Category Archives: Zimbabwe

Nadine Aisha

Nadine Aisha is the author of Still, a debut poetry pamphlet exploring women’s stories and women’s survival.

She is active in the movement to end gender-based violence, and works creatively with young people to educate and empower. She has blogged for a number of Scottish organisations about feminism and violence against women, and has worked with young people to create theatre exploring sexual violence. She has been published by the Dangerous Women Project, performed solo shows at both the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the social justice Just Festival, and is currently the writer in residence for YWCA Scotland’s #FeministFest 2016.

Born in the UK, Nadine Aisha is of mixed heritage and had a Zimbabwean-meets-Indian-meets-Yorkshire upbringing. Her favourite quote is from Angela Davis: ‘walls turned sideways are bridges’.

John Eppel

John Eppel, born in 1947, is an English teacher in Bulawayo. He published his first poems in the 1960s, in Two Tone, and his first collection, Spoils of War, in 1989. John won the Ingrid Jonker Prize for Poetry for Spoils of War, and the M-Net prize for his first novel, D G G Berry’s The Great North Road. His second novel, Hatchings, was chosen for the series in the Times Literary Supplement of the most significant books to have come out of Africa. His other novels are The Giraffe Man, The Curse of the Ripe Tomato, The Holy Innocents, Absent: The English Teacher, Traffickings and The Boy Who Loved Camping.

John’s other poetry collections are Sonata for Matabeleland, Selected Poems: 1965-1995 and Songs My Country Taught Me. Two collections of his poetry and short stories have been published: The Caruso of Colleen Bawn and White Man Crawling.
Poems and short stories of Eppel’s have appeared online and in many anthologies and journals, and his recent collaborations with other writers include Together, with Julius Chingono, Hewn from the Rock, with Philani A Nyoni, and Textures, with Togara Muzanenhamo.

Charity Hutete

Zimbabwe’s Charity Hutete is a dynamic page and performance poet whose written work has been described as ‘a layered feast’. Her innovative use of words infused with the alluring harmonic refrains that often accompany her acts always result in tasteful, culturally rich and thought provoking entertainment. Charity’s poetry is characterized by rich allegories which interrogate vast social realties earning her the nick-name ‘aCuriousPoet’. She has exhibited her work at several international festivals in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Norway.

“I would describe myself as a lover of life and words. My art speaks my truth expressed in witty words and alluring rhythms. Always worth a listen” Charity Hutete, aCuriousPoet, 2014

Fadzai Nova Dube

Fadzai Nova Dube is a writer and philosopher. She was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and is of Shona origin. She relocated to East London, South Africa at the age of 5. In 2007, Fadzai moved to Cape Town to complete a B.A in film and Media at the University of Cape Town.

She currently lives in Pretoria, South Africa with her two German Shepherds and is currently working on her first fiction novel.

Shingi Mavima

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Shingi Mavima currently writes out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work revolves around the inescapability of time, Africa in her flawed glory, and love.
Mavima is also the lead poet and editor of Homeward Bound, an anthology by five young Zimbabwean poets (now available on Amazon.)  Away from poetry, Mavima has a Masters of International Affairs Degree from Penn State University, and is currently getting his Phd in African American and African Studies at Michigan State University.

Tapiwa Mugabe

Tapiwa Mugabe is a writer who was born in Zimbabwe and raised in England, UK. As a writer and poet he has recently published his first collection of poetry titled Zimbabwe. Tapiwa’s poetry introduces a fresh and bold voice into the rich current that is emerging from young African millennial artists.

Kirsty Mclean

Kirsty Mclean was born and raised on a farm in Bulawayo Zimbabwe in 1978. She lived in New Zealand for 11 years, but now lives in the UK with her five year old daughter.

Andrew Manyika

Andrew Manyika, is a Writer, Performance Poet, Comedian and MC based in Johannesburg. He has performed at Poetry Festivals and Fashion shows, hosted Award Shows and weddings, and taken to prominent comedy & poetry venues in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Sometimes referred to as “the Gentleman of Poetry” due to his penchant for wearing 3-piece suits, Andrew began to make his mark on the local poetry scene when he won the Gauteng Drama For Life Slam in 2011; and he placed second in the DFL National Grand Slam. Preceding this was a victory in the University of Johannesburg International Students poetry competition, and being published in a departmental university diary. In November of 2011 he took 3rd place at the WordnSound Poetry Festival Open Mic Finale and has been extensively involved in WordnSound from that time, now consulting as their Marketing Officer.

Highlights of his poetry career include having performed at the BAT Centre (Durban 2012); the State Theatre Pretoria Night of The Poets; Johannesburg International Motor Show 2011 (for team Mazda); TEDx Johannesburg 2013; The opening of the Living Arts Emporium Gallery.

