WOMEN’ S E D I T I O N
ISSUE 04: INAUGURAL WOMEN’S EDITION OCTOBER 2014 ARTS & CULTURE JOURNAL - AFRIKA
CUSTOM MADE SHOULDER BAGS
once upon A Memory Bag African and modern me Creations is a bag and design brand that creates handmade custom made fabric bags. The bags are a combination of style and comfort, volume and shape, designed for the modern woman on the go. The brand promotes the recycling of old fabrics, priced and memorable possessions in the making of each Memory bag.
For orders Call Barbra Anderson 0772709541
» PHOTOGRAPHY Inaugural Women’s Edition
POVOAFRIKA Conceived in 2004, POVO, is an arts and culture movement founded by Baynham Goredema. 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the brand. To commemorate this milestone POVO has lined up a series of activities which aim to raise awareness about the diversity and richness of arts and culture in Zimbabwe whilst being a vehicle to stimulate broader public awareness by stakeholders such as government and the private sector of the important roleplayed by the arts and culture sector in stimulating development. The primary purpose of the POVO brand is to serve as a platform for Zimbabweans to express themselves freely on all matters relating to the countryâ€™s arts and culture. POVO offers an alternative voice insulated from the stifling pressures that mainstream media often has to contend with. In the process we also aim to create a platform for continuous and vigorous discourse on issues affecting Afrikan arts and culture in general with a particular emphasis on the Zimbabwean context. We are promoting the arts and culture of Zimbabwe through the stories of everyday people whose unique experiences converge as a body of valid personal chronicles. In order to consolidate the movement, POVO has partnered with Magamba Network in their SHOKO Festival initiative, Jibilika Dance Trust and TedxHarare who already have an indelible footprint in the arts industry. The POVO Journal is the first project overseen by the POVOAfrika Trust which was registered in 2014 and we invite other orgs and individuals to partner with us.
Special thanks to our partner HIVOS for believing in this project and providing funding and technical advice on governance to a fledgling organisation like POVOAfrika Trust.
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
06 RUDO CHAKANYUKA - Mudzimai FOREWORD 08 BARBRA ANDERSON - I Did, I Did Not POETRY 26 DUDU MANHENGA - Are You Watching Me? 27 BATSIRAYI CHIGAMA - Paradox To A Child 58 NEBILA ABDULMELIK - You Don’t Define Me 60 NARADZO DHLIWAYO - Lest We Forget 10 WADZANAI CHIURIRI - Women & Sexmatics WOMANHOOD 11 LYNETTE MAHLABA - Keeping the promise 12 CHIRATIDZO CHIWESHE - Deborah, The Game Changer 14 ALEXIA PARADZAI - Rewriting The Story For Zimbabwean Girls 15 PATIENCE TAWENGWA - Women Artists Need Economic Independence Now! 16 CHIPO LONGWE - The Pain & Joys Of Womanhood 18 ZANELE MAHLABA - It’s Not Fair 19 HOPE MASIKE - Beautifully Woman 20 RUMBI KATEDZA - Jenipher’s Story 24 NTOMBIKAYISE PHIRI - Forever Young 28 PFUNGWA NYAMUKACHI - Conquering Kilimanjaro ADVENTURE 30 CHRISTINE NDORO - Finding Myself IDENTITY 32 DOREEN GAURA - The Exoticisation & Otherisation Of The Afrikan By The Afrikan 34 SEKAI MACHACHE - Bridging the Gap 36 ANNIE MPALUME - Nayabingi Celebration 38 RUVIMBO MOYO - Creating Utopia ARCHITECURE 40 MARJORIE WALLACE - Pottery DESIGN 42 GEORGINA MAXIM - Expansion 44 SABINA SHELDON - Alice In The Wonderland Of Photography PHOTOGRAPHY 46 FUNGAI MACHIRORI - My Journey Into Photography 48 RUDO NYANGULU - Telling her story 50 TADIWA MARTIN - House of Bantu FASHION 52 CHRISTIE BROOKSTEIN - Fashion in the Time of Cholera 54 ANTHEA TADERERA - Dress To Express: Adornment As Art 56 RUTENDO MUTSAMWIRA - The Power Of Social Media SOCIAL MEDIA 57 CLAIRE DONGO - The Amoeba Project ANIMATION 58 BLACK BIRD - What’s Beef?
SHOWCASE, PHOTOS & ILLUSTRATIONS
03 Photo Valerie Shamu // 09 Logo Design Rudo Tofireyi // 13 Illustration Chiratidzo Chiweshe //
17 Fashion Claris Goredema // 22 Infographic Xealos Design Consultants // 25 Illustration Lynette Cuenod // 31 Painting Zvavafadza Denga // 43 Painting Catherine Makhaya //
ISSUE 04: WOMEN EDITION JULY 2014
ARTS & CULTURE JOURNAL
ISSUE 03: PHOTOGRAPHY
FEATURING: Tamuka Mtengwa // Annie Mpalume // Robert Machiri // Tafadzwa Tarumbwa // Anesu Freddy // Baynham Goredema // Masimba Sasa // Khumbulani Mpofu // Rayan Chokureva // Steven Chikosi // Rudo Nyangulu // Victor Bagu
are done,love to love and be loved. www.durbandoodles.blogspot.com Animator. Photographer. Designer. www.greedysouth.blogspot.com Zimbabwe #1 ent blog www.thepeopleshub.posterous.com We are a team of PR professionals, bloggers, multi-media creatives and event managers. www.ri0.tumblr.com A meeting of the minds of two acquaintances - A photgrapher Rosiah and a poet RuTendo DeNise (.R.). www.iamblackbird.wordpress.com The Rap Empress www.commonsenseorisit.blogspot.com This blog www.muzhingi5h23.wordpress.com - Words of a Comrades Winner. www.kgskitchen.blogspot.com The food experience and experiment that is all about enjoying food and enjoying the cooking. www.chirinda.tumblr.com www.godfreykoti.blogspot.com out of Zimbabwe. www.ngizwani.wordpress.com Our interest was to tell, in pictures, the story of the Zimbabwe Election as it unfolded. www.zimbabweinpictures.com See for yourself www.25tolyf.com The aim of the blog is to showcase the talents of African hip hop artists from all over the world. www.meetmutsa.tumblr.com I’m passionate about being involved with HIV/AIDS projects especially in Africa. www.thesovereignstate.org A Zimbabwean graphic designer and social commentator. www.justpatience.com This blog is my notebook on my experiences, thoughts and opinions on fashion and lifestyle. www.farai.com Farai has combined media, technology, and diversity during her 20-year career as an award-winning author and journalist. www.carljoshuancube. I am now a stand up comedian...what was I before? www.zuwamusic.com What began as a simple blog to house my art eventually turned into a hub where my various thoughts are documented and displayed. www.fromthesoulofaman.blogspot.com I sometimes feel that the solutions to our greatest problems rest in common sense, which doesn’t always seem so common. www.nadiabrowncow.com A Zimbabwean Princess who found her Prince and is now living happily ever after amongst the cows in the Swiss countryside.www.zambezitraveller.com destinations along the Zambezi. www.hashbrowndontfrown.com www.namelesscomms.blogspot.com - Multi-lingual poet-musician and award winning journalist working for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation –ZBC as a Producer/Presenter,(DJ),Reporter and Newsreader for Radio Zimbabwe, National FM and ZTV. www.marondera-high.blogspot.com This is an experience I had visiting my old school. I hope it will move people to contribute towards rebuilding this school. www.simukacomedy.posterous.com The home of Zimbabwean Stand Up Comedy www.mysoullife.blogspot.com - if you speak about it, you should be about it. www.themail faithtalk.blogspot.com A platform where I discuss and probe issues that have to do with Faith and Religion in Zimbabwe and beyond. www.davidcoltart.com - David Coltart, MDC Senator, has been a human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe since his return to the www.zimbogeek.com Discovering all things I.T., one “kill -s HUP foo” at a time. www.thandowako.blogspot.com A writer, performing poet and arts consultant based in Zimbabwe, concerned with the human challenges in the journey of life. stimulusnetwork.blogspot.com This is a space where we invite you to share your stories in your journey to becoming an entrepreneur www.bizsetup.wordpress.com - An organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start-up and grow businesses the smart www.techzim.co.zw - We explore new technologies, ICT services provision, Internet products and companies. www.zimbloggers.info - If you’re a blogger submit