Zimbabwe, with a record-breaking number of official languages that stands at sixteen, has English as its main and cherished language especially when it comes to commerce.
With the exception of Ndebele and Shona which are the widely spoken native languages that are also taught in most of the schools across the country, much of the local languages, though recognised, they are generally marginalised.
In order to promote local languages to such an extent that they are celebrated and where the native speakers thereof can have pride in their mother tongues, there have to be some initiatives that can create serious interest and promote rewarding participation, especially from an entertainment perspective.
As such, media personality, Tendai Kamhungira, thorough his Nduri Nanyanduri poetry blog (https://ndurinanyanduri.blogspot.com/) seeks to revive Shona poetry and encourage the use of local languages in mainstream activities.
With poems like, Matavire, which is a tribute to one of Zimbabwe’s prolific musicians, the late Paul Matavire, whose use of deep, fluent and vivid Shona language in his music was very exceptional; Kamhungira said that his blog seeks to explore the rich native language.
“The blog is aimed at exploring the rich Shona language and provides a deeper, thought provoking meaning. It is my sincere hope that you will enjoy this blog and take no offence on some of the ‘naked’ words aimed at bringing out the true meaning of poetry”. He wrote on the blog.
With increased use of technological advancements such as the internet, such platforms of learning, communication and entertainment like the Nduri Nanyanduri blog can be soul-soothing especially to Zimbabweans abroad who will be provided with a mechanism to connect with and enjoy their rich mother languages.
“I chose to do my poetry in my native language, Shona, because of the richness of the language. There is a wide variety of expressions that can be used or employed when one is writing in their native language. The other reason is that a lot of people would want to write in English, thus writing in Shona is unique and gives me a broad opportunity to express myself in the best way possible” said Kamhungira.
He added that guest contributors are welcome to participate on his blog as long they have a good command of the Shona language.
If and when platforms like Nduri Nanyanduri are replicated by Zimbabweans who speak some of the local languages including the minority ones, a wave of appreciation, pride and promotion of local languages will be generated with the potential of unearthing some gifted poets and lyricists that can help to shape the entertainment industry in the country.
Such a development provides an avenue through which unknown gifted artists like poets in various communities can be identified and be developed towards being exposed to life-transforming opportunities.
Poetry is also an effective way of expressing oneself, as it can be stress relieving and confidence enhancing especially when people are given a platform to pour themselves out where an audience can spot their concerns and recognize their gifts with potential of giving feedback and or assistance
A journalist by profession, Kamhungira who revealed that his passion for writing and poetry started when he was young, said that he looks forward to setting up an Arts Centre in the future, where young people can come and explore opportunities in the different genres of the art sector.
Tendai added that poetry is an interesting form of writing since people can directly express themselves or use riddles that readers can interpret in any way.
He also revealed that he believes that through his blog, he will be able to harness the Shona poetry genre, which is seemingly losing its touch in Zimbabwe in this modern day world.
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