In 2012 his poem “Make Up (Your Mind)”( ) was nominated for the inaugural Word N Sound “Perfect Poem” award, and has gone on to receive generous airplay on Radio2000, featured on SAfm and flighted on EDTV and LoveWorld Sat (DStv). Other media appearances include: E-tv Sunrise;; Soweto Tv, Mzansi Insider, Power FM, VOW fm and UjFM.

In 2012 Andrew emerged from a national audition process as one of ten poets to be selected for the Macufe Festival. He has subsequently been host or performer at the Word N Sound Festival (2011-13), Melville Poetry Festival (2012 & 2013); The Gospel Revolution Conference; The 2013 Izimbongi Poetry Festival and co-produced the inaugural “Slam For Your Life”. In May 2014, Andrew made his Debut appearance at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (on both their comedy and poetry stages).

It is this peculiar mix of comedy and poetry that has enabled Andrew to bring a fresh perspective to MCing. He is the current host of the Word N Sound Awards (where he is a 2-time nominee) and has hosted Night of the Poets 2014, and co-hosted the Glory-to-Glory Revival Centre Year-End of Year function. In 2013, he MC’d the Divine Adoration Concert; and Given Illustratives 1-man show.
He has taken to the stage performing stand-up comedy at Wish, the Comedy Underground; Kitchener’s; The Box; Parkers, and the “Bang Bang Comedy Club” (Zim).

Alongside Napo Masheane and rapper ProVerb, Andrew is profiled in the 5th Anniversary edition of the online poetry magazine:

Being a born-again Christian, Andrew strives to represent Christ well through his art.
He is the holder of BCom Marketing Management & BCom (Hons)Strategic Management degrees and is an emerging entrepreneur.

Catch him on: @drewmannshow Andrew Manyika

Peggie “Umind” Shangwa

Peggie Shangwa known as Umind is a spoken word artist who thrives on word passion and speaks her mind in connection with her spirit, laying down heart issues on any platform. She is a performance poet as well as a slam poet. She started performing poetry in October 2012 at the House of Hunger Poetry Slam and has graced platforms like FLAME PAMBERI’s Sistaz Open Mic, International Poetry Celebrations, national television, national radio stations to name just but a few. Peggie has also performed at the National youth Slam at Shoko Festival 2012 and Jacaranda Young Women’s Festival in 2013. She opened for Grammy nominee, Da TRUTH at his Love, Hope and War Tour Africa and featured in a music album with Zimbabwean Artist Ney. Some of her poetry has been published in Nigeria and in local Magazine, The Voice.



Blackheat is a young, multi-talented and passionate poetess, singer and percussionist from Zimbabwe. She exploded onto the poetry scene in 2006 after being discovered by renowned poet, Chirikure Chirikure who introduced her to the Book Cafe in Harare.

Her talents are far-reaching and amazing to say the least. In the short space spanning her performance career, she has performed at the echelons of performance poetry in Zimbabwe. She has also spread her wings and delved into radio broadcasting, acting, publishing, advocacy and cultural activism.

Her poetry is pregnant with abstract and surreal imagery, chronicling the social goings-on of contemporary Africa flawlessly on the traditional African beats of Zimbabwe and beyond. Speaking passionately on consciousness, love, revolution, individuality, freedom, culture and the delicate, critical balance of the mind and soul, her poetry appeals to people of color and light.

Not surprisingly, she is inspired by the Malinke jelis of West Africa, the nomadic Wolof and the Tuareg people of Senegal and Niger, who have kept their heritage intact through the spoken word and music. This inspiration led her to form the band, Blackheat in 2011. She felt the need to preserve the traditions of her Shona people through the fusion of folk music, poetry, dance and thought-provoking lyrical content.

With Samson Gohwa (percussion, vocals), Prince Zhuwao (mbira, balafon, vocals) and Itai Karuza (djembe, percussion), and herself on hwamanda-a traditional Zimbabwean horn, she started a journey that has given birth to a different understanding of spoken word, African music and dance.


Black pearl was born and raised in Zimbabwe. The 25 year old poet emerged on the performance scene in June 2010. Her poetry is impeccable and captivating to all poetry lovers. Her work depicts life as she experiences it, pointing out beauty, and humor. Blackpearl has taken part in events that include Harare International Festival of the Arts, 16 Days of Activism against Gender based violence, Acoustic Nights (hosted by Zimbabwe German Society and Wildfire Events), Intwasa Festival, Sistaz Open Mic, Bocapa amongst others.

Batsirai E Chigama

In 2006 when Batsirai started seriously performing her poetry she says there were only three women doing poetry readings at the time including herself. She was felt challenged to add her voice in the poetry circles therefore ventured into the slam community at the Book Cafe in Harare. She is passionate about lending her voice to the women whose voices have been silenced the world over.

Batsirai has performed at several festivals in the region including Harare International Festival of the Arts(HIFA), Intwasa Arts Festival, Thubalethu, Nguva Yedu Youth Festival, Arts Alive(SA), Sadc Poetry Festival(Botswana), Poetry Africa Tour, Tambo Tambulani Art Camp & Festival, Pemba, Mozambique, Shoko Spoken Word & Hip-Hop Festival and recently performed at the Hivos Poetry Cafe, Blantyre Arts Festival, Malawi.