your blog today to gain exposure to a larger audience to our Directory. www.seek-creativity. - Continuously Seeking www.radioknk.com www.opium.co.zw Dynamic company breaking into media and media-related industries. www.ethos-photographic.blogspot.com - A journey through imagery with rudo nyangulu www.indiesoulchild.wordpress.com An outlet of expression. it’s my soap box, it’s my diary. it allows me to air out all my thoughts, my anxieties, my frustrations, and my outlook on both the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. www.trevormakonyonga.blogspot.com Zmbabwean news and my views.www.muzvarebettymakoni.org An organisation that champions the rights of the girl child in Zimbabwe and world over. www.afrofutures.com Futurism as a topic has to do primarily with blacks in the Diaspora but also the whole of African consciousness. www.edithweutonga.blogspot.com A mother of two sons,a wife to a very supportive hubby,very particular about how things are done,love to love and be loved. www.durbandoodles.blogspot.com Animator. Photographer. Designer. www.greedysouth.blogspot.com Zimbabwe #1 ent blog www.thepeopleshub.posterous.com We are a team of PR professionals, bloggers, multi-media creatives and event managers. www.ri0.tumblr.com A meeting of the minds of two acquaintances - A photgrapher Rosiah and a poet RuTendo DeNise (.R.). www.iamblackbird.wordpress.com The Rap www.commonsenseorisit.blogspot.com www.muzhingi5h23.wordpress.com - Words of a Comrades Winner. www.kgskitchen.blogspot.com The food expe rience and experiment that is all about enjoying food and enjoying the cooking. www.chirinda.tumblr.com www.godfreykoti.blogspot.com by one of the most insightful cricket analysists to ever emerge out of Zimbabwe. www.ngizwani.wordpress.com Our interest was to tell, in pictures, the story of the Zimbabwe Election as it unfolded. www.zimbabweinpictures.com See for yourself www.25tolyf. The aim of the blog is to showcase the talents of African hip hop artists from all over the world. www.meetmutsa.tumblr.com I’m passionate about being involved with HIV/AIDS projects especially in Africa. www.thesovereignstate.org A Zimbabwean graphic designer and social commentator. www.justpatience.com This blog is my notebook on my experiences, thoughts and opinions on fashion and lifestyle. www.farai.com Farai has combined media, technology, and diversity during her 20-year career as an award-winning author and journalist. www.carljoshuancube.posterous.com I am now a stand up comedian...what was I before? www.zuwamusic.com drums and cast to the winds by enchanting melodies www.sirnige.com What began as a simple blog to house my art eventually turned into a hub where my various thoughts are documented and displayed. www.fromthesoulofaman.blogspot.com I sometimes feel that the solutions to our greatest problems rest in common sense, which doesn’t always seem so common. www.nadiabrowncow.com A Zimbabwean Princess who found her Prince and is now living happily ever after amongst the cows in the Swiss country www.zambezitraveller.com www.hashbrowndontfrown.com namelesscomms.blogspot.com - Multi-lingual poet-musician and award winning journalist working for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation –ZBC as a Producer/Presenter,(DJ),Reporter and Newsreader for Radio Zimbabwe, National FM and ZTV. www.maron dera-high.blogspot.com This is an experience I had visiting my old school. I hope it will move people to contribute towards rebuilding this school. www.simukacomedy.posterous.com The home of Zimbabwean Stand Up Comedy www.mysoullife.blogspot.com - if you speak about it, you should be about it. www.themailfaithtalk.blogspot.com A platform where I discuss and probe issues that have to do with Faith and Religion in Zimbabwe and beyond. www.davidcoltart.com - David Coltart, MDC Senator, has been a human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe since his return to the country in 1983. www.zimbogeek.com Discovering all things I.T., one “kill -s HUP foo” at a time. www.thandowako.blogspot.com A writer, performing poet and arts consultant based in Zimbabwe, concerned with the human challenges in the journey of life. www.stimulusnetwork.blogspot.com This is a space where we invite you to share your stories in your journey to becoming an entrepreneur www.bizsetup.wordpress.com - An organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start-up and grow businesses the smart way. www.techzim.co.zw - We explore new technologies, ICT services provision, Internet products and companies. www.zimbloggers.info - If you’re a blogger submit your blog today to gain exposure to a larger audience to our Directory. www.seek-creativity.blogspot.com - Continuously Seeking www.radioknk.com us all closer together. www.opium.co.zw Dynamic company breaking into media and media-related industries. www.ethos-photographic.blogspot.com - A journey through imagery with rudo nyangulu www.indiesoulchild.wordpress.com An outlet of expression. it’s my soap box, it’s my diary. it allows me to air out all my thoughts, my anxieties, my frustrations, and my outlook on both the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. www.trevormakonyonga.blogspot.com Zmbabwean news and my views.www.muzvarebet An organisation that champions the rights of the girl child in Zimbabwe and world over. www.afrofutures.com Futurism as a topic has to do primarily with blacks in the Diaspora but also the whole of African consciousness. www.edithweutonga. A mother of two sons,a wife to a very supportive hubby,very particular about how things are done,love to love and be loved. www.durbandoodles.blogspot.com Animator. Photographer. Designer. www.greedysouth.blogspot.com Zimbabwe #1 www.thepeopleshub.posterous.com We are a team of PR professionals, bloggers, multi-media creatives and event managers. www.ri0.tumblr.com A meeting of the minds of two acquaintances - A photgrapher Rosiah and a poet RuTendo DeNise (.R.). www.iamblackbird.wordpress.com The Rap Empress www.commonsenseorisit.blogspot.com www.muzhingi5h23.wordpress.com - Words of a Comrades Winner. www.kgskitchen.blogspot.com The food experience and experiment that is all about enjoying food and enjoying the cooking. www.chirinda.tumblr.com www.god freykoti.blogspot.com www.ngizwani.wordpress.com Our interest was to tell, in pictures, the story of the Zimbabwe Election as it unfolded. www.zim babweinpictures.com See for yourself www.25tolyf.com The aim of the blog is to showcase the talents of African hip hop artists from all over the world. www.meetmutsa.tumblr.com I’m passionate about being involved with HIV/AIDS projects especially in Af www.thesovereignstate.org A Zimbabwean graphic designer and social commentator. www.justpatience.com This blog is my notebook on my experiences, thoughts and opinions on fashion and lifestyle. www.farai.com Farai has combined media, technology, and diversity during her 20-year career as an award-winning author and journalist. www.carljoshuancube.posterous.com I am now a stand up comedian...what was I before? www.zuwamusic.com A rare and engaging artist... poetic and political lilts www.sirnige.com What began as a simple blog to house my art eventually turned into a hub where my various thoughts are documented and displayed. www.fromthesoulofaman.blogspot.com I sometimes feel that the solutions to our greatest problems rest in common sense, which doesn’t always seem so common. www.nadiabrowncow.com A Zimbabwean Princess who found her Prince and is now living happily ever after amongst the cows in the Swiss countryside.www.zambezitraveller.com www.hashbrowndontfrown.com This is the online head-quarters of myself, TehN Diamond, an up and coming Zim www.namelesscomms.blogspot.com - Multi-lingual poet-musician and award winning journalist working for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation –ZBC as a Producer/Presenter,(DJ),Reporter and Newsreader for Radio Zimbabwe, National FM and ZTV. www.marondera-high.blogspot.com