Thursday, March 21, 2013


We want to live
In a tomorrow
Where our past
Can be looked at with pride
And not the shame
Of rotting corpses behind bushes
Raped mothers
traumatized orphans
and brothers and sisters
skedaddleing all over the world in terror
Of an uncertain future

Child Of Two Cities

When I was a foetus
In the warm womb of my mother
I lived in Halimane village
Land of my ancestors
Entwined by a river
Striving to straighten its limbs
Between trees that rained smiles of leaves
When autumn dawned, and our hearts melted.

I walked the forests of Halimane ceaselessly
Drinking in the crisp air
Watched by frisky squirrels
Pausing between their ferreting
To sit back on their hind legs
As I did a few months
After I was born into Halimane village

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reviewing A Review

 Is a writer supposed to respond to a critical review of his story or book?  We think not, unless if the reviewer has mixed up facts, and one wants to point out corrections.
Other writers might have a different take on this, but my argument is that the critical review is an interpretation of one’s work as perceived by the reader, to whom you sent your message as the writer/encoder.  The critical reviewer is trained to make a fair attempt at decoding the message or messages encoded into our text, and explain them to his or her audience, and so when the piece has been published, no amount of complaining by the writer will reverse anything, you just have to sit back and be brave, and hope to walk out still sane from the whole experience.
The good reviewer, whether s/he slams your story, or praises it, has this value to the writer – s/he tries to explain your story for you, and if there are any inconsistencies, to also shine a light on them, so that they are visible for scrutiny. 
What does the writer gain from all this – if s/he is a good listener, the next time s/he tries to write another book, s/he will carefully consider what was suggested in the previously reviewed book, and maybe use, or not use the input, all in the drive to become a better writer telling better stories.
As much as we as writers hate reviewers sometimes, the fact is that they are a Godsend to all forms of artistic endeavor.
But where does the reviewer draw the line from making personal attacks on writers or publishers?
With that, it was with amazement when we read the so called review of Running With Mother from The Partisan newspaper in Zimbabwe, a site which, ironically, if you try to open it online, you get the message –‘ this site might be harmful to your computer.’
We showed the so called review to a few people, and here are just two comments from them about this ‘review:’
‘It is hate speech…’
We are happy that people are able to see what this ‘review’ really is, and that, despite this attack from The Partisan, our resolve is still unchanged, we are writing more stories about our beloved country and its beloved people, romances, thrillers, political satires, you name it – no subject is taboo for us.
We leave you with the review in concern, and like we mentioned, open the link at your own risk.
We hope The Partisan will be happy too at this free publicity we are giving their newspaper.

Good luck.

Weaver Press, Oh Weaver!
Written by Patriot Reporter, Evans Mushawevato

IT is common knowledge that works of art be they books, sculptures or painting are influenced by ideologies.
The book we review this week, Running with Mother claims to paint a picture and provide a vivid account of events surrounding the disturbances in Matabeleland in the 80s.
The book published by Weaver Press and written by one Christopher Mlalazi heaps the blame on the disturbances and unfortunate incidences that happened in Matabeleland on the Government of the day.
The book tells the story of how Government soldiers went on a killing spree butchering women and children and burning them while alive in their houses.
“What had seemed one thing was many, a mass of human bodies burnt together, charred limbs, bones shining white in the moonlight and defaced skulls. The stench of burnt flesh was intense,” says the protagonist Rudo.
The book that Weaver Press describes as a ‘short, but powerful novel’ is a narration of horrors committed by Government soldiers.
Last year, The Patriot published a consolidated 64 page police report of the atrocities that the dissidents perpetrated on the population in Matabeleland, Midlands and Mashonaland West between 1981 and 1987. 
Information about events of the time show that soldiers went in to assist the police to contain the atrocities.
But in Running with Mother villagers were more afraid of Government security forces and atrocities were committed by soldiers on a ‘mission’ to ‘wipe out the Ndebeles’.  
Evidently the book is another offering with a heavy Rhodesian influence.
Rhodesians having realised that they cannot overtly fight and ‘regain’ what they feel they ‘lost’, have resorted to mechanisms that create animosity between the people of Zimbabwe.
And the country’s army has not been spared as it is said its leadership is made up of ZANU PF apologists.
“Running with Mother provides us with a gripping story of how Rudo, her mother, her aunt and her little cousin survived the onslaught,” writes Weaver Press. 
And predictably, the book will be shortlisted for some skewed award from the West.
The book is not based on fact and twists events to suit the regime change agenda.
It is an attempt to ‘Indict’ the Government of the period led by ZANU PF.
It is common knowledge that there are elements in the country that have been tasked with the duty of gathering information that will be used to charge the likes of Robert Mugabe with ‘crimes against humanity’, whatever that means.
Thus in the book we are told of Government soldiers wantonly killing villagers.
‘Come my child, we have to hide. The devil has come to our village’. 
“The soldiers came to the clinic and burned it down too.”
“It’s hard to believe the people today were really government soldiers. Government soldiers are trained and disciplined and they would not go around burning up people and children in their homes,” the reader is bombarded. 
It is highly unlikely that Mlalazi said these words!
As we celebrate silver jubilee of the signing of the Unity Accord one is best reminded that the book is a typical example of the employment of the divide-and-rule strategy.
Here is a book produced to fan the tensions between the Shonas and Ndebeles.
“The message was chilling. It was speaking in Shona,” states the writer.
Mlalazi is currently hopping from one Western capital, of our former colonisers, to the next. 
They are feting him because he is spewing out the kind of story that they used to colonise us: to ‘stop the Africans from exterminating each other’. 
The writer may proffer all sorts of argument for his work, but as he is hosted in Europe he must never forget that there is more that unites us as Zimbabweans, as Shonas and Ndebeles than divides us.
Seeds sown to cause disharmony among Africans by whites using surrogate blacks might germinate, but will not grow. 
Weaver Press does not know this. 
That is why Zimbabwe has survived the unprecedented onslaught    

Now to the opinions on the theme

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My dearest beloved Blog.

