“I was born a writer…”
Zimbabwean Author and poet, Edward Dzonze aka NRS (NamelesRadioStation) , talks to fast rising writer and poet Tafadzwa Lemuel Chiwanza on the inaugral edition of Monday Morements which seeks to bring the writers closer to their readers
NRS :Welcome to the inaugral edition of Monday Morements Tafadzwa.
In brief, who is this Tafadzwa Chiwanza?
T.C :Thank you NRS and the entire team for having me here. I am humbled to be the hammer that is breaking ground to what I expect to be, the advent of a momentus initiative.
My answer to that question keeps changing. I guess what is constant about the changes is that Tafadzwa is constantly in search of himself. He probably never will and that search for now is his identity.
In that search, I have had the honour to call myself a writer, a maker of descriptions and a poet. I feel more at ease in this existence because I can get to be whatever my words allow me to become!
Outside that I am an Auditor at Deloitte.
NRS :When did you start writing and how have been the journey so far?
T.C : was born a writer. I became conscious of the poetic voice caressing my eardrums in 2014. The passing of my father brought my world crumbling down to rubble all around me, until even I became rubble. With pen and paper, I organised lines of poetry, and from the chaos came forth a sweet fragrance, which my art is too me.
My first poem was a poem that dealt with mortality, I titled it the “Woe/war in me.” Most of my poems in this period dealt mostly with that subject until I sought for answers in religion and eventually in philosophy.
NRS : Ok, having highlighted some of your literary works. What hope is there for aspiring writers out there in the wake of the digital evolution where the hard copy seems to be subsiding to the new normal of everything virtual
T.C :Adapt or perish! Change is upon us with a carrot and rod. Those who are willing to anticipate change will get the carrot and those who are not will get the rod. Adapt and survive!
NRS : Interesting but before we get into your featured poem .Any comments on the state of Zimbabwean literary sector post the new millenium
T.C :The literary sector is in intensive care unit with neither a doctor nor a nurse in attendance. Writers can hardly sell a hundred copies. I guess it’s always been like that in this country for writers. But, I also note a few positives, writers who are more vested in online marketing are doing well by tapping into foreign markets.
NRS: Your poem ; Aluta Time is satirical…full of imagery and rhetorical inference
You also employ personification to potray the image more vividly .What is the magic and whats the poem about.
T.C :True. Aluta time is a satire, mocking and poking the giant nose of the system. The poem is a snippet of a preelection period, when politicians finally return to the societies that voted for them after four to five years, seeking re-election.
The poem shows that the politicians had gotten used to this routine, until this particular day when the society finally asked, “what do you want from us Jack?”. This line was meant to show that the society felt like it had given all it had to the politicians and had nothing more to give.
Basically, the poem tries to make the reader imagine what could be achieved, if the blind finally took off their blinders.
NRS :Okay, and what else do you usually write about?
T.C : Besides being a political analyst, sometimes I satirise on matters of societal importance such as religion, equality and justice.
NRS :From your own perspective, do you see the current crop of writers rising to the fore and claim the space from the post-Independence writers ,most of whom rose to become international icons.The limitations and also the leeways.
T.C : The future is pregnant with endless possibilities. Indeed we have a great crop. The question will always be, will we be able to harvest? Marechera, Freedom Nyamubaya and Chenjerai Hove just to mention a few, rose to the fore because they wrote about what mattered, not only to them but to the readership of that time and even now. Timeless literature. If the current crop learns from the old paths, perhaps we may be able to find our new paths to greatness.
NRS :From your point of view; what role can the individual writer/poet play in growing the sector as a whole
T.C :Dambudzo Marechera said, there should always be healthy hostilities between a nation and its writers. I believe he was right. The writer is supposed to be the conscience of the sector and entire nation. If we manage to achieve this, then we would be ensuring the growth and survival of the sector.
NRS : Any parting remarks?
T.C ; If you want to be a writer, the best place to start is within you. Enter yourself and discover your literary existence.
NRS: How can the people reach out to you?
T.C : Thank you once again for the interview. Those who would like to get in touch with me can email me: email@example.com or follow me on Facebook: Tafadzwa Lemuel Chiwanza.