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Temba Munsaka – The African Continent Is Governed By Persons Not Fit To Lead, Author of The Fall of a Despot

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Themba Munsaka, the author of The Fall of a Despot, an action packed, high adrenalin military spy novel which is about a politically mismanaged African country fictionalised as Azambezia described the African continent as a place governed by selfish people who are not fit to lead.

Munsaka who believes that it is the duty of mankind to unleash whatever literary thoughts in the mind for the enrichment of all, said he writes about things and stories that not even predators dare to talk about especially here in Africa.

The daring writer lamented the fact that for a long time Africans have denied themselves the ability to put to paper their thoughts on things around them and thus making some context of serious expression to be only the preserve of writers from the Western world.

zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu had an interview with Temba in order to find out more about his novel The Fall of a Despot and other works of literature that he is working on.

Zwnews24: Mr Munsaka, your book, The Fall of a Despot, is a masterpiece fit for a blockbuster movie. Would you briefly tell us the motivation behind coming up with such a thrilling novel?

Temba Munsaka: I was motivated to write such a book because of what I was seeing in our world today. The African continent is governed by persons not fit to lead; they are corrupt, brute and unrelenting in their quest and hold on power. Democracy does not exist on their agenda. They use unparalleled force to cling and advance in perpetuity their evil and unsanctioned mandates. Such despots made me to write this sad African story. 

Zwnews24: Is The Fall of a Despot, your only literary work or there are other books which you have written or that you are still writing? If you have other books, would you tell us more about them?

Temba Munsaka: I have also written several academic papers and currently working on four literary works that I hope to complete by end of the year 2020. The books (work in progress) are as follows;

  1. Thoughts of a Demented Scribe (a collection of 1,111 quotes spanning from religion, psychology, science, streets, etc). These quotes were inspired by my studies in psychology and my daily experiences as a Zimbabwean. I am only left with editing and publishing this manuscript.
  2. Fables of a Demented Scribe (an anthology of ten short stories depicting life in Zimbabwe). Just four stories remain to complete the manuscript.
  3. The Minion and the Scoundrel (the sequel to the fall of a despot). So far, I have written more than 50,000 words and the book will have about 120,000 words at completion. 
  4. An Ode for Shawna- This is my attempt at romantic writing! This will comprise of 100 poems and a few textual stories

Zwnews24: When and how did you start writing and what has been the impact of that move on you and on the people around you, including family and friends?

Temba Munsaka: I have always loved writing. In high school I won several writing competitions. The people around me have always supported my writing career. However, to be honest; writing is not an easy job. The mind is always restless and the imaginative self is always in overdrive and yet, writing is also a therapy to my soul, it decongests my nasals!  .

Zwnews24: To people who are interested in knowing more about Temba Munsaka, how would you describe yourself and the inspiration behind your pursuit of literature?

Temba Munsaka: I am an enigma, not even I understand my cognitive. The thoughts I conjure up often gets me labelled. The profanity of it all is that I keep writing, for there alone lies my freedom and orgasmic experience!

Zwnews24: If people want to buy your books or invest in your work, where can they find the books and how do they get in touch with you either for feedback on your work or any other related correspondence? 

Temba Munsaka: My books are available on the Amazon bookstore and other online stores across the world. For updates on my writing and other correspondence, we can interact on my blog and on the usual social media platforms:

https://wordpress.com/stats/day/tembamunsaka.wordpress.com

Zwnews24: What are your guiding values which determine what and how you write? Are there things that you do not write about at all or is there a certain approach to writing which you do not use because of these values? Share your insights. 

Temba Munsaka: I have only one philosophy; the mind is like a mother lode; it is loaded and so, my duty to mankind is to unleash whatever literary thoughts it holds to and for the enrichment of all.

Zwnews24: What has been the impact of your writing so far, both to you and your readers and how has it made you feel? 

Temba Munsaka: I write about things and stories that not even predators dare to talk about. I write about stories that ordinarily were a preserve of the western writers. Such kind of writing that I am doing is still new in our party of the world. People are used to reading about liberation themes. My coming book, ‘Thoughts of a Demented Scribe’ will definitely set a new agenda in cognitive thinking and since for a long time, Africans have denied themselves the ability to put to paper their very thoughts on things around them.

