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.
Lincoln Chibvongodze (Poet)
Photo courtesy of Tete Eliza pics
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.
Kugarwa nhaka negore revechidiki
Simiyoni wemuno muAfrica wakavhura mukova,
Mambo akafadzwa newe
Papa vakafadzwa nemuzvare wemuno muAFrica
Uyo akazevezera nhunha nezvishuwo zvevechidiki munzeve dzavo
Kuvhurira pwere mukana wekuzvivandudza.
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
Musaneta kuvhumbamira nhiyo dzenyu
Matendo makuru anobva kuna Musiki
Guta rotorarama rinonzi Chisimo Chii
Hama neshamwari dzotosangana nadzo
Vanonzi ana Timwe, Tidye, Tifare, Kufa Kwakauya
Zvaitirwa iwe chindumurwa
Rumurwa uchiona ramangwana
Sekuru Paringira naSekuru Nhapi vosimira magogorosi,
Haasi emucheno kwete
Kuratidza kuti nguva yafamba
Garai pedyo navo unzwe nhapitapi yechitendero
Chishuwo kuona zvirikure vagopanga mazano
Kuziva mbuya huudzwa
Gara pedyo uchirava chitendero
Kuzadzikisa magamuchidzanwa esangano
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
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
Chirau hakuna mabasa
Dzamisa pfungwa muchitendero
Uone hupfumi huri muchikatorike
Hazvina kumbonzwikwa kana nakare kose kuti ani nani akatizira kuna amai akashaya rubatsiro.
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
Nzunzutira muminzwa nemasoso
Zvaakabaya vangani vakafa
Dzidza kushandira kirike
Ita kanzatu kanzatu tinosvika chete
Saga resugar rakapera neteaspoon
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.
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.
Kuona ndakati fefemu-kupiyapiya.
Kusviba sandi tsvina.
Kuunyana uso sandi kuroyi.
Kuti ndakutsikai zivai imhosho,
Wandinoshonha muhana ndiDhiyabhorosi,
Satani unokanda kachoro
Ini andinaba chandinacho,
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.
Vose vainokomba mogo,
Kachiutsi kachiti togo-o!
Nochomukati mapapu achiti zvii-,
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,
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,
Yakwana nguva yokurova dare,
Ngavati pitipiti mudare.
Vakuru modzikisa gejo murimo makare,
Mhoti, tikasapabata zvakanaka
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’.
Hampton Dhibi (Poet)
Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics
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
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
Ko ndikakuembera karwiyo ungandimbundirawo nhai
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
Chindidawo zvako tsvarakadenga kani,
Fadzi chindifadzawo ka
Tsika dzako haiwa zvadzinonditora kundiisa
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!
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
Tanaka Chidora (Writer)
Photo courtesy of tete Eliza pics
Tinokuisa pamiviri yedu
Kuti ipenye semhanza
Chionazve kana tofamba
Asi gwendo guno
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.
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
Undibate zvinyoro nyoro,
ndoda chipfuva chako chive pane change,
mazamu angu neako ave mapatya,
hana yangu irove pamusoro peyako.
makumbo nemaoko zvobvunda.
Zvakaipei kana, ndikati swedera pedyo neni
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
undibate muchiuno ndikuvhurire,
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.
Tinashe Muchuri (Writer, Poet)
Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics
Mhepo yerusungunuko kutovhuvhuta
Tikati yauya kuzotitakura
kuenda nesu kure nenhamo
Kutsirwa pano senheyo
Rambei tiri zete!
Tashaya pokutsika tichisiya matsimba
© 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.
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.
ngazvirege kurova mbama
ngazvirege kukunga chibhakera
ngazvirege kudzipa pahuro
zvingava hazvo zvitete
asi zvine simba serenzou
zvingava hazvo zvakawanda
asi zvinotongwa nemusoro mumwe
© Chirikure Chirikure
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
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.
Asi huku hadzisi kukandira
Unoziva kubva Ndira takarindira
Vachiti zvave kuzodirwa shuga
Kuti zvizipe togotapirirwa.
Asi ndinokanda chii
Ndisina kana pandimire?
Kana uchida ndichakukandira
Kushaya ugobatawo shaya
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’
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,
Hope iyi yakandinakidza zvikuru.
Kumberi kwangu kwakauya,
Nemaziso ekunakirwa nookutya zvekare.
Ndakaona kuti zvaive zviri,
Nani kuti chitundu museresere
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
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
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
Takakwira mumakore tiri
Ini mwoyo wangu ndiye deka.
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.
Memory Chirere (Writer & poet)
Photo courtesy of tete eliza pics
Munhu achitadza kutenga maputi.
Kutoona munhu achitadza kutenga sipo.
Kutadza kutenga chingwa.
Kutadza kutenga peturu.
Kutadza kutenga nesadza
Kutadza kutenga chingoto.
Kutadza kubudisa matemba nemisongorera.
Kuzvikanganwahama uko hatichataura.
Kwave kure wangu.
Kutadza chaiko chaiko.
(Kubva muna Shamhu Yezera renyu – naMemory Chirere)
Posted on Facebook – 18 May 2019
Pinda mukati ugare pasi nevamwe,
Batirira, ipapo hapadi hope.
Unosvika chete iwe!
Kana takudya sadza manheru,
Ndiani anoona kuti ava vauya vari mukati,
14 May 2019
Order Dziya Dzinosvika
Order dziya dziya dzinosvika.
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
Chiitawoka zvako zviye.
Chiita maminimini ako awaireva.
Musikana wako ari pano uyu.
Hanzvadzi yemusikana wako iri pano iyi.
Chanetsa mukati imomo chiiko zvino?
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?
Wakupira bhora munhu asiri wako kuti zviite sei?
Bhora rakuenda kwedu sezvandamboreva!
Vhara munhu uyo, Kajokoto!
Munhu akaipa uyo, hauzvione here?
Maka ane bhora kani nhai Kajokoto!
Waneta here chikomana?
Radzoka zvakare, Kajokoto!
Ranwa kwedu zvino!
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.
Chiwowe E,M. 1992. Traditional Shona Poetry and Mental Health Zambezia (XIX)https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e3d7/2c446f264f428b0e044d17b65e77cc3cde58.pdf
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.
View all posts by dakwaelizabethsamakande