In August 2010, Batsirai was featured in four anthologies published by Mensa Press in the USA: Whispers in the Whirlwind, War against War, Defiled Sacredness & Visions on Motherland. She is also featured in State of the Nation published by Conversation Paper-press in England. Several of her short stories have been published online and an extract from one of her short stories was published in “Writings from Africa” a publication facilitated by the British Council through the Crossing Borders Writers’ Project.

Batsirai also writes short stories and contributes to Zimbojam, the most popular arts website in Zimbabwe.

Barbra Breeze Anderson

Barbra Breeze Anderson is a performance poet, writer and designer. She started the art of performing in the year 2007 at the ‘Power In The Voice Competition’, a British Council sponsored event where she performed a short prose piece.

Barbra breeze the performance poet was born a year and seven months ago at the Book Cafe and since then has been exposed to frequent poetry slams such as the House of Hunger poetry slam at the Book Café. She has performed at Open Mic events and other poetry events at the Book Café/ Mannenberg such as Sistaz Open Mic and Mashoko events.

Barbra also took her poetry outside of the two venues to places such as Alliance France’s Chimoto poetry night and an Acoustic Night at the Symphony. She has performed at the Buddyz Annual Festival of the Arts (BAFA) 2009 at Harare Gardens and the Sixteen Days of Activism concert 2010. Barbra performed in Bulawayo in 2010, she has appeared on television and radio –, Spot Fm’s various spoken word outlets and has featured in Newspaper articles from Newsday, the Daily News, Herald, the online regional news site Shout Africa and the online outlet Zimbo Jam. The articles have been profiles of her and her current projects.

Early this year she performed at a community based event ‘Step Up’ 2011 at the Aquatic Sports club in Chitungwiza and at the monthly ongoing Mashoko event at the Mannenberg. She performed at the U.S Embassy Black History Event 2011 at the Ambassadors House in early February. Barbra is now working on various projects, one that she has put into effect is a monthly Poetry night event called ‘Poetry And’ launched in April 2011 where poetry is fused with different genres of art. She is working with some of the best of Zimbabwe’s spoken word artists and she intends to make it a success.

Barbra has participated at the first edition of Shoko Spoken Word and Hip Hop Festival 2011 and she has performed her poetry at a Pamberi trust project-a Concert for Non Violence 2011, in Highfield, in September this year and at the Acoustic Night, November 2011 edition.

For the year 2012, she opened it as part of the poets of the spoken word section at Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa), 1-6 May edition, where she hosted and performed at the Hivos Poetry Café.

Mercy Dhliwayo

Mercy Dhliwayo (better known by her stage name, Xtreme Sanity) is a slam poet, emcee and an emerging writer and photographer. Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Xtreme started off as a rapper in 1997 and later branched off into poetry and spoken word in 2005 as a first year student at the University of Limpopo.

Xtreme has performed on various platforms which include, but are not limited to, the Intwasa Festival, the University of Limpopo Heritage Festivals, The Black Market Ace’s Annual Charity events; the Canimambo Free Form Musical Festival as well as various festivals hosted by Shindig Awe and the Fire on the Mountain Festival. She has also taken part in the SABC 2’s Lentswe Poetry Project Competition in which, through her poem, Survival Techniques, she won under the HIV/AIDS Category in Limpopo Province (2007) and went on to represent the Limpopo Province under the same category at the national level of the Competition (2008).

She has further featured in the Black Markets PLK Hip Hop Mixtape (2006); Face the Music Hip hop Timeless Mixtape (2007), the Essential Words (2011), the Shindig Awe: Have we put out the fire Compilation (2012) and the African Fem MC’s Mixtape (2012).

Apart from recordings, her poetry has been published in the the Have We Put out The fire Journal, and in the Sunday News newspaper as well as online. Apart from being a poet and an emcee, Xtreme also writes short stories.

Mbizo Chirasha

Mbizo Chirasha is an acclaimed wordsmith, performances poet, widely published poet and writer. He is the Founder and Creative Director of several creative initiatives and projects, including Young writers Caravan Project, This is Africa Poetry Night 2006 – 2008, Zimbabwe Amateur Poetry conference 2007 – 2010, African Drums Poetry Festival 2007, GirlChildCreativity Project 2011- Current, GirlchildTalent Festival 2012.

The widely traveled poet and creative projects consultant is widely published in more than 60 journals, anthologies, websites, reviews, newspapers, blogs and poetry collections around the world. Some of the countries he traveled include Ghana, Sweden, Egypt, Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Malawi.

The poet have done a number of official NGO creative interventions and consultancy programmes with Social Family Health (Namibia 2009 – 2010) on a HIV/Aids Documentary Project, Catholic Relief Services Zimbabwe 2006 on a HIV/Aids Nutrition Project, Swedish Cooperative Centre 2006 on Arts against Drought (Zimbabwe).