Zwnews24: What has been some of the most cherished and memorable feedback that you have received from your readers so far and how has it impacted you in your pursuit of literature, either as a profession or as a hobby? 

Temba Munsaka: My readers love the new African genre in my fictional works. They love the high adrenaline, action packed kind of writing contrary to the usual passive stories that people have been exposed to in the last millennia 

Zwnews24: Has there been any element of danger associated with coming up with your book, The Fall of a Despot, especially considering the contents thereof? If there was, what made you to continue writing and to proceed with publication?

Temba Munsaka: When I wanted to launch the book in 2016, I was cordially reminded that it presented a security threat and I could only launch it at my own risk. And so, I stopped the launch. However, that did not stop me from conjuring up political themes; “The Minion and the Scoundrel” is all about the reign of the generals!!

Zwnews24: What are your words of advice and motivation to other writers, both to the established and aspiring ones in their pursuit of literature, either as their hobby or profession?

Temba Munsaka: My advice is simple; write what you want! 

Zwnews24: What do you think is the relevance and impact of literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Do you think literature should be recognized, celebrated and be promoted? 

Temba Munsaka: The problem with African literature is that it is only celebrated when the books are made set books! Anything outside set books, people don’t read. In fact the reading culture in Africa is low. I often tell people that you cannot write if you cannot read! Literature tells stories about people; it captures the imaginations of its citizenry. These stories will forever be lost as long as people don’t read!

Zwnews24: What has been some of the best works of literature that you have enjoyed so far (Books, blogs, poems etc.)? Share the reasons why you rate them so high and value them so much. Based on what you have benefited personally, what do you think must be done in order to broadly develop, promote and celebrate literature in your community, country or across the world?

Temba Munsaka: I love reading works by African writers (Ngugi, Rabson Shumba, and Wilbur Smith) especially fictional and biographies. At the top of my international list are; Ken Follet, Lee Child, Robert Ludlum, and James Clavell. There are too many writers that are good but there isn’t enough space here to celebrate them all. The culture of reading is slowly dying in our country; the government must come up with strategies to promote reading. The problem is that governments the world over leave out writers in such strategies. 

Zwnews24: Are there people and or organisations that you would like to acknowledge and appreciate for their contribution towards your love of and pursuit of literature? If yes, what did such people or institutions do to deserve such respect from you in this regard?

Temba Munsaka: I would definitely acknowledge and appreciate my family for the support and encouragement especially when I denied them of quality time in pursuit of writing.

Zwnews24: Are there people or organisations that you would also like to acknowledge and credit, be it for their emotional and material input or contribution (support) towards your works of literature? 

Temba Munsaka: I would like to thank Weaver Press, the publisher. They gave me critical literary feedback and writing lessons in 2013. I will forever be grateful to Irene, their founder.

The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, General Emeritus – Wisdom, Mysteries and Dark Sayings, a poetry anthology written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/2T8sEQX

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Author Interviews

Writers Interview – Tichaona Shambare, Author of Baby Steps.

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Zwnews24: Briefly describe yourself (background, personality, passions, dreams and aspirations etc.) so that the readers (audience) can have a clear picture of who you are and what you stand for as a writer.

TS: My name is Nomater Tichaona Shambare. I was born on the 1st of July 1986. I am an Author of one published book titled Baby Steps and I also have novels that I am currently working on. I make use of biblical texts in my writing in order to teach the truth as it is, without fear or favour. I am a devoted Christian whose desire is to be an inspiration to others using my life experiences and the motivation that I get from those who have done better in life. My motto is Speak to Empower. This is because I believe that every word which I say has an impact on people who read or listen to my content. As such, I have to make sure that what I speak or write is a true representation of my personality. 

Zwnews24: What is the motivation behind your writing career? What do you seek to achieve and why? Do you think you have achieved your goal or do you see yourself achieving those goals through your literary work?

TS: I am motivated by the desire to write simplified text which can be easily understood by people of all ages. This philosophy is inspired by the scriptures from the Bible in the book of Luke 1:3. Most readers who have given me feedback on my content, be it after reading my book or after listening to my broadcasts have said that the message that I share is simple and easy to understand. 

