Friday, 24 October 2014
Blue Red Green
News makers: Writers mourn Paul Brickhill - Monday, 13 October 2014 12:38
News makers: Finally a Fashion Market for young designers - Monday, 13 October 2014 12:34
News makers: Tourism and Community Development in Naletale Monument’s restoration - Thursday, 25 September 2014 07:32
Finally a Fashion Market for young designers

Finally a Fashion Market for young designers

News makers

Finally a Fashion Market for young designers The challenges facing most young designers have more to do with exposure and…

More...
Two artists cross the bridge

Two artists cross the bridge

Visual Arts

Two artists cross the bridge The last exhibition that reminds one of the accomplished artists Zimbabwe has produced during recent…

More...
Camarada Presidente - Remembering Samora Machel

Camarada Presidente - Remembering Samora Machel

Visual Arts

Camarada Presidente - Remembering Samora Machel One of the must-see films at the 2014 Zimbabwe International Film Festival, which kicks…

More...
Tourism and Community Development in Naletale Monument’s restoration

Tourism and Community Development in Naletale Monument’s restoration

News makers

Tourism and Community Development in Naletale Monument’s restoration Nothing best demonstrates the spirit of Tourism and Development than the work…

More...
Interrogating the poetry of Agostinho Neto

Interrogating the poetry of Agostinho Neto

News makers

Interrogating the poetry of Agostinho Neto As part of a series of activities looking at the next 50 years of…

More...
Dende Rengano

Dende Rengano

Visual Arts

Dende Rengano In recent years there have been several concerted efforts aimed at reviving interest in local languages. Several champions…

More...
Local writer scales new heights

Local writer scales new heights

News makers

Local writer scales new heights US publisher Scholastic Books is set to publish Graffiti on Christina Street, a poem written…

More...
Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Some of the children who attended Ignatius Mabasa's story-telling session

More...
2014 Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Winners

2014 Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Winners

News makers

2014 Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Winners Traditional dance group from KwaBhora in Mashonaland East is this year’s winner of the Chibuku…

More...
2014 Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Winners

2014 Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Winners

News makers

2014 Chibuku Neshamwari Dance Winners Traditional dance group from KwaBhora in Mashonaland East is this year’s winner of the Chibuku…

More...
Remembering Dambudzo Marechera, the playwright and performer

Remembering Dambudzo Marechera, the playwright and performer

Perspective

Remembering Dambudzo Marechera, the playwright and performer At this moment, the late Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera, does not need any…

More...
Finally a Fashion Market for young designers

Finally a Fashion Market for young designers

News makers

Finally a Fashion Market for young designers The challenges facing most young designers have more to do with exposure and…

More...
Dende Rengano

Dende Rengano

Visual Arts

Dende Rengano In recent years there have been several concerted efforts aimed at reviving interest in local languages. Several champions…

More...
Interrogating the poetry of Agostinho Neto

Interrogating the poetry of Agostinho Neto

News makers

Interrogating the poetry of Agostinho Neto As part of a series of activities looking at the next 50 years of…

More...
Caine Prize 2014 Anthology launch

Caine Prize 2014 Anthology launch

News makers

Caine Prize 2014 Anthology launch Harare’s Book Café was filled up to the  brim for the official launch of the…

More...
Fresh start for the National Gallery

Fresh start for the National Gallery

News makers

Fresh start for the National Gallery The first exhibition marking the official re-opening of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe will…

More...
Moonwalking at Gwanza Month of Photography

Moonwalking at Gwanza Month of Photography

Visual Arts

Moonwalking at Gwanza Month of Photography The 13th edition of the Gwanza, Zimbabwe’s pre-eminent annual photographic showcase, will be held…

More...
Beit Trust Award winner Leeds bound

Beit Trust Award winner Leeds bound

News makers

The pool of professional museum and gallery administrators keeps growing with the latest recipient of the Beit Trust Award leaving…