His writings are published in Canada, Germany, Norway, South Africa, Turkey, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, America, India, Wales, London, Nigeria and other countries. He co-authored Whispering woes of Ganges and Zambezi with Sweta Vikram from New York in 2010. His poetry collection Good Morning President was published by Diaspora publishers UK in 2011.

In 2001- 2003 Mbizo was the Membership Drive officer for Budding writers Association of Zimbabwe. In 2000 was Outreach Agent for Zimbabwe Book Development Council, Delegate of Zimbabwe international Book fair to Goteborg international book fair /Sweden in 2003, Delegate of Zebra publishing House, Namibia to Unesco Photo Novel Writing Project in Tanzania 2009, Poet in Residence of International Conference of African Culture Development in Ghana 2009,Producer/Coordinator of I am the Artist project, an Artist in Residence program by Zimbabwe Germany Society /Goethe Zentrum.

He holds Writing Skills and Editorial Expertise certificates courtesy of BWAZ/SAIH-Norway. Mbizo works as a poet/writer in residency, Readership and literacy culture development Advocate, Media Relations Strategist, Live Literature Producer and Creative Projects Consultant.

Michael Mabwe

From the mining town of Kadoma in Zimbabwe, Michael Mabwe is a human rights activist who uses the arts especially poetry as a weapon of mass instruction. He has been instrumental in steering the growth of slam poetry in Zimbabwe, taking charge of the House of Hunger Poetry slam. He is also the founder and coordinator of the Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights (ZPHR) which advocates for the recognition, respect and restoration for human rights in Zimbabwe. Michael’s poetry touches on issues such as HIV and AIDS, politics, black consciousness and tolerance.

Memory Chirere

Memory Chirere has been writing poetry since his boyhood in the Zimbabwean countryside.  His poems were first published in Tipeiwo Dariro (1994). He has also published three short story books in English and Shona. His short-short stories estimate the delicate midway between prose and poetry. He has read his poems at festivals and conferences in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Malawi and Germany. He lives in Harare where he teaches Creative Writing at the University of Zimbabwe.


Born Tendekai Tati, Madzitatiguru is a Zimbabwean bi-lingual spoken word poet who recites poetry in the English and Shona. His Shona Poetry is recited in a style which he terms Urban-Ancient Poetry that consists of a mixture Conventional Shona and Modern Urban Street Language and focuses on local experiences. His English Poetry focuses on issues that affect the globe as a whole.

He debuted in 2011 at the House of Hunger poetry slam at the Book cafe in Harare where he was crowned the slam champion, he also performed at  the Afro Slam and  Poetry Slam that was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2011.

In 2012, Madzitatiguru performed during the Shoko festival . A month later, in the same year, he performed during Poetry Africa in Harare. He has also been featured at the Spoken word and Hip Hop event Mashoko and has twice appeared on local radio, Star Fm’s Wednesday Poetry sessions.

The poems Skeletons, Speaker and Nhau dzePadare are found on collection of Performance poems titled NhauDzePadare that are part of his performance arsenal.

Linda Gabriel

Linda Gabriel, born in 1985, is one of the crop of exciting female performance poets to emerge out of Zimbabwe. Bilingual, her linguistic versatility is forged into brilliant poems written in either English or Shona, depending on which language effectively expresses what issue. She started performing poetry in high school and has since participated in major literary events in Zimbabwe, the rest of southern Africa and Europe.

Solo Performances

* Cup O Thought, Durban- South Africa, September 2012
* Sanna Africa Festival, Johannesburg ñSouth Africa, May 2012
* Cheukwa fashion show, Harare ñ Zim, May 2012
* Bluntfyre Spoken Word Session, Blantyre – Malawi, Feb 2012
* Blantyre Arts Festival, Blantyre- Malawi, Oct 2011
* Kinshasa Platform of Performing Arts, Kinshasa- DRC, July 2011
* Lilongwe International Arts Festival, Lilongwe ñ Malawi, May 2011
* Super Woman Fest, Lilongwe-Malawi, March 2011
* My World Images Festival, Denmark, September 2010
* BAS ROOTS live performance project, Johannesburg -South Africa, 2010
* Sistaz Open Mic Joburg, Johannesburg – South Africa, 2010
* Dennis Brutus Memorial concert, Johannesburg -South Africa, 2010
* House of Hunger Poetry Slam Joburg, Johannesburg – South Africa, 2009-current
* Arts Alive, Johannesburg -South Africa, 2007, 2009, 2011
* Jozi Spoken Word Festival, Johannesburg – South Africa, 2008, 2009
* Harare International Festival of Arts, Harare – Zimbabwe, 2007,2009,2011,2012
* House of Hunger Jozi , Johannesburg ñ South Africa, 2009 ñ current
* Thuba Lethu/Our Time Youth festival, Harare -Zimbabwe, 2009
* Make Some Noise gigs, Johannesburg – South Africa, 2008
* Freedom for media in Zimbabwe Concert, Graham’s Town -South Africa, 2007
* British Council’s Power in the Voice, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Lusaka, Zambia, 2007
* House of Hunger Poetry Slam Zimbabwe, 2005 ñ Current