Zwnews24: When and how did you start writing and what has been the impact of that move on you and on the people around you, including family and friends?

TS: I started to write books professionally in 2018. I kept on pursuing my passion and I continued to explain my writing passion to my family so that they can have a clear picture of my love for literature. At last, I brought home a hard copy of my book and this made them to realise that I am serious about writing. Now, they are very supportive and they even check on the progress on my next book. 

Zwnews24: Take us through the book which have published and describe what it is all about and its intended benefit to your audience? 

TS: Baby Steps is my first published motivational book. It explains the journey of a Christian using the ‘baby’ metaphor. The book talks about how openness to learning can lead one to grow as a healthy Christian. It’s a book which shows that a spiritual journey is not automatic since it requires us to move daily in the right direction, one step at a time from conception to maturity, while getting help from other Christians to edify our growth. 

Zwnews24: Tell us more about other literary projects that you are currently working on. 

IS IT WORTH IT? (Final draft – now ready) – This book is based on a question that we constantly ask ourselves when we are submerged in trouble. For example, we sometimes ask ourselves, is it worth it to keep the faith? Taking lessons from biblical example of Paul’s thorn in the flesh and Elijah when he ran away from Jezebel. Based on circumstances that we go through, in the pursuit of a certain objective, you may ask yourself, is it still worth it? 

OTHER SIDE OF TRUTH (Draft) – This book is centred on how broken marriages can affect the unborn child. The church can play a critical role in promoting forgiveness and dealing with bitterness which may affect the child. It is work of fiction with a bit of reality in between.

Zwnews24: If people want to buy your books or invest in your work, where can they find the books and how do they get in touch with you, either for feedback on your work or any other related correspondence?

My book Baby Steps is available on the following platforms:

Websites: www.muckem.com/bookshop, www.library.globtorch.com

Books Shops: Best Books, Anchor house along Jason Moyo Harare  ( from the 25th of June ) 

People can also get in touch with me through Social Media, Email and Telephone:

Social Media – Faceook (Personal Account): Tichaona Shambare, Facebook (Author Page): Tichafaraa; Instagram: Tichaafara, Twitter: Tichafaraa; Email: sicklebillinv@gmail.com 

Telephone: + 263 775 126 463 Call / App / Text:  +263 719 126 463 calls only 

Zwnews24: What are your guiding values which determine what and how you write? Are there things that you do not write about at all or is there a certain approach to writing, which you do not use because of these values? Share your insights. 

TS: Writing is leadership. I believe that what I write influences perceptions and that, as a leader, is how I want my followers to relate to me as they read my work. Character, passion and motivation play a vital role in my script writing. I write what I can relate to. I am factual as much as I can. I also write poetry which is mainly based on imagination, sci-fiction. I avoid politics, I rarely write about it.

Zwnews24: How did you feel when you got published for the first time and what has been the effect of that moment on your writing career now? 

TS: Words will never suffice to explain how I felt. Getting published has fuelled my passion for writing and my love for literature. I am now also mentoring juniors, so that it will be close to a smooth ride for them. Publishing in Zimbabwe is a bit expensive and most publishing companies don’t offer printing facilities which means it’s an extra cost and so, when you get published despite all these challenges, you experience real joy and excitement. 

Zwnews24: What has been some of the most cherished and memorable feedback that you have received from your readers so far and how has it impacted you in your pursuit of literature? Please share some of the priceless feedback that you received from your readers.

TS: One of the readers said ‘your book encouraged me’. Another reader said ‘Keep up the good work’. More so, someone asked where I get such inspiration and the other guy said he read my book and he wishes to talk more about it with me in person. Based on such feedback, I intend to keep writing and give more books to the readers.

Zwnews24: What are some of the challenges that you face in your writing and what is it that makes you to continue writing regardless of these challenges?

TS: I write using my tablet which has limited space but the desire to write has kept me going. I make sure I save my drafts on Google Drive in case I lose my phone. At the moment, because of less disposable incomes, the issue of the market may be concerning since people are more focussed on bread and butter issues and thus they be forced to consider buying books as a luxury. However, despite all that, my passion for literature me overrules the need for monetary gains. 

