munhu achitadza.
Pawatarisa pose

Unoona paine
Munhu achitadza kutenga maputi.
Kutoona munhu achitadza kutenga sipo.

Kutadza kutenga chingwa.
Kutadza kutenga peturu.

Kutadza kutenga nesadza
Zvakanakanakawo.
Kutadza kutenga chingoto.

Kutadza.
Kutadza kubudisa matemba nemisongorera.
Kuzvikanganwahama uko hatichataura.

Hakusvikike.
Kwave kure wangu.
Kutadza chaiko chaiko.
Kutadza kununura
Kana domasi.
Kutadza
Kutadza
Kutadza.
(Kubva muna Shamhu Yezera renyu – naMemory Chirere)

 

Posted on Facebook – 18 May 2019

Chinamira

Pinda mukati ugare pasi nevamwe,

Mwanangu Chinamira.

Batirira, ipapo hapadi hope.

Hope ndedzevemukati.

Unosvika chete iwe!

Mukati ndomunei?

Kana takudya sadza manheru,

Ndiani anoona kuti ava vauya vari mukati,

Ava-kunze?

Ndiani?

 

14 May 2019

 

Order Dziya Dzinosvika

Order dziya dziya dzinosvika.

Hadzirege.

Dzinosvika nedaily.

Hadzirege.

You see.

Vanongobvunza dhiraivha nepahwindo rebhazi pataundiship kuti,

“Pane chero chinhu chekwaChirere chamatumirwa here?

Ehe, mwana wangu ati atumira something.

Ndini Mr. Chirere.

Sekuru Chirere.” Dhiraivha obva ati,

“A, hoo zviya, ehe, ndimi, vaChirere?

Well, umm, ndine order dzenyu, vaChirere.

Ndange ndine mkomana pamusika nhasi chaiye.

Kkkkkk. Idzo dziri kusimba!” Zvobva zvatoita…Unonzwa foni yorira ndoti,

“Order dzenyu dzasvika handiti…ehe…

Aiwa chimunhu kwacho chiya ichi.

Kudhiraivha zvacho bhazi asi igudhu munhu…”

 

April 27 2019

 

Kajokoto

Nha’we Kajokoto!
Chiitawoka zvako zviye.
Chiita maminimini ako awaireva.
Musikana wako ari pano uyu.
Hanzvadzi yemusikana wako iri pano iyi.
Chanetsa mukati imomo chiiko zvino?
Iwe Kajokoto!
Chivadoda uchiienda mberika, chikomana.
Ehe, uchivanyunyawoka saizvozvo.
Vasukurudze uchivaisa nemudeya zvawaireva.
Kajokoto, ita rekutunga nemusoro risingabatike.
Yowee! Ndokune gedhi here ikoko?
Ndiwe Kajokoto chaiye chaiye here iwe?
Zuva ravira zvaunoona, Kajokoto.
Munogohwesa riinhiko, nha’we Kajokoto?
Ko mukagodzorera bhora kugedhi redu wani?
Kumberi kwaita sei, nhaimi vakomana?
Rinogohwa sei muchidzokera naro kugedhi kwedu?
Tikagohweswa tirisu munoita sei zvino?
Bvisai bhora kugedhi kwedu, Kajokoto!
Matanga kutamba bhora nhasi here imi?
Mbiri yako ndeyei, nha’we Kajokoto?
Hezvo!
Wakupira bhora munhu asiri wako kuti zviite sei?
Izvo! Izvo!
Bhora rakuenda kwedu sezvandamboreva!
Maiwe!
Vhara munhu uyo, Kajokoto!
Munhu akaipa uyo, hauzvione here?
Maka ane bhora kani nhai Kajokoto!
Waneta here chikomana?
Radzoka zvakare, Kajokoto!
Kajokoto kani!
Maiwe!
Ranwa kwedu zvino!
Zvandanga ndichareva.
Haa, kumeso kwamai vako, Kajokoto!
Chibuda nevamwe vako munhandare.
Tabheja mari yakawanda chaizvo.
(kubva muna Shamhu yeZera Renyu.