Collaborated With

* Myesha Jenkins, Natalia Molebatsi, Lebo Mashile, Khanyi Magubane, Khosi Xaba and Phillippa Yaa De Villers in a theatrical poetry show – Body of Words, South Africa, 2010
* Edmond Nhamoinesu – Zimbabwean Visual Artist, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2010
* Tammy Gore – Zimbabwean Pianist, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2010
* Stanley Masona – Zimbabwean Guitarist, Harare, Zimbabwe, 2009
* Christopher Mlalazi, Zimbabwean Writer and Poet, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 2007
* Papa Zai – Zambian Reggea Artist, Lusaka, Zambia, 2007
* Ticha Muzavazi, Zimbabwea poet and Mbira player, Harare, Zimbabwe, 2007
* Takunda Mafika, Zimbabwean Vocalist and Mbira Player, Harare, Zimbabwe 2007
* Akiko Nakamura, Japanese Pianist and Mbira Player, Harare, Zimbabwe, 2007
* Morgen Gomwe – Zimbabwean Pianist, Harare , 2007 – 2012
* Upmost – Zimbabwean Poet, Harare, 2007
* Finuala Dowling – South African Poet, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2007
* Samantha R Thornhill – US based poet, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2007
* Tawanda Chamisa – Zimbabwean Hip Hop artist, Harare, 2007
* Stanley O Kenani – Malawian poet at HIFA, Harare, 2007

Shared Stage With

* Dudu Manhenga – Zimbabwean Afro Jazz Diva
* Chiwoniso Maraire – Zimbabwean Chimurenga Soul Diva
* Cde Fatso – Zimbabwean Poet
* Outspoken – Zimbabwean Poet/Hip hop artist
* Ethel Kabwato – Zimbabwean Poet/Writter
* Batsirai Chigama – Zimbabwean Poet/Writter
* Victor Mavedzenge – Zimbabwean Poet/Writter/Comedian/fine artist
* Blessing Musariri – Zimbabwean Poet/Writter
* Chirikure Chirikure – Zimbabwean Poet/Writter
* Albert Nyathi – Zimbabwean Poet/Musician
* Mzwake Mbuli – South African Poet
* Gcina Mhlope – South African Story teller
* Napo Masheane – South African Poet
* Ringo Madlingozi – South African Musician
* Phillippa Yaa De Villers – South African
* Poet/Writter
* Flo – South African Poet
* Lebo Mashile – South African Poet
* Natalia Molebatsi – South African Poet/Writer
* Khanyi Magubane – South African Poet
* Khosi Xaba – South African Poet
* Khethi – South African Poet/Musician
* Finuala Dowling – South African Poet
* Damon Berry – South African Poet
* The Lazarusman – South African Poet
* Mutabaruka – Jamaican Poet
* Samantha Thornhill – Trinidad/US Poet
* Zeena Edwards – UK Poet
* Antonio Lyons- US Poet/Musician/Dancer
* Myesha Jenkins – US Poet
* Charlie Dark – UK Poet
* Papa Zai – Zambian Poet/Musician
* Stanley O Kenani – Malawian Poet/Writter

Elizabeth “Zaza” Muchemwa

Elizabeth is a dynamic and energetic performance poet, short story writer and theatre director. From 2006 to present day Elizabeth has performed her poetry on various stages and at various events in and out of Harare, Zimbabwe. Elizabeth’s short story Positive Death was published in The Zimbabwe Women Writers’ Magazine in 2006.

She also wrote an article entitled Telling our Stories and Perspectives in early 2010 which was on Pepeta blog and was later on published in a MISA-Zimbabwe Magazine called Women Speak. Her short story Radio Culture Is Dead was short listed in the Intwasa Short story competition for the year 2011.

In march 2008 Elizabeth got an opportunity to be part of the cast for a HIFA-DIRECT production Silent Words and from then on the theatre bug had caught, seeing Elizabeth assisting on a production in 2009 and directing two productions in 2010 namely Just Papers and Wedding Day. In 2011 she also took part in the HIFA-DIRECT program as an assistant director for Colours of Dreams. She went on to co-direct a play Miss Julie in June 2012 and also assist in the direction of The Father as part of the August Strindberg project which is carried out by Global Arts Trust and Complete Arts Project.

Elizabeth believes that it is important to know one self, to accept one’s history, the past and the present in this quest for shaping the future.