This is an experience I had visiting my old school. I hope it will move people to contribute towards rebuilding this school. www.simukacomedy.posterous.com The home of Zimba bwean Stand Up Comedy www.mysoullife.blogspot.com - if you speak about it, you should be about it. www.themailfaithtalk.blogspot.com A platform where I discuss and probe issues that have to do with Faith and Religion in Zimbabwe and beyond. - David Coltart, MDC Senator, has been a human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe since his return to the country in 1983. www.zimbogeek.com Discovering all things I.T., one “kill -s HUP foo” at a time. www.thandowako.blogspot.com A writer, per forming poet and arts consultant based in Zimbabwe, concerned with the human challenges in the journey of life. www.stimulusnetwork.blogspot.com This is a space where we invite you to share your stories in your journey to becoming an entrepreneur bizsetup.wordpress.com - An organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start-up and grow businesses the smart way. www.techzim.co.zw - We explore new technologies, ICT services provision, Internet products and companies. www.zimbloggers.info - If you’re a blogger submit your blog today to gain exposure to a larger audience to our Directory. www.seek-creativity.blogspot.com - Continuously Seeking www.radioknk.com mation to serve as a bridge between artists and fans alike bringing us all closer together. www.opium.co.zw Dynamic company breaking into media and media-related industries. www.ethos-photographic.blogspot.com - A journey through imagery with rudo www.indiesoulchild.wordpress.com An outlet of expression. it’s my soap box, it’s my diary. it allows me to air out all my thoughts, my anxieties, my frustrations, and my outlook on both the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. www.trevormak onyonga.blogspot.com Zmbabwean news and my views.www.muzvarebettymakoni.org An organisation that champions the rights of the girl child in Zimbabwe and world over. www.afrofutures.com Futurism as a topic has to do primarily with blacks in the Diaspora but also the whole of African consciousness. www.edithweutonga.blogspot.com A mother of two sons,a wife to a very supportive hubby,very particular about how things are done,love to love and be loved. www.durbandoodles.blogspot.com Anima tor. Photographer. Designer. www.greedysouth.blogspot.com Zimbabwe #1 ent blog www.thepeopleshub.posterous.com We are a team of PR professionals, bloggers, multi-media creatives and event managers. www.ri0.tumblr.com A meeting of the minds of two acquaintances - A photgrapher Rosiah and a poet RuTendo DeNise (.R.). www.iamblackbird.wordpress.com The Rap Empress www.commonsenseorisit.blogspot.com www.muzhingi5h23.wordpress.com - Words of a Comrades Winner. www.kgskitchen.blogspot.com The food experience and experiment that is all about enjoying food and enjoying the cooking. www.chirinda.tumblr.com www.godfreykoti.blogspot.com www.ngizwani.wordpress.com Our interest was to tell, in pictures, the story of the Zimbabwe Election as it unfolded. www.zimbabweinpictures.com See for yourself www.25tolyf.com The aim of the blog is to showcase the talents of African hip hop artists from all over the world. www.meetmutsa.tumblr.com I’m pas sionate about being involved with HIV/AIDS projects especially in Africa. www.thesovereignstate.org A Zimbabwean graphic designer and social commentator. www.justpatience.com This blog is my notebook on my experiences, thoughts and opinions on fashion and lifestyle. www.farai.com Farai has combined media, technology, and diversity during her 20-year career as an award-winning author and journalist. www.carljoshuancube.posterous.com I am now a stand up comedian...what was I before? www.sirnige.com What began as a simple blog to house my art eventually turned into a hub where my various thoughts are documented and displayed. www.fromthesoulofaman.blogspot.com I sometimes feel that the solutions to our greatest problems rest in common sense, which doesn’t always seem so common. www.nadiabrowncow. A Zimbabwean Princess who found her Prince and is now living happily ever after amongst the cows in the Swiss countryside.www.zambezitraveller.com www.hashbrowndontfrown.com This is the online www.namelesscomms.blogspot.com - Multi-lingual poet-musician and award winning journalist working for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation –ZBC as a Producer/Presenter,(DJ),Reporter and Newsreader for Radio Zimbabwe, National FM and ZTV. www.marondera-high.blogspot.com This is an experience I had visiting my old school. I hope it will move people to contribute towards rebuilding this www.simukacomedy.posterous.com The home of Zimbabwean Stand Up Comedy www.mysoullife.blogspot.com - if you speak about it, you should be about it. www.themailfaithtalk.blogspot.com A platform where I discuss and probe issues that have
ANNUAL REPORT 2011 www.povo.co.za
FEATUING TINA WATYOKA BATSIRAI CHIGAMA HOPE MASIKE RUTENDO AURATHAPOET
FEATUING MASIMBA HWATI CALVIN CHITUWUNA DAVID CHINYAMA SO PROFOUND HIFA
RESILIENCE BRILLIANCE PERSEVERENCE
FEATUING TUMI AND THE VOLUME AKALA METAPHYSICS XAPA TIMOTHY MWAURA
E D I T I O N
FEATUING MASIMBA HWATI CALVIN CHITUWUNA DAVID CHINYAMA SO PROFOUND HIFA
THE POVO JOURNAL 2012 www.povo.co.zw
S P E C I A L
PO VOAf ri ka
CREDITS COVER ILLUSTRATION - Farai Wallace PROJECT COORDINATOR Pauline Goredema PROJECT DIRECTOR Fambai Ngirande PROJECT MANAGER Rudo Chakanyuka EDITOR Archibald Mathibela DESIGN AND LAYOUT Baynham Goredema FINANCE COORDINATOR Rodrick Longwe ACCOUNTANT Tatenda Jeche CD PRODUCER Elton Mjanana PRODUCTION MANAGER Tafadzwa Gutsa FONT - Adobe Caslon, Adobe Garamond, ATOurBodoni, Auto1, Gotham, News Gothic, Nouvelle Vague, Prozak, WTC Our Bodoni = OS - Apple SOFTWARE - Adobe CS6 Suite = DISCLAIMER POVO JOURNAL is published by XEALOS DESIGN CONSULTANTS for POVO AFRIKA. Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of POVO AFRIKA or XEALOS. The information and views set out in this journal are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of POVO AFRIKA or XEALOS. Neither POVO AFRIKA or XEALOS nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein. Neither are they responsible for siting references within articles or credits to photos supplied, this is the responsibility of the contributor. Rights to the photographs and articles remain with the photographers and with the authors respectively. Contact them respectively for reproduction. THE POVO JOURNAL 2013 www.povo.co.zw
THE POVO JOURNAL 2014
45 Photo Alice Tavaya // 49 Fashion Sabina Musvati // 55 Illustration Tashinga Mukondiwa // 61 Illustration Farai Wallace // 67 Photo Nancy Mteki
ISSUE 02: ILLUSTRATION
FEATURING: Boarding Dzinotizei // Charly Makwanya // Julian Mugabe // Robert Machiri // Tafadzwa Tarumbwa // Novic Hadebe // Baynham Goredema // Walter Murray // Paul Maposa
Inaugural Women’s Edition
Mudzimai RUDO CHAKANYUKA VISUAL ARTIST / FILMMAKER
was walking through the Avenues one sunny morning, taking in the sights and sounds as I went along – the nurses dutifully making their way to work, the vendor selling her wares at the corner, a woman with a wailing baby on her back waiting for transport to Mazowe/Concession/Glendale/ Bindura/Mt Darwin…the touts yelling all of the above whilst dangling from kombi doors. The chattering, giggling schoolgirls, the Harare Municipality lady in
Throughout history, women have carried out those very same functions, as the nurturers and care-givers and the anchor and support for those who depend on them to develop and flourish. Some distance away, a young expectant mother was crossing the road, looking just about ready to do the same as the roots had done at any moment - puuuuuuussssshhhhh. I whispered a little prayer that it would all go well for her as I walked on smiling. It was a beautiful day. The streets of Harare were bursting with life and all these remarkable women were right at the heart of the action.