My dearest blog,, I write this letter to you with a great deal of embarrassment.  I know I have really been a bad bad boy, for look at you you, just lying there alone on your cyber bed, heavily neglected, and your face a mask of unhappiness.
How could I do this, I ask myself. How could I neglect especially you, you who conferred status on my shoulders when I was still nothing. Is that a good way to pay back, I find myself asking myself sometimes in moments of reflection.
For I clearly remember too that you were very difficult to propose to, and needed my deepest resources, unlike my new blue lover – no, my new blue friend, that one called Facebook.
I don’t know if I should tell you this, about my bedroom secrets with my blue lover, because you might think that I am trying to make excuses so that you can accept me again, but you did not have not have billions of people sniffing at your sex and speaking your name at every corner, or writing across your bums or bosom – no, you were more discreet than that, for it seems the vulgar, the ones I know at the bottle store, don’t want to come to you, which is a reflection of the goodness of your soul, so I am beginning to realise.
I was vain, I was a fool, I thought that the best girlfriend was the one who is in fashion, the one who wears blue very high heeled shoes, very tight (blue) stretch jeans, and the most elaborate hairstyle (blue) over a face that looks like it came by aeroplane.
Well, ignoring my inner good sense, I proposed to the blue girl, and she accepted my proposal, for after all, I didn’t mind about her colour, it was interesting, and I thought a touch of cross colour relationship would bring a new meaning to my life.
One thing that is funny is that while her name is Facebook, and I easily called her F, and loved it, now that letter F seems to have taken another connotation – and if you still love me my blog, I hope you wont laugh at me and say what really did you think you were trying to do. But do you think I have been a fool?
But we have a saying, what goes round comes round again. Here I am again knocking on your door. Please get up from your bed, take a bath, dress up, and let’s go and have some fun, for I am back, and I promise you this time I won’t go off on some half baked chase of blue girls trying to write all types of vulgarity on their bums.
Do you think I am telling the truth? Well, I hope I am too, but we will see with my activity on you’re my darling blog just to prove that this time I not only want to make love with you, but I want children – the posts on you that will come from my ejaculations.
Pass my tender greetings to all blog families and especially my blog followers.

Always Yours (Even if I sneak back again to the blue lover with the name that starts with the big F)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Side Roads Of Story Creation

If you have a keen sense of the value of evolution, never be rigid with the first draft of any concept.  Ask my good friend the dinosaur about that.
The original concept is the stem, or the main road, but some other branches can take off from the stem, and these in the long run bear the precious fruit or answers or story that we are seeking for.
If you follow the main road forever you will never reach your destination, you will only but get near it, but not there. 
In order for you to get to the destination, you have to turn into a little side road, but not a detour as this will make the journey even more taxing.
The main stem of a tree aims at nothing but the open sky, the main road to the heart of a city, but the branch from the stem aims to bear flowers or fruit, and the side roads bring us to our homes.
Some stems can bear fruit, but these are not in the majority.
This is easily applicable to the arts, or writing.  We start a story with a concept that feels and sounds so good that by merely thinking over it we feel this is the main road that you will follow until you reach the conclusion.
Well, some do that and produce good stories - maybe, as I have never met anybody who has done so yet. 
Some follow this initiating concept until they reach a blank wall, and they put their story to rest, hoping that a blessing will fall on their shoulders from the heavens one day and they be able to continue with that same spine of the story till they have a book at the end.
Sometimes that can work, and sometimes that can result in a very frustrated writer. 
But why wait?  Why not re-read the story from the beginning with a pen poised to break away from the main story should any hint of opportunity present itself in the storyline even if you have just revised one paragraph of the first chapter?
Even rivers burst their banks to form new streams that will one day become new rivers.
We know it is traumatic to dump a baby.  Our stories are our babies.  But these are fictional ink and paper babies.  The laws of any state in the world allow you to dump them at any moment should you feel like it.  No one is going to arrest you for it and send you to the hangman.
And do you know something?  Should you have an aversion of leaving your story for the promising branch, there is an easy way out. Copy and paste the story on to a new page leaving the original still intact. Title the new story revision 2, and then have a go on it with scissors and cut and branch out on it where you were afraid to do so on the original draft, for after all, the original draft is still safe and sound on another page.
As you are doing this, keep telling yourself you are experimenting on this copy, yes it is a copy of the original, just as that photocopy of your birth certificate - you can delete, yes even change titles as you like.
You can even send the entire new document to trash if you want to should you not be satisfied with it, for your original draft is still intact isn’t it so?
But tell you what, treat the re-write with caution, because it has the power to bloom that can never be explained to anyone…