Dikson has been performing spoken word since 2006 when his virgin outing saw him qualify as the youngest competitor in the semi-finals of the UK-wide BBC Radio 4 poetry slam. Now based in Zimbabwe the artist has organised festival events, worked with youth on varied projects and performed across Europe and Southern Africa. His poetry has been translated into German and Danish. Dikson has performed on numerous occasions in Zimbabwe and South Africa including a feature performance at the renowned Poetry Africa Festival. He has also performed in Germany, Norway and Denmark as part of two separate tours. He has collaborated with artists from the US, England, Norway and Botswana and has been a part of jazz-fusion acts, electronic and poetic fusions. He has conducted workshops for disadvantaged youth in Zimbabwe and in schools in South Africa, Norway and Denmark.

He is the workshops, conferences and exhibitions manager for Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival, Shoko. The focus of the festival is on empowering urban youth and culture by providing a platform for urban art forms and artists. Hip-hop and spoken word is at the nucleus of this festival where local artists collaborate with international artists from around the world. In the past they have had Natty (UK) perform and conduct workshops, Akala (UK) collaborate with local artists and share the similarities between hip-hop and Shakespeare in the workshop programme, Tumi and the Volume (SA) perform and conduct song-writing workshops, amongst many others from Germany, the US, Botswana and Kenya. This involves a close working relationship with international artists and ensuring that their needs are met: the practicalities of transport, accommodation, fees, budgeting and itinerary as well as providing them with ample information, being flexible when it comes to their creative wishes and reliable throughout the tour.

Zimbabwe’s most well known festival, HIFA has also recruited the artist and organiser for the last few years as both the Youth Zone consultant and the Workshops and Masterclasses consultant. As the latter he had to create and co-ordinate a programme that included 22 public workshops for adults and youth as well as a master class programme that involved over 30 international artists from Africa, Europe, the US and Australia that spanned the week of the festival. He was responsible for liaising with the artists and finalising the content of each workshop.

Dikson placed a heavy emphasis on cultural exchange and created an innovative selection of workshops that were collaboratively run by local and international artists. In this way they were able to fuse different styles and sounds.

Dikson is also the editor and creative director of the Zimbabwean youth platform, Kalabash. The website was launched in mid-May of 2013 and has become the country’s leading youth opinion site. His role has been to direct young writers from around the country to come up with content on arts, culture, society and politics. Either in the office or through online correspondence he has mentored and urged them to break the boundaries of archaic writing styles and approaches. Through workshops he has encouraged young contributors to explore different media such as film, audio and photography to capture their Zimbabwe. The site has also been selected as one of the eighteen winners of the World Summit Youth Awards out of over 400 applicants.

Aside from this Dikson is also a staff writer for the US-based travel and culture site, Matador. He has held 2 exhibitions of his photographic work and is a general lover of all things art.

Cynthia “Flowchyld” Marangwanda

Cynthia Marangwanda is a Zimbabwean spoken-word poet who identifies herself as a feminist and a creative activist. Her art is rooted in Harare’s vibrant urban culture scene and fueled by the protest sounds of hip-hop and reggae. Her poetry is mainly concerned with themes of identity, emancipation, the deconstruction of oppressive structures, socio-political commentary, individual power, as well as in transformation, all seen through the lens of a twenty-something African feminist.

Cynthia started performing spoken-word in 2008 at Sistaz Open Mic, a show held monthly at the Book Café. She has performed at many other events at the Book Café including the House of Hunger Poetry Slam, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and the Afro-Slam Poetry Express. Other places she has performed her poetry include the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), the International Images Film Festival (IIFF), International Women’s Day events as well as appearances in Namibia and Lesotho. Cynthia also co-founded Chimoto! – a platform for fellow emerging performance-artists and urban creative-outreach project in 2010 and she has also worked with Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights.

Chirikure Chirikure

Chirikure Chirikure was born in Gutu, Zimbabwe, in 1962. He is a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe and an Honorary Fellow of Iowa University, USA. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany, as a fellow under the 2011/12 DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm (Artists in Berlin Programme). He also works as a performance poet and cultural consultant.

He worked with one of Zimbabwe’s leading publishing houses as an editor/publisher for 17 years, until 2002. After working as a consultant for a while, he went on to work for an international development agency as a programme officer for culture, for Southern Africa, based in Harare, until April 2011.
Chirikure has published the following volumes of his poetry: Rukuvhute (1989, College Press, Harare); Chamupupuri (1994, College Press, Harare); Hakurarwi – We Shall not Sleep (1998, Baobab Books, Harare) and Aussicht Auf Eigene Schatten (Shona and English poems with German translations) (2011, Afrika Wunderhorn, Heidelberg, Germany).

He has also contributed some pieces in a number of poetry anthologies, including Zviri Muchinokoro (2005, ZPH Publishers), Intwasa Poetry (2008, AmaBooks Publishers), Schicksal Afrika (ed. Horst Kohler) (2010, Rowohlt Verlag), No Serenity Here – An Anthology of African Poetry in Chinese, (2010 Moonchu Foundation).
His poetry has been translated into a number of languages. He has also written and translated a number of children’s stories and educational books.