I wondered if it’s merely a coincidence, or does something about the word’s origins actually relate to women being the ‘root’ of society, the central nerve of human existence? her scarlet gown sweeping the street with a huge, dried up palm branch, grappling with stubborn bits of litter clinging between one of the gigantic trees’ sprawling roots that had, over time, heaved and surged until they had surfaced onto the pavement. Wondered why these roots had gone to all the trouble. Perhaps they’d come up to soak in some of this sunshine too or just to say ‘Hello. We are here (in case you had forgotten)’…
Then suddenly this word came to mind. Mudzimai meaning ‘woman’ in Shona. It occurred to me at that moment that this word could be broken down into two words: ‘mudzi’ (root) and ‘mai’ (mother). I wondered if it’s merely a coincidence, or something about the word’s origins actually relate to women being the ‘root’ of society, the central nerve of human existence? I realised I would need to find an etymologist to 6
6 THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
get an answer to this, but in the meantime look up the word. One dictionary defines a root as ‘that part of a plant that grows under the ground and absorbs water and nourishment from the soil’. A second definition was ‘a source or basis’. I liked where this was going and went on to get a little ‘refresher’ of high school Biology, using a trusted online encyclopaedia, which stated ‘…The major functions of roots are 1) absorption of water and inorganic nutrients, 2) anchoring of the plant body to the ground, and supporting it, 3) storage of food and nutrients…..’ This sealed my notion! In all sectors of society, women play some of the most vital and key roles. Not only are they the bearers of children, who then see to it that these children grow into healthy adults; they also formulate and instil the ideals and principles that become the conscience of entire civilisations. They convey the language (mother-tongue), give instructions on hygiene and social conduct, hand down the creeds and traditions and influence individuals in ways whose effects can be global and colossal. Beyond the home, women have been at the core of industrial growth, scientific
advancement and creative innovation though often without worthy recognition and visibility. Despite the gloom and pressure of existing in ‘burrows’ their whole career, they just calmly keep on doing what needs to be done to keep feeding into the structure. Discreet. Diligent. Determined. Looking at the local arts scene, I’ve often asked myself why so few ‘sistaz’ are rising, making waves and getting noticed in comparison to the ‘brothaz’, as I did each time I looked at the contributors page of the previous editions of the POVO publication, where most of the smiling faces were male. On a mission to put together an allfemale squad for this edition of POVO, I discovered that though it may seem as if there are very few women actively participating in the arts in Zimbabwe, I was (at the drop of a hat!) able to name nearly fifty women who ARE out there. But one had to really DIG DEEP to find them, get their contact details and find out where to locate them because they are – as it turns out – the ones nurturing and supporting the ideas of others and contributing in immense ways to the growth of many-acareer, but nearly always very far
Contribute! POVO depends on your contributions. The main thrust being to get people to document their opinions and share them on a wider platform. We are not looking for reportage, there are millions of sites reporting the news and issuing press releases. All Opinions, Features, and Interviews have to be unpublished, it must be published on POVO first and then can be published elsewhere. Why contribute? Though there is no monetary remuneration, there are benefits for contributions which include getting your work showcased to the POVO community on the various social media networks and the world. Share your Zimbabwe story online for the world to see and become part of the POVO movement. from the limelight themselves. They are extremely busy. Behind the scenes and hidden in the shadows. Hustling and tussling away to keep things going and growing. The distended roots along the pavement now carry a new meaning to me. They now represent the women, working beneath the surface, whose relentless involvement in everything simply goes unacknowledged. Until they decide to make themselves visible – by pure ginya! There may be several women in the arts that have truly excelled and are regarded with respect and admiration. Standing tall like majestic baobabs. Roots that pushed past all adversity and shot straight for the sky. Like what the ones along the concrete pavement are trying
to do, I suppose. I personally take my hat off to those women, who, regardless of their success and accomplishments, still offer support and guidance to younger creative persons (male and female alike!). They still do so much to ensure that others are also able to progress. I can only attribute this to the fact that women never forget that they are the roots! Now, if only the concrete were to simply make way and move over a bit. If only the obstacles that trounce a sista’s efforts to be seen (and heard) were to be lifted away so that she could grow in whichever way she pleases. Surely there is enough sunshine for the leaf, the fruit, the stem AND the root to all enjoy together! The time has come for a real transformation of our local artis-tree.
Opinion articles are any write up which is between 400 - 750 words and is not intended as an interview or feature. Opinions are by far the most numerous on the site and we like them short, candid and opinionated. We encourage all members of the society to get into the habit of writing and getting heard. We are looking for as much content from Zimbabwe and Afrika as we can get which gives the viewer a wide spectrum of Zimbabwe arts and culture. INTERVIEWS
Our interviews seek to be candid and we like our interviewee to relax and tell us what is on their mind. We also encourage our visitors to carry out their own interviews which will be published on the website. You can be creative on how you go about it. FEATURES
The feature story is usually a more in depth article which will have 800 - 1200 words. These are usually more detailed and less candid but are more likely to be thought provoking and a call to some kind of action. VIDEOS
POVOLive is the official Youtube channel for POVO and that is where all our videos will be hosted for viewing and commentary. Videos will be original live content from events we will have covered and from social interactions, documentaries and interviews.
Encouraging and promoting Zimbabwean bloggers and content about Zimbabwe. Blog type is not limited to just the arts and culture. CONTRIBUTORS
All contributors will have a bio and links to their blog/ website and twitter account. CD COVERS
Musicians who have released their albums can have their artwork uploaded onto the site with track listing and information on where to buy the music. MAGAZINE COVERS
There has been an influx of magazines from Zimbabwe. We are cataloguing magazine covers and any opinions about the magazine content or design. TERMS
All rights to the contributed work will remain with the contributor although POVO reserves the right to use the work in its publicity information eg Brochures, flyers, posters specifically for the purpose of giving examples of what to expect on the POVO website. Anything outside of this, POVO will contact the contributor in written form and inform them before use of their work. After contributions have been submitted allow two to three working days to be informed if the content has been accepted. DO YOU HAVE AN ARTICLE? If you have an article that you may consider to be of relevance to the youth in Zimbabwe and Afrika then feel free to contribute.
Designers who enjoy communicating messages via posters can showcase their work here with a brief write up about the poster and its purpose. Posters can be published work but have to be your own creations. Inaugural Women’s Edition
Be a part of the Movement! 7
I did, I did not BARBRA ANDERSON SPOKEN WORD ARTIST (BREEZE) @Barbrabreeze http://bit.ly/1fWI1pb
I did, I did not I knew a woman once But I did not know her. I wish to be like the baobab branch That breathes in the nothingness of the air. That twists and turns To the melody of the night before. To truly flow, To be While listening Embracing that tune in my head. Embracing the tremors inside, Wishing to truly breathe. -One breath, two breathsSometimes to love is to die. I loved once but I died inside. I cared once But I lost the care for myself. I loved but I never truly did. I forgot to breathe once, I forgot to see Beyond these imaginary walls. The pain was real But I found a way to breathe again.
All thoughts grow and float, My thoughts grow and float To that place where I am but I am not But what is and is not correct? To love and to hate equally? To not know pain and to know pain? With thoughts of grandeur All that is me is the picture Of my dreams, Picture of my hopes.
I did not love this woman, I, But I did.
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
I knew a woman once But I did not know her. I who is haunted Like the woman I saw last. I saw her through the looking glass But I did not think more of her. I did not dare dwell on her life. Her life that is struggle, Her life that is restriction, Her life that sees dreams as a luxury. But I am the dreamer, The day dreamer. -One breath, two breathsAll that is me Is the picture of my dreams, Picture of my hopes Deftly Imprinted into my heart And my mind. I will learn to fly again. I did so once When I was but a babe. I will learn to fly again. I did not embrace this woman, I, But I embraced her.
Inaugural Women’s Edition
Women & sexmatics WADZANAI CHIURIRI POET @WildfireFace
umans by natural design are sexual beings. Both men and women require sexual gratification from each other. The dynamics of sexual exchange-like any other form of exchange in diverse relationships- involve expectations. This is to say when a person gives up their sexual rights to another they expect to receive something in return. Most women have been socialised to value their sexuality and justifiably so. It is justified to value their sexuality (as well as men should) as it is an important part of human life that immensely affects psychological and sociological wellbeing. Women naturally attach a profound value to sex because it is embedded in them from a tender age and by virtue of being human, sex is important to them. In his article What Do Women Really Want? Noam Shpancer says there is considerable evidence that women seek and place a premium on a sense of intimacy and emotional closeness with their sexual partners. The value women award to their sexuality in some cases however may cause them to think it is their
The dynamics of sexual exchange-like any other form of exchange in diverse relationships - involve expectations. bargaining chip in securing love and affection from a man. This dangerous assumption extends to such women thinking their sexuality is their only gateway to success. The magnitude of the danger this assumption entails is more pronounced when one appreciates what sex is for men – the sexual partners. In the case of men, the dynamics are simpler compared to those of women. This is not to say sex is any less important to men nor is their sexuality less valuable, but men value sex and sexuality differently from women. Men perceive sexual intercourse as a source of physical pleasure. Studies have shown that men view sex to be an essential part of their lives yet do not attach the same type of value as women do. Unlike women, sex can be a physical encounter that has no emotional connotations for men. The UK Daily Mail reported in the results of a survey on men’s obsession with sex that; “Men would spend more than four hours having sex and only three and a half working during their ideal day”. This exposes men’s desire for sex as superseding many other things. Men want sex regularly therefore they need to negotiate for it. 10
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
Women naturally attach a profound value to sex because it is embedded in them from a tender age and by virtue of being human. Here lies the conundrum! Men want sex all the time, and usually only for pleasure but realise that to get it they need to offer something in return to women. Most men will seem to be what a woman desires in order to convince her to indulge in a few minutes of pleasure and sometimes repeatedly. Sadly many unsuspecting women fall into this trap because they are much too focused on their own agenda - to make him fall in love. When she reads the signs delivered in his calculated pretences a woman assumes victory and jumps right into bed or the back of the car to give it up to him. As sure as the sun rises from the east, when a man is
done with a woman the pretence becomes unnecessary and the new signs will be as clear as an Afrikan’s summer day- he is no longer interested. I personally think women need to sigh about themselves too and change their game plan. And some truly havewhich comes the ones who now settle for material gain in exchange for sex. The materialistic sister for me is the greatest tragedy. She has learnt to be her most priced possession. Bear in mind men still want a constant supply of sex and will be willing to give her what she needs for the little while they need her. Sadly when the sun rises on the situation, she realises that her heart had not been a part of her little plan all along. Leading her right back to where we started...but now I wonder is he truly the problem? Women need to get their end of sexmatics figured out correctly. Men desire to be settled with one woman at some point in their lives and it is usually the one who does not give in easily. It sounds archaic, but it’s time women start taking care of their own needs and desires without settling. It’s time she sighs about herself and makes effective changes in her behaviour and secures what she truly needs before she gives him what he wants.