Zwnews24: What are your words of advice and motivation to other writers, both established and aspiring ones in their pursuit of literature, either as their hobby or profession?

TS: Keep writing, don’t stop, and believe in yourself. If you don’t feel like writing, you can rather even edit a written draft. Take criticism as an improvement initiative, don’t throw everything away without proper introspection. Someone once said to me “someone is waiting to read your book”, so don’t take long, someone needs those nuggets in that piece of literature.

Zwnews24: What do you think is the relevance and impact of literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Do you think literature should be recognized, celebrated and be promoted?

 TS: The world is a product of literature. Scientists, doctors, engineers and many other professions that you see are a result of literature. Without books, we have no religion or education. I am a Christian today because of a book, The Bible. So we can’t do away with books. Literature should be celebrated and more should be done to promote a reading culture in our communities. Imagine a world without books! It would be tough to survive in it, I tell you. Theories and inventions are all a result of Books. 

Zwnews24: How deep is your passion for literature? What have you already done, what are you planning to do and how far would you go to promote literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world?

TS: I love books, my life is centred on books. It is my desire that we should promote the concept of community libraries. Encouraging reading from early child hood, not just reading for academics but also for edutainment. The book fair is a good initiative but it needs sponsorship for proper outreach to communities. The program needs to be organised and managed by authors, not by mere office bearers without a passion for literature. 

Zwnews24: Besides writers, who are the other active players that you can think of in the field of literature? In that regard, is there a person, group of people or organization that you know which is helping to develop and promote literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Who are they and what is it specifically that they are doing in this context and how is it inspiring you and positively impacting individuals and communities?

TS: Zwnews24 is promoting literature through author interviews and book reviews. Our local dailies are also doing a lot namely Newsday, Daily News and the Zimpapers group. Most of the articles that I have read on these platforms are so informative, though the cost of buying a newspaper may be prohibitive.

Zwnews24: What has been some of the best works of literature that you have enjoyed so far (Books, blogs, poems etc.)? Share the reasons why you rate them so high and value them so much. Based on what you have benefited personally, what do you think must be done in order to broadly develop, promote and celebrate literature in your community, country or across the world?

TS: How To Stop Worry And Start Living by Dale Carnage, the lessons in this book are simple and easy to apply. Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, this book is a narrative of two fathers and one child. Sydney Sheldon, John Grisham and Danielle Steel to mention but a few.  Minister Munhuwo , Takadini , Mabvumira Enhetembo, those were study books. Life will humble you By Audrey Chirenje, The way the characters blend, it surely deserves a NAMA by my standard. Words of life by Lingiwe Patience Gumbo poems, I like the fantasy created when you read poems, it’s like a pictorial slide show.

zwnews24: What are some of the local, national, regional and international literature awards that you know of and what do they seek to reward or promote? What is your take on their criteria? If you were to give awards in literature, what would be your prizes and the related criteria for selecting recipients and awarding such rewards?

TS:  I would take into consideration the impact a book has made in the country first before giving awards. It must be clear to all to avoid bias in the selection process. 

Zwnews24: Are there people or organisations that you would like to acknowledge and credit, be it for their emotional and material input or contribution (support) towards your works of literature? 

TS: Ms. Lucia Taruvinga who introduced me to reading at an early stage, My brother Fungai Shambare, Mr. Phillip Chidavaenzi, Lifestyle Editor at Newsday and founder of the Writer’s Clinic, a platform to mentor published and aspiring authors. Lindiwe Patience Gumbo, Audrey Chirenje, Arthur Marara, The inspired 365 group initiative content shared is very informative and educational. Mr. Noah Mangwarara the way he exemplifies using nature makes reading enjoyable and fun. 
The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, General Emeritus – Wisdom, Mysteries and Dark Sayings, a poetry anthology written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/2T8sEQX

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Author Interviews

Audrey’s Novel, Life Will Humble You, Gives a Taste of Healing Love to Broken Hearts

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The novel, Life Will Humble You, written by Audrey Chirenje is a touching and yet beautiful story of the miraculous healing love that mends broken hearts in the journey of life.