Posted on Facebook- 17 April 2019

 

The above poems from Memory Chirere sound like everyday conversations. The words make you revisit your purpose on earth. You begin to venture into the mystical world of human creation. Catholic catechism answers the question, ‘why were you created?’ with ‘I was created or born to love God, pray him, do his will so that I will be happy with him in heaven’.Therefore, for Chirere living is art and action. There is sad happiness in his poetry as he views life as a bed of roses. In Kutadza, Chirere seems to subtly reveal the poverty that most Zimbabweans are facing in life. People cannot buy a bar of soap, a packet of popcorn and what more a bag of mealie meal. He names all the necessary basic requirements that people lack in this short poem. As each day goes by, people wonder if tomorrow will bring good news. Surely, we have failed, “Kutadza, Kutadza, Kutadza”.

In Chinamira, we realize how the transport woes have run havoc in the urban cities of Harare. Due to high inflation and high cost of living, many workers cannot afford to save money for transport. This has led to some people clutching onto commuter omnibuses. They do not board inside but instead brace the cold nights and winds by hanging precariously onto commuter omnibus’ back so as to get free rides home. At least they have managed to save money to buy mealie meal for the family.

A poem Order Dziya clearly reminds people that they should look after their elderly parents in rural areas. Even when things are tough, ‘Order Dziya Dzinosvika’ without fail. Buses have become effective transport for carrying groceries and parcels to relatives, parents, and friends in the rural areas. With the high cost of fuel, most people cannot afford to go to their rural homes regularly. Kumusha is now the urban areas and some Zimbabweans have resolved to take their elderly parents to the cities to live with them.

The last poem to feature in the article from Chirere is titled Kajokoto, which is very hilarious. You are reminded of boozer’s soccer games. These are not soccer league matches but instead, are matches played through money batting. People play for fun but these matches have become popular that if only Zimbabwe’s PSL league could adopt them and start boozers league the better. It seems Kajokoto volunteered to play a soccer match when he does not have any knowledge of playing soccer. A typical amateur player. Fortunately, it seems outside soccer playing he is famous for something else, “Matanga kutamba bhora nhasi here imi?
Mbiri yako ndeyei, nhaiwe Kajokoto?. Kajokoto’s failure to score does not go down very well with the fans and they start to shout at him.

That’s the beauty of living art in Zimbabwe. Life goes on.

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Sources

https://munyori.org/2016/11/poetry-heals-me-says-ethel-kabwato/
https://www.facebook.com/memory.chirere
http://munyori.org/tag/linda-gabriel/
https://www.academia.edu/21619373/AN_EXAMINATION_OF_THE_CONTRIBUTIONS_OF_SHONA_POETRY_TO_PEACE_BUILDING_IN_ZIMBABWEAN_COMMUNITIES
 Chiwowe E,M. 1992. Traditional Shona Poetry and Mental Health Zambezia (XIX)https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e3d7/2c446f264f428b0e044d17b65e77cc3cde58.pdf
https://tradingeconomics.com/zimbabwe/inflation-cpi

 

 

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Author: dakwaelizabethsamakande

Brief Profile
Elizabeth Samakande (aka Tete Eliza) is an upcoming script writer, film producer and film study researcher from Zimbabwe. She started as a story writer in 2014 and her love for film turned into filmmaking. A creative script writer with a passion for imaginative arts and mythical stories. Elizabeth Samakande is an energetic creative person with energy to produce and develop Zimbabwe’s film industry. She has keen interest in African story writing. A self-motivated university graduate with research interests in African literature, African American literature, Caribbean literature, African Futurism, Afrofuturism Aesthetics, Decoloniality, Creative literature, film and media. Has a strong mental acumen and with the ability to work unsupervised. Can work under pressure to meet deadlines.

Elizabeth is also currently a PhD student candidate with the Midland State University Zimbabwe. She holds a Master of Arts in English and Bachelor of Arts Honours in English from the University of Zimbabwe. She started script writing in 2019 with a pilot project she is working on at the moment.

She is a member of the Zimbabwe Film Industry Development Platform (ZFIDP) since 2019 and is the current ZFIDP Executive Committee secretary. Also, a member of Pan African film association, Azania Filmmakers Association Zimbabwe (AFA Zimbabwe) since 2021. Elizabeth is currently working on two projects that are still at story development stage; Mystical Nyanga and The Prince of Ngoniland. She is co- writing Mystical Nyanga with Mr Ezekiel Mutasa (Zimbabwe) and The Prince of Ngoniland is a collaboration with C.J Ndlovu (South Africa). Congratulations to Tete Eliza as she was recently (2022) accepted into the eQuality Impact Film Development Program.
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Author: Jonathan Jenkins