Keeping the promise Overwhelmed with the many promises made they leave the house in search of fulfilling these promises. LYNNETTE MAHLABA GRAPHIC DESIGNER @WithLoveZim www.withlove.co.zw
promise you I will come back with something to eat. I promise I will pay your school fees. I promise I will buy you a new uniform. I promise I will play with you. Overwhelmed with the many promises made they leave the house in search of fulfilling these promises. “I am the mother and father and I must fulfil my promise to these young kids. Their lives must be better than my own.”
this is their life each day. They are not beggars but proud strong women who are doing something to make their lives better already but the cents aren’t adding up. They bring their lunch boxes and do not eat on site, just to make sure that tonight we have a little variety. Tonight we are not eating the same sadza and vegetables but we are eating soup made “with love.” It may not be a lot but it makes a difference. These same women make sure they come to the workshops we have to learn something new.
Our mantra “building lives one day at a time” means with each step we want to rebuild their confidence, we want to rebuild their self-esteem and reshape their thinking so that one day they can fulfil the promises. Young and old Zimbabwean women alike are living lives without promise. They themselves don’t believe that life will get better. They leave the house to go to their market stalls on the street hoping to make some sort of living and having spent the whole day in the sun they come back with just enough to maybe buy a little bag of maize meal to cook the sadza they eat with vegetables. The evening meal has become so predictable that the children do not look forward to eating. “Gogo you promised that we’re going to have meat today.” These are the women who come to the soup kitchen for food assistance;
If I learn a new trade maybe my life will change - I will have new prospects, my grandchildren will go to school. These are their hopes when they come and because they’ve struggled for so long they want everything to happen at once. They learn to make their first pair of earrings and you see the pride on their faces. One never forgets their first pair. You never forget the pride you feel to have made something that will beautify your ears, the tinkling of the earrings makes you smile and for those few creative hours - you forget the promises and get caught up in possibility. It is possible that
I could sell these - they could fetch at least $1. If I sold ten of these pairs I could make $10. Their minds start ticking and excitement builds up - this could change my life as I know it - I could fulfil those promises. The With Love Foundation does not promise to make these ladies overnight millionaires; neither do we promise to make them a successful business woman. Our mantra “building lives one day at a time” means with each step we want to rebuild their confidence, we want to rebuild their self-esteem and reshape their thinking so that one day they can fulfil the promises. The ladies we assist do not belong to the same age group - we have young and old working together for a brighter future. Some looking after their own children and others looking after grandchildren.
All are looking for something to be hopeful about and they have found a dormant passion they didn’t know they possessed. A way of making a living they didn’t imagine. A way to fulfil the promises they have made each word heavy with meaning. Each word weighing with expectation but now there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. A little bit of hope as they see the beauty of their products. Each fair we are invited to is a way to keep the promise. Each time we go out to sell their wares it is to keep the promise. Any function ensures we keep the promise and together we can work towards a better future and keep the promise of being my sister’s keeper. To volunteer with these amazing promise keepers or to invite us to an event corporate or otherwise please contact 0772264471 or 0777394414. Every little we make goes towards these women of promise.
880 000 000 illiterate adults worldwide Majority are women from Sub-Saharan Afrika. In many of these countries, only one in four girls receives a secondary education. Gender inequality starts early and keeps women at a disadvantage throughout their lives. http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/about-us/our-offices/Afrika/grants-grantees/forum-Afrikan-women-educationalists Inaugural Women’s Edition
Deborah the game changer CHIRATIDZO CHIWESHE GRAPHIC DESIGNER @ChiratidzoC www.chiratidzo.com
ometimes even ‘woman’ is a label, a ceiling you have been given, and unless you see yourself beyond someone else’s notion and vision of what you are you will never grow beyond that. Unless you see ‘woman’ as warrior, leader, influencer, one that transforms - and transcends - the norm, unless you realise that even the smallest action she takes is powerful and transforming to those around her, unless she sees that in herself, she is in danger of being defined by the world around her. Woman must not apologize for her tears or her gentleness, for that gentleness can transform and break the strongest challenge. She must be wise and learn to use the power behind her gentleness, to recognise it for what it is - not frailty or weakness as the world attempts to define it; not a club with which she must beat a man and the world. She must realise that it takes great strength to be gentle, great power to be soft-spoken; she must become conscious of the tremendous power she wields, power that goes beyond mere sexuality. Oh woman, realise that it is not your sexuality that makes you so powerful, sexuality is merely the most direct way in which the world has managed to access your mystery. No, that most mysterious and incredible
Limitations. Glass ceilings. Barriers to progress. Doors closed in your face. All the reasons why they say you can’t. War against self and the definitions given to you by others. Labels. Preconceived notions. You can’t - you can’t - you can’t. We live in a world that manufactures limitations and boundaries. You can read about Deborah yourself: Judges Chapters 4 and 5. power that woman holds comes from uniqueness and the ability to recognise and pull out the uniqueness and greatness of those around her. She must not apologize for feeling. She must only recognise that feeling and action must each have their place; and that those two together cannot be conquered - because the power to empathize and see beyond oneself will always be greater than the power to conquer and pull down others. The world would have you believe you are
for each other and rip each other to pieces - taking the world with us. But together - if you realise that it is together that we have much power ... but no, in the world you have to compete. How do you compete with yourself? Where does woman end and man begin? The world would have you view your femininity as a liability, a curse, a weakness. Something to be despised and destroyed, suppressed and crushed, not cherished and nurtured, enjoyed and celebrated.
The world would have you view your femininity as a liability, a curse, a weakness. Something to be despised and destroyed, suppressed and crushed, not cherished and nurtured, enjoyed and celebrated. in a competition with men - if it were so, I believe we would both be defeated - we would both destroy each other - the man would be too brutal, too merciless, too strong, destroying the world with fists, and woman too, brutal, ruthless and unforgiving - stripping down the fabric of society with the power of her words, cunning and artful actions; we would be too strong 12
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
Well I say wear your femininity as an armour, learn its subtleties and its nuances, learn its clever strokes, its humour, its beauty, the perfection of its flaws - its honour. For it is an honour to bear the form and marks and character of woman. I will not apologize for it, I will rise to it. I will find my voice, I will speak - I will not be silenced. I will weep if weep I must. And I will fight
for what I believe in. I will not be turned back or away from the goal, God-given and rightfully mine. And I will take my place in history. That is the place for women. Not hidden in some back room as defined by the ideas of world or culture or dictates of the times, but standing right here and in my own unique way contributing to the fabric of time and space. I am Woman. I am Deborah* and I am here. Hear me roar. *Deborah was a prophet in the Book of Judges. To me, she represents woman’s calling - she does not conform to the social dictates and limitations that normally may apply to others in the same society; she supersedes the times and the typical cultures of the time, she supersedes both men and women, and is called to have influence and is sought out for her wisdom, and she still fulfils many roles, her personal ones like her own calling, her role as leader of a nation/ community, mother, wife and all the others. She stands for divine direction for the people, and determines the course of the history of her nation by representing righteousness and communication the will of God to the people He wishes to speak to.