With Riko and Ronda as the main characters who fall in love under the most unlikely of circumstances, Audrey’s imaginative and rare storytelling ability keeps you under suspense as she unpacks surprise after surprise in her narration of love and hope that conquers pain.

Even though the main plot is centered around Harare, in Zimbabwe, the gripping story takes you to many places including South Africa, Kenya, the UK, and Canada among other countries as you get introduced to these love birds past as well as to their friends and relatives.

As you read through, you will be drawn by some glitters of opulence that sparkles in the lives of some rich folks in the same way that you will also have a glimpse of power struggles in our society and the trapping jealous of an ex-lover that sets in when you find new love.

The beauty of a loving and supporting family during the time that one goes through a rough patch in life is also well depicted in this gripping story, as the writer, fuses both the high and the lows of life in a way that helps readers to look at life from different angles.

In the interview below, zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu talked to Audrey about her book and other projects that she is working on.

Zwnews24: Would you briefly describe yourself? Your personality, ambitions, and inspiration.

Audrey:  I am a very chilled goal-getter whose inspiration comes from people around me and even from my own life though I have been labeled as weird and a structured introvert.

Zwnews24: What is the motivation behind your writing career? 

Audrey: I seek to motivate and encourage people out there that we might have erred according to the set norms but I believe that you may fall seven times and yet still rise again. As such, through my writing, I am motivated by the need to let people know that they must not give up on their dreams, since if they hold on and plan again, ultimately their dreams will come to pass.

Zwnews24: When and how did you start writing and what has been the impact of that move on you and on the people around you, including family and friends? 

Audrey: I started dabbling with writing in High School. A few years back, I had two incomplete projects. This novel, Life Will Humble You, I wrote it July 2019 and it’s soon coming spin-off which I started in August 2019. Writing has had a tremendous impact on me. It has been very inspiring to both me and those around me since others now want to write and I am cheering them on. 

Zwnews24: What do you seek to achieve through what you write and why? 

Audrey: Through literature, I want to help and encourage people to know that the sun will always shine despite the storms. In short, I want to instill hope in people everywhere I go.

Zwnews24: Your novel, Life Will Humble You is a beautiful and intriguing love story full of suspense and surprises. What is it that inspired the story and how did you imagine all those characters and places which form such a gripping romantic tale?

Audrey: Well, firstly I am a hopeless romantic at heart, and then I looked at topical issues being faced by people in our society and then I came up with tainted leading characters who then find solace in each other. With their own minds, they would have passed up the opportunity, but I imagined God directing their steps despite the numerous hurdles they face. Ultimately my concept of faith-ever-after prevails. 

Zwnews24: The title of your novel is really very engaging. What is the motivation behind this title? For example, from the title alone, what message did you want to convey to anybody who would see the book in a bookshop or in the hands of somebody else? 

Audrey: Somehow, we seem to all experience this phenomenon where you have all your ducks in a row and you are thinking that all will work out as planned, but boom, it doesn’t. That’s the moment when life humbles you, but thereafter you become a better person, less judgemental and more empathic since you now know that sometimes you don’t control everything. What then matters is your reaction to circumstances, and then you move on.

Zwnews24: Are there any other novels or books that your readers should look forward to soon? If yes, would you tell us a little bit about what your new work is about?

Audrey: I have a book ready which is a spin-off to Life Will Humble You, whose main characters are Ropa who is Riko’s sister and Agent Raphael. If you read Life Will Humble You, you will remember that I did give them extra attention as I had already outlined their story. We will begin the publishing work with my Publisher in May 2020. I am working on my 3rd book now, and let’s just say, in this one, my angle is on appearances and class societies and the impact thereof through the story of Farai and Margot. I will publish this one before the end of the year, plus I also have other story outlines on standby which only needs some flesh.

Zwnews24: If people want to buy your books or invest in your work, where can they find the books and how do they get in touch with you either for feedback on your work or any other related correspondence?

Audrey: For now, they can get the Life Will Humble You from Best Books, Three Anchor House, Jason Moyo Avenue, in Harare as well as from some selected Innov8 Bookshops. People can also find the same online either as paperback or eBook on Amazon. My twitter is @anchirenjethe, Facebook: A.N. Chirenje The Author, Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/audreychirenje.

