It is January now, and I think this is a good time to try to take stock of what the year ahead holds in store for one. Is this a good thing to do – well, I think it is in terms of career planning, and to also try to bolster one’s soul.
Is writing my career? Yes definitely it is. And that question I am always having to answer – what do you do full time? How do you earn a living?
This question has unpleasant connotations. That people believe that one cannot make a living through the arts, or writing as in my case.
The answer to that one is subjective, one can or cannot, but for the past four years ever since I left my job as an acting bursar in a government school, I have become more freer and happier, and what more do we pursue in life other than that? So there…
Of course there have been turbulent times, life has never been smooth for anybody and it will never be– if it’s not this it’s that, but here I am writing and enjoying every moment of it all, and more so when I see what I aspire to achieve blossoming by the day...
And so here is the check list. My play, Fes’bhuku, directed by Daniel Maposa, and produced by Savana Trust of Harare, which opened, in October 2011, is headed for more shows around the country in 2012. Fes’bhuku is a look-see on social media, Facebook, Twitter and so forth, and its impact on semi rural communities, and infused with loads of humor, and of course the usual acid political satire. Check.
The present core of my 2012 expectations is the publishing of my latest novel, Running With Mother, by Weaver Press sometime between March and February which I finished during my 2011 term as guest writer at the Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden, but had started started when I was Feuchtwanger Fellow at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles in 2010 I would like to believe that this is an international book as it has crossed seas and continents during its creation. This is my third book to be published so far after DANCING WITH LIFE and MANY RIVERS, and oh yes I am happy I have gone this far in terms of publishing. What more can a writer wish for? This gives me strength and a heart warming smile, some energy that sometimes is so hard to muster. I wont talk much about the latest book as it is still not yet out, but please watch out for it. And please don’t ask for free copies, but BUY.
I also have two plays which are still at manuscript stage, and which were written in 2011 but written for the 2012 theatre year. I am still looking for production houses for the plays and so far have not met with any luck, but I believe in the plays, and one day they will hit the light. I am loath to look for a director and actors/actresses and produce the plays myself as it involves so much work and also resources that I do not have – I guess I am very lazy, and so finding a production house seems the easier option for me – if only somebody they can believe in the plays just as I do.
Still on the plays, one is titled THE FORGOTTEN, and tells the story of a visually impaired woman conquering over serious adversity. This one is a two character cast. The other, titled PURPLE BLOSSOMS, is a one character cast, and also tells the story of adversity and hope from the point of view of a grave digger called Digger who is looking for his missing wife and daughter.
I also have another novel manuscript which I have been working over for the past three years, and the funny thing is that the one that has been taken up by Weaver Press was started much later than this one, about six months ago, but will see the printing press first. So you see, this proves that if you feel you are stuck on a novel project, put it aside and start on another one, you can still go back to it if you finish the new one. Do not let old work delay your advancement.
Currently, I am working on a Ndebele TV drama which is now at an advanced stage.
There is another project I am working on when I am not writing or reading – hey, this just reminds me, I am so behind in my reading it shames me!
This project, which I am working on with visual artists, is titled ‘VisualisingZim.’ When I was in Los Angeles in 2010, I did a Multi Media Story Telling course, which entailed learning to collect and create stories/news for the electronic media using the video, audioslide shows, and podcasts fomart. And so I have been creating short documentaries of visual artists (painters) in my city of Bulawayo and loading them on youtube and Facebook, with the hope that the work of these painters can be viewed internationally and draw attention to Zimbabwean art. So far I have done 15 documentaries in Bulawayo, and hope one day to as many as I can nationally. My other hope is that one day I will open up a website for these documentaries which will serve as an electronic gallery/register of the visual arts of Zimbabwe. This is an exciting project, and I love every minute I working on it.
Lastly, but not least, I have been promised a Fiction Fellowship in the USA sometime soon in 2012, but I will talk about this when everything has been finalised…