Inaugural Women’s Edition
Rewriting the story for Zimbabwean girls ALEXIA PARADZAI FOUNDER OF AFROFRESCO @afrofresco www.afrofresco.wordpress.com
or the past 6 months I have worked as an assistant grade 2 teacher at a local primary school. This means most of my days are spent listening to and teaching 8 year olds to read, as well as playing judge and jury to the many cases that arise between kids when there are 30 of them packed in one room together for about 6 hours daily. One of the perks of my job is knowing children’s books inside and out, books that most adults have probably forgot they have ever read; life lessons they probably don’t remember learning. One of these truly significant books are the Sunrise Series by C. L. Lewis and V. Jenkins. When they were first published in 1986 it is no wonder they were received with so much support from the general public, the tales of the adventures Tatenda, Chipo, Jenny and David shared were relevant in a country starting to get over a lot of racial tension. The books upheld clean cut morals and their religious emphasis made them easy favourites for primary schools. To this day Sunrise Readers are to be found in most bookstores in the country and form part of the informal stepping stones almost every child in our education system passes.
I think the major reason so many young girls don’t give themselves a genuine shot at succeeding lies in stories we tell them about themselves. their hands, while the ones who had not tried to coax them to put their hands down, in the way children do when convinced they are right. It turned into a heated debate, one that left me a little sad and wondering why at such a young age so many children’s dreams had already been filtered and limitations had already been placed on their abilities.
The way I saw it, at age 8 our dreams should still be expansive and yes, slightly ridiculous in all their diversity because we really are still on a level playing field. There is little that could have happened in the two years since starting school to convince any child that they are not as worthy of the highest successes or ambition as the next person.
Jenny is a girl.
Until passages like these kept catching my attention during
We need to broaden the horizon from the beginning so that girls innately expect more of themselves than has always been the mediocre norm
Last year, on a whim, I asked the girls I taught how many of them thought a girl could be a Doctor. About 5 in a class of 15 raised 14
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
“Mending is mother’s work” Said Tatenda, “come and help me now, Chipo. You can mend at night time.” Book 5 in The Sunrise Readers Series by V. Jenkins and C Lewis 1987.
“See the girls knit. Chipo is a girl. Chipo says, “My wool is blue. I can knit it”” Book 3 in The Sunrise Readers Series by V. Jenkins and C. Lewis 1986.
In these stories, the value of the girls is constantly emphasised by their ability and enthusiasm to mend, sew and make tea, in fact it’s pretty much all the women ever do together. The books are written so that it is funny when David makes an attempt at knitting (because it is a purely feminine thing to do) and when a challenge arises, father or Tatenda and David come to the girls’ rescue. So is it pure coincidence that one of the most influential book series for Zimbabwean children is one that holds tight confines on what a woman’s abilities, and the fact that girls who read these books expressed uncertainty in their ability based on their gender? I don’t think so.
I think the major reason so many young girls don’t give themselves a genuine shot at succeeding lies in stories we tell them about themselves. The books we give them to read hold critical messages, and as a result of these teachings we start the obstacle course early for young girls, by the time they are in Form 6 they have been tried and tested so that few are still in the race to rule the world. We are essentially shutting doors in their faces before they even know they can walk through them. I understand that one way our government has tried to keep girls in the game is by lowering their grade requirements for challenging courses, as well as imposing gender quotas here and there, basically telling them their best is naturally lower than that of their brothers, and that it’s alright. However, I feel that our only true solution is going to be one that starts from the beginning. We need to rewrite the narrative, go back to basics and tell the story so that Chipo, Jenny and their mothers can do more than mend and make tea. We need to broaden the horizon from the beginning so that girls innately expect more of themselves than has always been the mediocre norm. More heroines that the little ones can read about and witness for themselves in proudly Zimbabwean children’s literature so that the idea of becoming an influential leader is not as foreign or intimidating when the time comes for them to choose who they want to become.
WOMEN ARTISTS NEED ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE NOW! PATIENCE TAWENGWA FILM DIRECTOR www.almasiarts.org
n Ecclesiastes 3:7 King Solomon tells us that there is a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak. I believe the time we are living in demands that we tear instead of mend and that we speak instead of simply staying silent if we are going to change the status quo in our industry. As you read this article I challenge you to recall just three arts organizations in Zimbabwe and after you have named the most prolific and popular ones just stop to think how many of those are founded or actively run by women. Many deny that the industry is a so called ‘boys club’ and argue that there is equality amongst all of us, from my experience this is simply not true and whether we like it or not men are into the business of making sure they also economically empower other men.
We live in a very patriarchal society where women are expected to be subservient objects to be taken care of but never to be financially empowered lest they get too wayward without a man’s guidance. A trip through any rural area or even in our towns will reveal businesses with names such as “Mushandirapamwe & Sons Supermarket”. I am yet to see a sign that says “Mushandirapamwe & Daughters Supermarket”, that to me just indicates the male dominated mindset that is
It is mostly men who are running the show in the industry and equally it is mostly men who control the very little funding available to the Zimbabwean arts sector . prevalent in our country. We have organizations in Zimbabwe which receive funding supposedly for the betterment of women in the arts except they are run by men and the funds which come earmarked to improve the lot of women are arbitrarily doled out. I don’t believe that it is a lack of innovative ideas that prevents women from being very prominent and running their own show but rather a lack of financial support that sees most women driven ideas stillborn and eternally condemned to suffer a death sentence of a vision without provision. It is heartbreaking to witness how the women who were the trailblazers in our local arts industry are going along
One can’t help but to wonder if that inevitably will be one’s fate if things are not seriously shaken up in our time. I have also witnessed how those women with the courage to stand up for themselves and their colleagues are soon relegated to the proverbial kitchen corner and written off as too bossy, too troublesome, too opinionated. It reminds me of a famous saying by the American actress Bette Davis “When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” Needless to say as long as women and young girls who are coming up in the industry are not economically empowered it leaves most of them extremely
We live in a very patriarchal society where women are expected to play the subservient and supporting role and women are viewed as objects to be taken care of and not to be financially empowered lest they get too wayward without a man’s guidance without much recognition and some of them personally suffering to a very great degree without anything material to show for years of their hard work and contribution.
vulnerable to some unscrupulous men who use their positions of power to use young girls for sex in exchange for empty promises of access to opportunities in the industry. Inaugural Women’s Edition
I would like to throw out a challenge to women who are well to do in other spheres of life outside of the arts, to say we have seen well to do men in business go out of their way to bestow finances, cars and gifts upon outstanding male artists to help elevate them and allow them to have a certain dignity which comes with financial stability and success inevitably begets more success. I await the day we see one of our prominent business women come out of the woodwork to honour and truly support one of the many unsung heroines in the arts industry beyond just uttering empty and flowery platitudes in praise of women artists. Nobody can bank a speech of praise, a certificate of recognition nor a glowing editorial. Neither do landlords nor bill collectors. It doesn’t matter if your profile is as long as the Nile River or your accolades can fill up a 30 ton truck if at the end of the day you are still a broke and starving artist. Becoming financially autonomous is the best and only way for us as women to ultimately control our own destinies without compromise. Lastly, I also believe that as women we have a duty and an obligation to make sure we are doing all we can to support other young women and to help give them a space safe to grow and flourish.
THE PAIN AND JOYS OF
womanhood CHIPO LONGWE BANKER
t all starts with pink ponies, pretty ribbons with delicate flowers, Barbie dolls, which suddenly changes when she becomes a woman. I watched the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It at the request of my friend Pam who wanted to know if it was exaggerated. To be honest I related to most of it because I go through the many roles – woman, wife, mother, sister amongst a few. I don’t recall going through training but it happened so naturally and then I realised why God created the woman and made her special. This is because he believed he had created a good thing. Its sounds cliché I know but women do take up challenging roles. Before a woman is married she has a bridal shower that I believe is to pamper and shower her with all the goodies for her new home, but these days it is more of a training ground where everyone is sharing what they feel will work in her new life. I believe it is a different ball game all together because every marriage experience is different and the training starts as soon as you say “I do”. I am a working mother and wife and I do have my challenges and joys that have come with being both.
