Tawanda Matanhire Arts Reporter
The University of Zimbabwe Creative Writing Press club hosted prominent poets Albert Nyati, Chirikure Chirikure, Tinashe Muchuri and Tendai Machiwa in a bid to mentor student writers from the institution. The top poets took turns to present their works and also share their experiences as well as giving insights into their work as torch-bearers in the industry to students drawn from different departments.
“You have to share the information of the books that you read with your neighbour because not so many people read books yet there is information everyone needs therein,” Chirikure said.
The “Kanyanisa” poet thanked students for showing interest in literature and vowed to continue interacting with the college so as to impart knowledge to upcoming writers.
“Senzenina” hitmaker Albert Nyathi, who has travelled to several countries with his poetry, also had his chance to advise and share his experience as a guru in the industry. “I have benefited so much materially and otherwise from being a poet and have managed to earn a meaningful living out of it,” Nyathi said.
“I even left formal employment for the arts and it is one of the best decisions I’ve made to date.”
President of the Creative Writing Press Club at the University of Zimbabwe Brian Madongondi said the club was formed to bridge a gap between the classroom and real life with meaningful netorks.
“The initiative gives exposure to current students as they interact with opinion leaders because these are the people setting trends for the society,” Madongondi said. “These are the people who can empower us to know what is important.” One student, Rufaro Chinyanga, also had an opportunity to showcase his talent in the same auditorium giving a piece that showed that there is a future in young poets.
Veteran Jamaican writer Obedia Michael, who was supposed to be a major highlight for the event, was reported to have been caught up in Pretoria,South Africa, and would not make it to the event.
While the industry has its challenges it is remarkable that young artistes are doing so much to make sure they get the exposure they need.