Zwnews24: What are your guiding values which determine what and how you write? Are there things that you do not write about at all or is there a certain approach to writing which you do not use because of these values? 

Audrey: I try to watch my language because I have kids who also read my books.  I am also trying to keep it at the Parental Guide age of 13 years. More so, I am a believer who is also a realist and that has an effect on the content in my writing.

Zwnews24: How did you feel when you got published for the first time and what has been the effect of that moment on your writing career now? 

Audrey: It still feels surreal up to now. I am grateful to God for the support of family and friends. It has encouraged me to keep writing. The feedback I get is like the air under my wings, it’s encouraging me to soar to higher levels. 

Zwnews24: What has been some of the most cherished and memorable feedback that you have received from your readers so far and how has it impacted you in your pursuit of literature, either as a profession or as a hobby? Please share some of the priceless feedback that you received from your readers.

Audrey: I had one lady who sent me pictures of her engagement and she captioned it #MyRikoProposedScars&All#. That was awesome. Another lady also shared how she never knew how people feel when they have been cheated on up until she read about Ronda’s ordeal. I also get priceless about my writing style which most people are saying that they are really in love with it and that has encouraged me as I wasn’t sure that people would embrace it.

Zwnews24: What are some of the challenges that you face or that you faced in your writing and what is it that makes you continue writing regardless of these challenges?

Audrey: Challenges will always be there and these include time, finances and negative perceptions from people. What will make me continue is the positive impact that the stories which I write are making on people? That on its own is priceless.

Zwnews24: What are your words of advice and motivation to other writers, both established and aspiring ones in their pursuit of literature, either as their hobby or profession?

Audrey: As my Publisher from Royalty Books, Phillip Chidavaenzi says “we have to just keep writing”. So start today with whatever you have in your hands, a page a day. Nike says do it NOW, so just do it!

Zwnews24: What do you think is the relevance and impact of literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Do you think literature should be recognized, celebrated and be promoted? Share your reasons.

Audrey: Literature shapes norms and values and as such it has to be recognized and be promoted. When literature is well embraced, it makes this world a better place.

Zwnews24: What have been some of the best works of literature that you have enjoyed so far (books, blogs, poems, etc.)? 

Audrey: Internationally, I like all Jackie Collins books, Maya Angelo – Still I Rise poem and Dudu Busani-Dube based in South Africa. Locally, I am in awe of a lot of Writers, Shimmer Chinodya, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Valerie Tagwira and Philip Chidavanezi.

Zwnews24: Are there people or organisations that you would like to acknowledge and credit, be it for their emotional and material input or contribution (support) towards your works of literature? 

Audrey: My friends, family and fellow Church members and The Writers Clinic. 

The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, General Emeritus – Wisdom, Mysteries and Dark Sayings, a poetry anthology written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/2T8sEQX

Audrey’s Novel, Life Will Humble You, Gives a Taste of Healing Love to Broken Hearts

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Author Interviews

Gehena Harina Moto Script Writer Says He Wants His Writing To Be The Mouthpiece Of The Oppressed

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Johannes Mike Mupisa, the scriptwriter for the movie, Gehenna Harina Moto, featuring songbird Pah Chihera, veteran actress Patience Musa as well as Mutare based singers Flotboi and Lisa Afonso, says he wants his writing to be the mouthpiece of the oppressed.

Described by fellow writer Chenjerai Mhondera as the new Hamutyinei, the 31 year old writer from Mwenezi in Masvingo says that his work dwells on women abuse and social ills perpetrated either by politicians or other people of influence in society.

An Archaeology graduate from Midlands State University (MSU), Johannes who has so far co-authored several poetry anthologies, history textbooks and a novel titled Shukukuviri is also looking forward to engage in poetry showcases and seminars to assist aspiring writers.

zwnews24’s Brian Kazungu talked to Johannes about his inspiration, experiences and wishes concerning the world of literature.

zwnews24: Briefly describe yourself  so that your readers can understand you and your work better.