I don’t recall going through training but it happened so naturally and then I realised why God created the woman and made her special. because of the softness we carry yet there is some toughness that we come with as well. Being a wife I have had to turn the house into a home regardless of the differences we might have. Embracing “outlaws”, my experience needs the whole day but then the toughness came to my rescue … can I get an AMEN from a daughter in law who can relate to this. The pregnancy, swollen nose and feet and the makeup just won’t work. Motherhood comes to play, best moments ever taken over by swollen breasts and stitches which all disappear in a split second because of the love of a mother for her child. Sleepless nights, hot body, screaming I look back now a few years later and wonder how I managed it. Pursuing my career at the same time is most challenging, trying to deal with work pressures and ensuring the children’s welfare is intact. I thank God every day that He takes care of them when I am away from them. Getting home after a hard days’ work is
I believe it is a different ball game all together because every marriage experience is different.
I have three boys with whom my husband helps me with, although there are times that even he can never understand what it takes to be a woman and a mother. Most marriage seminars describe us as the pink 16
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
daunting as you try to separate work and home. It is an effort you put, kids expect your full attention and you have to relieve the help from their pressure too. Ensuring they are fed and tucked in. My sons are growing up and it is important that I communicate with them because my role can easily be taken over by the help. So, regardless of how tired I am I put in extra time and effort to talk and play with them. Having embarked in school to better myself I regret and wish I had done it earlier to avoid missing out on time with the kids and husband as most of my weekends are spent at school. Ensuring I am in good shape physically, I try and wake up early and do a thirty to forty minute jog so as to maintain a good body and further build my confidence. All this is done by one person in a day. Some could feel it isn’t much but it is challenging and my desire is to make sure I achieve a healthy and happy life for my family and myself. I ask myself how I manage to be a wife, mother and friend to my family. I look up and realise it can only be my God who sustains me through it all. My family reflect and are identified by who I am. His grace is ever sufficient and like the book of Proverbs says beauty and charm can be deceiving but one thing that makes a woman whole is the fear that she has for her Lord.
Watch it here: http://bit.ly/1zMJzWL
Siyanda Mohutsiwa (@SiyandaWrites) based in Gaborone, Botswana posed the question that if Afrika was a highschool which student would each country be?
#endchildmarriage A campaign to stop the violent and abusive practice of child marriage, a human rights violation that legitimizes abuse of girls under the guise of culture, honor, tradition and religion.
#GirlSummit Aimed at mobilising domestic and international efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM).
#BringBackOurGirls An international campaign to bring home 276 Nigerian schoolgirls, kidnapped from their classroom on April 14 2014 by Islamic millitant group Boko Haram
#womenagainstfeminism Social media campaign in which women post pictures of themselves, some in “selfie” style, holding up handmade placards stating reasons why they disapprove of modern #feminism.
#oscarpistorius Live TV coverage of the trial of special olympian Oscar Pistorius who has been accused of killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp on valentines day 2013.
#Zvirikufaya Zimbabwe’s first real viral internet meme. Posting a short cell-phone video where one testifies as to why “zvinhu zvirikufaya” (things are going well) in their life.
BUBBLE DRESS Neckline was influenced by whips used in herding cattle
CLARIS GOREDEMA | PHOTOGRAPHY
AFRIKAN GIRL COLLECTION
Inaugural Women’s Edition
It’s not fair ZANELE MAHLABA EDITOR @ISTHISAFRIKA @ZaneleM_ http://www.isthisAfrika.com
ny girl with brothers, older or younger, can tell you that the rules of the house were different when it came to the boys in the household. There was something about being the girl child that felt very restrictive and much of the policing was reserved for us. It seemed terribly unfair. I would often say that my mother was paranoid. She was always asking numerous questions whenever I wanted to go somewhere. It meant that I was constantly denied permission to go places or do things. But, that’s what mothers do; they worry about their children. The older I got, the more I started to wonder if the concern was that I would get mugged or kidnapped, or if it was that I would start getting involved with boys or worse, older men. I got the feeling that it was more about the latter. It was not hard to notice that every effort is made to get girls from birth to marriage with their reputations intact. Girls are constantly monitored: who are they talking to, where are they going and with whom? These questions, which any responsible parent would likely ask, felt suffocating and annoying because boys never seemed to be vetted as much, before leaving the house.
As I became older and my parents’ “protection” in the form of curfews and denials of permission to go out were no longer a factor, I quickly realised that male-female relationships are approached from the perspective that the onus is on women to modify their behaviour in order to prevent certain things from happening.
There was something about being the girl child that felt very restrictive and much of the policing was reserved for us. It seemed terribly unfair.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie articulated it so well when she
A large expectation of respectability and chastity follows us, as women. While you are young, parents are strict to drive this point home. They discourage relationships with boys, preach against promiscuity, and generally make it difficult for girls to find themselves in compromising positions. This is mostly done in the context of consensual relations but, unfortunately, the thinking often infiltrates conversations on sexual assault and rape.
As I became older and my parents’ “protection” in the form of curfews and denials of permission to go out were no longer a factor, I quickly realised that male- female relationships are approached from the perspective that the onus is on women to modify their behaviour in order to prevent certain things from happening. 18
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
said, “We teach girls shame. Close your legs, cover yourself, we make them feel as though by being born female they’re already guilty of something.” Recently, an explicit video involving a teenage girl and a group of teenage boys was making the rounds on Whatsapp. It became a hot topic, with allegations of sexual assault and questions about what the girl was doing alone with these boys in the first place. I felt sorry for the girl and it reminded me of something that happened to me. A few years ago, I was out with a large mixed group of friends. It started off as a house party and later moved to a popular nightclub. We headed back to the house around 4am and shortly after I got into bed, one of the guys came into the room. He insisted that he wanted to sleep in the bed with me and wouldn’t leave. All of a sudden a fun night turned into a nightmare and I was physically fighting someone off. I was afraid and when I finally called out for help, someone came in, made an excuse for his drunken friend and took him away. I locked the door and started crying. I kept thinking how I would even begin to explain this. If something worse had happened, there would have been a firestorm of questions: why
was I sleeping there in the first place, why was I drinking, had I encouraged him? I knew that the discussion would have focused on how I had gotten myself in that position.
When questions arise about what a woman was wearing, or her sobriety they seem to be more about figuring out if she brought something upon herself, than anything else. As an adult woman, even though, I can choose which men to associate with as well as where; it is always in the back of my mind that the consequences of these choices can quickly become a heavy cross to bear. I may very well be blamed for anything that happens to me as a result of choosing to be in a man’s presence. I find that unfair.
Beautifully HOPE MASIKE MUSICIAN
n 2011, I had the great honour of travelling to a Scandinavian country where I lived for an entire year. For two semesters I was teaching music, and during the holiday in-between, I travelled to a few countries. I discovered
The Afrikan woman is strong, virtuous, respectful, motherly, warm, just and firm too. Women in this country are highly empowered! I commend the government for being able to educate their women and embracing them in different industries. Sadly, with their empowerment there seems to have been the disempowerment of their men also. They do not beat up their men. Do not get
I also saw a society that either had to give up other cultural virtues in order to achieve all these social successes, or a society that merely over-looked that the emergence of some of the new phenomena would force out some old, and good ones many new things, from how you could wear your entire wardrobe each day for almost six months to the great joy of wearing a short skirt once summer came. This year was a year of immense growth and self-discovery. I went to Europe with locks, but a month later I cut them off. Even though by the end of the year I wanted to grow them back again, I thought every artist had locks, and suddenly, far away from home it felt clichĂŠ! One of the major things I discovered was how different our cultures were. In a country where the divorce rates are quite high, and considering that I was at my prime courting age, I observed mostly the woman to man relations.
of some of the new phenomena would force out some old, and good ones. Much as the Afrikan continent seeks to empower its women, it is important to realise that we also have the duty to safe-guard the virtues that already exist in our culture. The Afrikan woman is strong, virtuous, respectful, motherly, warm, just and firm too. As we seek to empower her, let us not disregard how good she already was in ancient Afrika. May our empowerment not lead to the disempowerment of our men.