Chirikure’s first three poetry books received first prizes in the annual Zimbabwe writer of the year awards. His first volume, Rukuvhute, also received an Honorable Mention in the Noma Awards for Publishing in Africa, in 1990. His other book, Hakurarwi – We Shall not Sleep, was selected as one of the 75 Best Zimbabwean Books of the 20th Century in a competition ran by the Zimbabwe International Book Fair in 2004. In that competition the same book got a prize as one of the best five Shona publications of the 20th Century.

Chirikure performs his poetry solo and/or with DeteMbira mbira music ensemble. With DeteMbira, they recorded an album of poetry and music, Napukeni (2002, Tuku Music/ZMC). He regularly performs and tours with musician Chiwoniso Maraire, with whom he has recorded an album of poetry with mbira music, Chimanimani .

With support from family and friends, he has also recorded an album of his poetry with contemporary music, Chisina Basa (2011, Metro Studios Harare/Inyasha Studios UK).

He has also written lyrics for a number of leading Zimbabwean musicians and he occasionally performs and has recorded with some of these musicians.

He has also contributed lyrics, translations and voice-overs in films and documentaries, and has acted in some theatre productions. He has also been an occasional contributor to the print media and used to run a radio programme for young Shona writers.

Over the years, Chirikure has participated in several international festivals, fairs, conferences and symposiums, as a performer, speaker or resource person.

Cosmas Mairosi

A qualified primary school teacher, Cosmas Mairosi was born in Mudzi and grew up in the rural area of Rusape in Manicaland province, Zimbabwe. He is a performance poet, writer, arts trainer in children’s performing arts, vice chairperson of Budding Writers Association of Zimbabwe (BWAZ)’s and a member of Global Arts Trust.

He has published poems and short stories in Writers Scroll, Teacher’s Voice and New Voices magazines and is featured in an international anthology CHE IN VERSE published by Aflame Books. A compilation that includes two Nobel Prize Laureates and Allen Ginsberg. Cosmas has also published in State of the Nation, Contemporary Zimbabwean Poetry, an anthology of Zimbabwean poets. He has been broadcast on ZBC radio, television and BBC radio and television and has performed at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair since 2003, HIFA-Spoken Word.

His international debut was at the ANTUSA Games (10-14 April 2008) in Francistown, Botswana, which was a festival of SADC Teachers Unions. Cosmas Mairosi won first prize in the House of Hunger Poetry Slam at the Book Café and has twice been an International Society of Poets finalist. He has taught performance poetry and facilitates performance poetry workshops. Cosmas performed at Speak the Mind 2010 at the Artscape in Cape Town South Africa.

Chenjerai Hove

Chenjerai Hove born February 9, 1956, he is a Zimbabwean poet, novelist and essayist. He was educated at the University of South Africa and the University of Zimbabwe, and has worked as an educator and journalist. He has lived in exile since 2001, after his writings, especially Masimba Avanhu and a play, Sister, Sing Again Someday (both of which address the situation of women in Zimbabwe), as well as his criticism of the policies of President Robert Mugabe, brought him to the attention of the Zimbabwe government.

He currently lives in exile as the International Writers Project fellow in residence at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. Widely regarded as a leading figure of post-colonial Zimbabwean literature, Chenjerai Hove is the author of four novels – Bones, Shadows, Ancestors, and, in his native Shona, Masimba Avanhu (Is This the People’s Power?), as well as of three volumes of poetry, books of essays, and freelance journalism.

Annie Moyo

Annie Moyo’s poetry that has been inspired by an upbringing that was rich in exposure to various traditions.

She currently resides and works in Cape Town, but her work draws strongly on her experience of being raised and schooled in Zimbabwe. She maintains close ties with her family and the people of Zimbabwe, a bond that resonates powerfully in the way she interprets the world around her.

Philani Amadeus Nyoni

Philani Amadeus Nyoni is a Zimbabwean poet, short story writer and actor. His writings have been published in newspapers and magazines including The Sunday News, Zimbabwe Metro, South Africa Metro, and Ghana Poetry Foundation.

In 2006 he was awarded a First Class Award in the ‘Girls’ College Literary Competition, the following year he was awarded ‘Honors’ and won the Best Poem Award in the senior category. In 2010 his poetry was read at a cultural night in Wales organised by Kushinda Publishing, in the same year he co-wrote and acted in Cletus Moyo’s stage play titled And Now We Speak. He took part in the Drama For Life Festival in South Africa where he was part of the ‘A Lover And Another Poetry Slam’ where he represented Gauteng in the national championships.