More...
Walking the talk on Indigenous Languages

Walking the talk on Indigenous Languages

News makers

Walking the talk on Indigenous Languages Ghanaian writer Akoss Ofori-Mensah in Harare for the just-ended 2014 Zimbabwe International Book Fair…

More...
Fresh start for the National Gallery

Fresh start for the National Gallery

News makers

Fresh start for the National Gallery The first exhibition marking the official re-opening of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe will…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2012 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Being literary in Zimbabwe

 

When I went to University and chose to study English Literature (to the dismay of my family and friends) I was a lost soul. I was side-stepping more lucrative prospects in law, business and science and yet English literature was the Eureka of my awakening. 


I had unconsciously begun a journey to discover the contradictions of my being. The Literature Department, curiously called the English Department, at Midlands State University where I pursued undergraduate degree studies teaches mostly English authors from Chaucer to Dickens. It bothered me that our educational system still connived with the past. Questions crawled in my mind. They still do. 


What is the reason in this day and age that we should be brought up on an impoverished reading diet in a so-called English Department? Why is this pattern so in our time? Why does it still persist? Has this all been an accident of content, time, place and history?


Despite the crucial role the twin fields of literature and culture play in making a child aware of, and rediscovering his environment, in Zimbabwe literature remains a looked down upon subject. The great difficulty posed by colonial history is that it brought us into a world with no real centre and no easily defined point of view. In fact, the cultural onion was peeled to a point where our tears still refuse to dry.


One of Africa’s eminent writers, Chinua Achebe, highlights the problem with the world knowledge system when he rightly points out that it is dominated by Europe and it excludes the “African testimony”. I am fully aware of the simplifications I am indulging in so that my basic points can stand out. 


However, I realize, for instance there is some sort of effort to try to study African writing and I also realise that there is effort by some European universities to “post –colonise” the African knowledge system and psyche, but despite these academically elegant labels and sometimes nonsensical pedagogical qualifications that can be made from the high chair of academia, there is some patronising attitude in all this. The knowledge system teaches little about Africa, or worse ignores it. 


It is this misnomer that led me to want to be a literary researcher to declare my independence and refuse to be a squawking literary parrot. I wanted to do some demolition work on the walls that keep me from knowing myself, and seek ways of understanding the possibilities inherent in my life as an African. 
My other desire is to interfere and interrupt the flows of thought, to engage with and fight the present as a response to my own being. When I was 20 years old, I became an editorial apprentice at a small but vibrant publishing house in Harare. This experience deepened my desire to want to be involved in the production of knowledge relevant to our needs. 


This involvement with the publishing industry, as well as the writing fraternity and academia in Zimbabwe, made me realise that we had a capacity to produce and package our own stories and ideas but sometimes that is not enough when we have to rely on Western donors for capital to fund our projects and who often come in with their own agendas.


When I was at university in Gweru I had one big ambition: to critically engage with the dominant patterns of intellectual production. What irked me most was that I had seen foreign and well funded scholars come to Zimbabwe and in six months or less, they left with a book manuscript of our culture, politics, economics, music etc. It was as if the locals were intellectually impotent or incurious, so they needed someone to tell them something about themselves. As young as I was, I often wondered why we required intervention from foreign academics for us as Zimbabweans to appreciate ourselves. I am lucky to be part of the solution. As a publisher you learn how to package thoughts and visions. As an academic you learn how to think and dream. As a writer you create your own reality.

 

- By Tinashe Mushakavanhu.

Please recommend this post - Thank You

PLG_CONTENT_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_SUBMITPLG_CONTENT_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_SUBMITPLG_CONTENT_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_SUBMITPLG_CONTENT_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_SUBMITPLG_CONTENT_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_SUBMITPLG_CONTENT_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_SUBMITPLG_CONTENT_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_SUBMITPLG_CONTENT_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_SUBMIT

  Search

Connect with us

      

  Inspirational saying of the week

Even if I don't reach all my goals, I've gone higher than I would have if I hadn't set any. - Danielle Fotopoulis