Johannes: I am a 31 year old male writer from Mwenezi in Masvingo. Writing has always been part and parcel of my life since my school days at Gampu Primary School in Bulawayo. I remember, we would compete to write compositions from as early as Grade Six. My secondary school days at Guiding Star High were dormant in terms of writing, only to reignite the flame when I was at Midlands State University where I was studying for a B.A (Hons) Degree in Archaeology. I have always wanted to make writing a communication platform where I express how I view the world.

zwnews24: What is the motivation behind your writing career? What do you seek to achieve and why?

Johannes: I want my writing to stand as the mouth piece of the oppressed. I wish to publish books that will receive international recognition at the same time promoting the cultural norms and values of being African. I haven’t reached these goals as a writer but I feel I will. The voice of the oppressed cannot be suppressed and the African culture cannot be eroded.

zwnews24: When and how did you start writing and what has been the impact of that move on you and on the people around you, including family and friends?

Johannes: I started writing and being inspired to write by the creative books that I read at a very tender age. In primary school, I read Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew detective novels. That inspired me to write stories. I tried to write back then and ended up piling up manuscripts that I would eventually lose within a short time. Writing has made me to lose some of my friends who think I have a mental disorder due to my writing obsession.

zwnews24: What are the titles of the books that you have written so far?

Johannes: So far I have been published in numerous poetry anthologies in my native language, Shona:

Nhava Yenduri(2015) published by Roots Press, Khuluma Izwi/Taura Izwi/ Speak a Word by Secondary Book Publishers – A Starbrite Finalists Anthology (2017), Best New African Poets (2018) – Mwanaka Publishing, Gwatakwata Renhetembo (Secondary Book Press)(ZJC New Curriculum Poetry Set book 2017-2019), Mupakwa Werwendo – Progressive Publishers 2018, Chitungwiza – Musha Mukuru (Mwanaka Publishers 2020), Mukoko Wenduri – Royal Press (2019)

In these anthologies, my poetry dwells on women abuse, the cries of a girl child, and I also lambast social ills perpetrated either by politicians or by influential people in society.

Apart from these anthologies, I published a novel with Pearl Press Media titled Shukukuviri. It is a novel which dwells on the aspects of the heart. It is about the pursuit of romance even in instances where individuals are not welcome.

I also co-authored the following academic textbooks with Secondary Book Publishers:

A Practical Approach to Heritage Studies, Book 4.

A Practical Approach to History Studies, Book 2

The academic texts are streamlined to the new curriculum requirements aimed at nurturing pride and a sense of belonging to an African child.

I also wrote a script for a movie titled Gehena Harina Moto produced by a Masvingo based film production company Don Claude Entertainment. The film features song bird Pah Chihera, veteran actress Patience Musa, Mutare based muscians Flotboi and Lisa Afonso. It is available on https://youtu.be/6JUJ3S4nrbA

zwnews24: If people want to buy your books or invest in your work, where can they find the books and how do they get in touch with you either for feedback on your work or for any other related correspondence?

Johannes: All the books that I published with various publishing companies can be acquired through the respective publishers mentioned above. For the novel, Shukukuviri, readers need to get in touch with me on my cell 0775125488 since I am doing a Print on Demand approach due to soaring printing costs.

zwnews24: What are your guiding values which determine what and how you write? Are there things that you do not write about at all or is there a certain approach to writing which you do not use because of these values? Share your insights.

Johannes: I don’t have particular guiding values when it comes to writing. I just listen to the voice within me and then I translate that voice into written words. I feel that writing, especially fiction, does not have to be planned, since it is just the voice within that dictates. As for me, listening to that voice is what gets the best out of a writer.

zwnews24: How did you feel when you got published for the first time and what has been the effect of that moment on your writing career now?

Johannes: When I first got published, I was thrilled but at the same time a bit disappointed since the company that edited our anthology did not do a proper job. However that disappointment gave me the urge to want to network with more seasoned writers like Tinashe Muchuri who was later to become the editor of my debut novel Shukukuviri. I hooked up with other writers on the Writer’s International Network platform from whom I have learnt a lot. I also joined Phillip Chidavaenzi’s Writers Clinic from where I learnt that writing requires patience and much dedication in order to master perfection.

zwnews24: What has been some of the most cherished and memorable feedback that you have received from your readers so far and how has it impacted you in your pursuit of literature, either as a profession or as a hobby?