In 2011 he co-wrote an opening act with Simo Mpapa-Majola for the festival. In that year he also featured in Lindela, a short film written and directed by Lilly Million about Lindela camp in South Africa where illegal immigrants are held before being deported to their respective countries. In 2012 he was part of the team that resurrected “Mlom’ Wakho Poetry Slams” in Bulawayo which was the second poetry slam in Zimbabwe after ‘House Of Hunger’ in Harare. He took part in the ‘Breaking Barriers Poetry Slam’ held in Harare during the Shoko Festival and also shared his works at Intwasa Festival. He is working with John Eppel as an editor on Philani’s first book, a forty-five poem anthology entitled Once A Lover Always A Fool.


Synik is a hiphop and spoken word artist from the vibrant streets of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. The lyrically dexterous MC is one of the most exciting young artists in Zimbabwe right now. Thriving on versatility, Synik switches easily from cleverly crafted soulful hiphop joints to hardhitting lyrical raps and spoken word pieces. A gifted rhyme – storyteller Synik is known for weaving words to create visual poetic pieces. The ever growing artist recently picked up guitar playing and has incorporated acoustic guitar to his performances. He prefers to use his close relationship with words to influence positive change and inspire people, seeking to ‘write songs to right wrongs’. Affiliated with Zimbabwe’s cultural activist movement, Synik understands that art should be used to address society’s ills and he aims to do more than merely entertain with his work. Influenced a lot by conscious hiphop and neosoul music, the artists lyrics are mainly an expression of what the he encounters in life.

“The soul of Harare’s conscious Hip Hop is in the safe hands of a small group of rappers. Among them is Synik who brings some positive and thoughtful messages at a time when just about every cheap African rapper is claiming a million haters and self-stamping themselves as “King of Swag”. (the peoples hub).While in high school a young Synik started putting his thoughts into raps in his school note books having been a fan of hiphop since he got introduced to the culture in his childhood. His high school had a large community of people who were also drawn to hiphop as an art-form. He was briefly part of Bulawayo based underground outfit, Encrypted Minds in 2001. The moniker is a remnant of this phase in his growth when he was influenced by hardcore underground hiphop. He started recording late 2003 in Harare, a period where he worked with the Phranchyze members Phlow and BC. His first release was an EP (The Beta Version 2008) which highlighted Synik’s storytelling skills and lyrical prowess. The EP has been labelled a street classic by some and it earned Synik respect in Zimbabwe’s hiphop community. He also released a single (God within/Find a way 2010) which revealed a more soulful Synik. He has featured on numerous projects including the African hip-hop mixtape 2, as well as collaborations with numerous Zimbabwean and African acts (Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya).

His performing career developed when he got into Harare’s lively spoken word/hiphop scene. He would soon become one of the most regular hiphop and spoken word performers at events such as Mashoko, The Circle, Chimoto Poetry Slams (Alliance Francaise), and the Acoustic Nights (Zimbabwe German Society). In 2010 as part of Poeticause he was involved in the Theatrical/ Poetry production ’Prisms’ with fellow poets Blackpearl, Nebila, Flowchild and Aerosol. Some of his notable performances were at The 2010 Bulawayo edition of the Zimbabwe Social Forum, The One Day Hiphop Festival (Alliance Francaise), 2011 Independence Day Concert (with the hiphop band, the Monkeynuts), The Republic of Pungwe Launch and The Shoko International Hip Hop festival. If he is not on stage Synik can be easily spotted throwing rhymes in a cipher on Harare’s streets.With a number of projects scheduled to come in the near future Synik is set to continue making waves in Zimbabwean hiphop and beyond.


Zimbabwean poet SoProfound started performing poetry in 2009 but became active in the poetry circles in 2010. He has shared his work at events such as the House of Hunger Poetry Slam Zimbabwe, Mashoko! (The spoken word and hip-hop event hosted by Magamba), House of Hunger Poetry Slam South Africa, The Experience (nu-verb), Poetry and Music (part of the poetry and… series).

Tswarelo Mothobe

Tswarelo Mothobe h.t.b.k.a (Happy To Be Known As) A Scribe Called Tswa is a Bulawayo born and based writer, dramatist and poet.

He has graced the Mlom’Wakho Poetry Slam Stage, The House of Hunger Poetry slam, major local festivals like HIFA, Intwasa, Shoko & Ibumba Arts Festivals and has performed at SANAA in South Africa.

He has also facilitated various writing and performance workshops with school children over the years resulting in new generations of poets being born in Bulawayo. Currently hosting Mlom’Wakho Poetry Slam every month, he is working on his 1st poetry and music project with the working title, Remember and has written and is directing a series of plays.

Tinashe Mushakavanhu

Tinashe Mushakavanhu is a young Zimbabwean poet born in 1983. He graduated with a First Class honors degree in English from Midlands State University and currently reading for a PhD in English at the University of Kent, in the UK.

He co-edited with David Nettleingham, State of the Nation: Contemporary Zimbabwean Poetry (2009) and also co-editing with Caroline Rooney, Emerging Perspectives on Chenjerai Hove: Literature, Politics & Culture (2011). His maiden book of verse is titled Harare’s Lonely Eyes.