Johannes: My editor, Tinashe Muchuri once remarked “You are one of the most promising Shona writers to emerge from Masvingo.”

Chenjerai Mhondera, a fellow writer reviewing Shukukuviri said, “After reading Shukukuviri, I believe that another Hamutyinei has been born.”

Such feedback has motivated me to write more. That is why I have hordes of manuscripts lined up for publishing.

zwnews24: What are some of the challenges that you face in your writing and what is it that makes you to continue writing regardless of these challenges?

Johannes: The challenge to writing in Zimbabwe is piracy and very high publishing costs. That is the reason why at times, we are tempted to go the self-publishing route. However, even self-publishing is also expensive if you are to hire a good editor who ensures a quality product to your readers. Regardless of all that, I continue writing with the hope that one day the economic turmoil in our country will be history and all the piracy will be gone and that publishing and printing charges will consequently come down.

zwnews24: What are your words of advice and motivation to other writers, both established and aspiring ones in their pursuit of literature, either as a hobby or profession?

Johannes: My advice to established writers is to give the upcoming writers a chance. To upcoming writers, I would want to say, speed spoils. Don’t rush to publish material before you are satisfied that it is ready for the market.

zwnews24: What do you think is the relevance and impact of literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Do you think literature should be recognized, celebrated and be promoted?

Johannes: Literature is one of the avenues of entertainment in any country. These days’ people are reading books that are being shared on various social media platforms online. The impact of such a reading frenzy cannot be ignored although some of the stuff contains some misleading erotic stories which may be harmful to young people. However, there has also been some very good content which is changing lives especially from writers such Rutendo Lovely Nzira, Dr T.M and Ivy Kwaramba among others.

zwnews24: How deep is your passion for literature? What have you already done, what are you planning to do and how far would you go to promote literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world?

Johannes: In Masvingo, I have brought together upcoming poets for a poetry anthology titled Poetry is Life/Nduri Upenyu to be published in the near future. It consists of Masvingo based renowned stage poets Ngoni Paradza Hova, General Fire Collosso and Abel Mauchi. Resources permitting, I would want to engage in community poetry showcases and seminars to assist aspiring writers on where to take their manuscripts and how to develop themselves into reputable writers.

zwnews24: Is there a person, group of people or organization that you know which is helping to develop and promote literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Who are they and what is it specifically that they are doing in this context and how is it inspiring you and positively impacting individuals and communities?

Johannes: Organisations that I know of that assist writers and have also assisted me to get to where I am include the Writers Clinic administrated Pastor Phillip Chidavaenzi and the Writers International Network under Beaven Tapureta. These organisations have social platforms that take writers through writing tips and processes.

zwnews24: What has been some of the best works of literature that you have enjoyed so far (Books, blogs, poems etc.)?

Johannes: Sidney Sheldon has it all. He is one of the best writers indeed. Every literature enthusiast has read something from Sidney Sheldon. Sidney Sheldon’s Bloodline is quite a pulsating read that will force you to your reading chair.

zwnews24: If you were to give awards in literature, what would be your prizes and the related criteria for selecting recipients and awarding such rewards?

Johannes: If I was to give prizes for literature, I would give writers bursaries to partake in writing and publishing studies.

zwnews24: Are there people or organisations that you would like to acknowledge and credit, be it for their emotional and material input or contribution (support) towards your works of literature?

Johannes: People who have really been there for me are the Zimbabwe Online Writers Association, a brain child of Canada based social worker Sheila Chimuzinga-Charamba. Writers on that platform, notably Tsevetana Dhliwayo, Emmanuel Dhliwayo, Emmanuel Magaisa and Prosper Njeke have always encouraged me to keep my head up and to focus on the future. This wouldn’t be enough without mentioning Writers International Network members such as Oscar Gwiriri, Tinashe Muchuri, Lazarus Sauti and others.

The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, General Emeritus – Wisdom, Mysteries and Dark Sayings, a poetry anthology written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/2T8sEQX

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