me wrong, but they are very competitive, overbearingly and for lack of another word, control freaks. This is not to say these societies are unsuccessful! No. These are some of the worlds most advanced, most sophisticated and most successful societies. I saw a society with just about everything we advocate and long for back home - very low HIV cases, close to none, efficient health systems, tax systems and empowered women. But I also saw a society that either had to give up other cultural virtues in order to achieve all these social successes, or a society that merely overlooked that the emergence Inaugural Womenâ€™s Edition
Jenipher’s Story RUMBI KATEDZA
One woman’s harrowing journey of survival at all odds
t is a hot April day when I arrive in the Matebeleland North capital of Lupane. It’s my first trip to the growth point almost 180km from Bulawayo and I do not know what to expect. Within the first hour, I find a noisy local sadza joint and meet people with uniquely Zimbabwean names like Talent, Wedzeramari and Lacoste. Everyone I meet has a vibrancy to them, and they all have a story to tell. However it is Jenipher Nyoni who arrests my attention. She greets the people in the room, seamlessly changing from Ndebele, to Shona, to English, to Tonga
and turns in the plot, that you would not believe could happen to one person, but they did. They happened to her. This is Jenipher’s story… A native of Lupane district, Jenipher grew up with her parents, brother and sister. After grade 5 her parents could no longer afford to send her to school so she was sent to live with relatives in Bulawayo, where she eventually met the man who would become her husband, “After I left school, I was sent to live with my late sister, but she was having marital problems, so I went on to stay with my Babamunini (uncle) and then my
A child bride at the tender age of 13. She spent the next fourteen years with her husband in Esigodini often crying herself to sleep as the relationship became abusive over time depending on who she is talking to. She is a bubbly woman full of jokes who looks at least 10 years younger than her actual age of 40.
Tete (aunt). I was staying with Tete when I met my husband. He was 18 years older than me and I was to be his fifth wife. I was 13 when I went to stay with him.”
I ask her how she came to live in Lupane and she generously gives me her time and shares her harrowing personal life story. As I listen, I think things like this only happen in the movies! There are numerous twists
She mentions her age with a relative ease, but it shocks me to my core. A child bride at the tender age of 13. She spent the next fourteen years with her husband in Esigodini often crying herself to sleep as the 20
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
relationship became abusive over time. As she grew older, even though she could not go back to school, she resolved to find a way to generate income so she could improve her situation. “I joined a local women’s club where I learned basket weaving. People used to buy our baskets, so I managed to earn a little money for myself. I had to do something to help myself.” Jenipher’s expression changes as she remembers those days. Her cheerful exterior falters, and I ask her if she would like to stop. She shakes her head emphatically and insists, “People should know my story, to know that they are not alone.” It was only after her daughter Nqobile was born that she realised she had to leave her abusive relationship to protect herself and her child. After a visit to a clinic she was diagnosed HIV positive so she chose to return to her parents in Lupane where she reconnected with her family and friends. “I used to like to play football for fun and exercise. When I was playing one day an old friend of mine suggested I move to Victoria Falls. She said she was playing for a club there, and that there were opportunities in vending.” An avid football player, Jenipher did not hesitate to move to the Falls area with her four year old daughter. Day after day she and
other women would hoard and then resell tomatoes to people in the area. In their free time they played football for a local women’s football club. She was finally able to provide for her child. Things were coming together for her, or so she thought. On a chilly morning in 2004, Jenipher woke up early to start her day of selling tomatoes. It would be a day like any other day, she thought, but she was wrong. She had heard about Murambatsvina. She had also heard that people’s homes were being mowed down by local authorities, but she and her neighbours didn’t believe it would happen to them. Unfortunately it did. Plates rattled in the cabinet, and the ground shook like an earthquake. Jenipher bundled up Nqobile and ran outside to find chaos in Chinotimba township. “People were running in all directions trying to save what little they could before their homes and belongings were destroyed. I lost everything. I was homeless.” The next few weeks Jenipher was in a daze as she was herded from place to place until a church group that was helping displaced people with food, managed to provide some trucks to help transport people back to their rural homes. “I really was hoping it was a dream and that the council would provide us all with stands
or houses, but that did not happen.” She joined the legions of unemployed in Lupane. Did you ever just feel like giving up? I ask her. “Yes,” she responds calmly, “Every day, but I had a child to think about. Who else was going to take care of her?” When she was trying to find her feet again she was visited by a Village Health Worker at her parents’ home, and was signed up for free anti-retro viral treatment. This gave her the impetus she needed to move forward.
As providence would have it, both of her sister’s grandchildren passed their grade 7 exams so well that they managed to get bursaries to attend high school.
financially. I am actually saving up right now to clear the debt at Nqobile’s school so we can collect her form four results. She wants to be a doctor, you know.”
“Fortunately, I do not pay fees, but I need to provide them with uniforms and some other things for boarding school. But they are growing children, so financially it is hard to keep up with their clothing needs. My daughter Nqobile is now 18, and if she gets part time jobs she helps me
Her face beams with pride as she speaks about her daughter. You can see she wants the best for her. She tells me that Nqobile is the first person in her family to get to form four. A great achievement that is not lost on Jenipher. I am both humbled by her and proud for her, because I can see she has
achieved so much to ensure that the three children she is raising are educated and self-sufficient.
want to keep her waiting. We shake hands as she offers me her last few words before leaving,
The sun has now set and I can hear sungura music blasting down the road at a local beer hall. A group of children head home on their donkey drawn cart and the bus terminus is slowly clearing. After we say our good byes Jenipher stands to head home under the light of rising moon. She says her daughter has cooked for her so she does not
“I want my children to be educated so they can take care of themselves. I want my daughter to finish school and get a job. Because I am living with HIV, you never know what could happen tomorrow. I could get sick, or even die, but I thank God that I have managed to live with this disease for the past 14 years. I’m a survivor.”
Inaugural Women’s Edition
But her story doesn’t end there. She now has the added responsibility of taking care of her late sister’s grandchildren. “My sister died of AIDS. She was in denial about her HIV status for a long time and refused to go for treatment for three years until she passed away. Her daughter had cervical cancer. There wasn’t enough money to pay for the expensive treatment she needed, so she also died, leaving 2 children.”
Remembering the weaving skills she had acquired in Esigodini, Jenipher joined Lupane Women’s Centre and over time, and with additional training, she became a master weaver and then a trainer, selling her baskets to the Centre’s diverse consumer base. She joined the Centre staff as a caretaker in 2009.
A GLOBAL DENIAL OF RIGHTS FOR THE GIRL CHILD
#EndChildMarriageNow BECAUSE WE CAN
BECAUSE WE CARE
“Any marriage carried out below the age of 18 years, before the girl is physically, physiologically and psychologically ready to shoulder the responsibilities of marriage and childbearing”
Marriage Act of Zimbabwe 84% of Zimbabwe marriages are unregistered
Types of marriages
Civil marriage - A man enters into it or a woman, they are supposed to have one spouse. Not supposed to get married to anyone else unless they divorce so it’s one man one wife.
Zimbabwe Marrriage Act states men can 2 Registered Customary Marriage men marry at 18 while A man can marry as many wives girls marry at 16 as he wants. So each wife will have their own marriage certificate, so in other words this marriage allows polygamy. One in Ten women in Zimbabwe live in polygamous unions.
Where is it Rampant in Zimbabwe? Province with the highest prevalence
Most rampant areas in Zimbabwe for early child marriages Binga, Chiredzi, Hurungwe, Muzarabani.
Rural girls are married or impregnated by the age of 19
Other countries Province with the highest prevalence Number of countries which legally permit girls to marry with parental permission before they turn 18
14 million girls are married each year. A child of a mother under 18 is 60% more likely to die in its first year .
Members in the country.
World’s Top 5 culprits of child marriage CAR*
400 Million women today aged 20-49 were married
Child Marriages are prevalent among the Johanne Marange Apostolic sect. This is a church commonly known as ‘vapostori’. The issue is also compounded as they tend to have more than one wife
Mashonaland East Harare
By The Age Of 18...
By end of 2020, 90 million girls will celebrate their birthdays as wives or mothers if 2010 trends continue.
Unregistered Customary Marriage When a man pays lobola for a woman and he can pay lobola for as many women as he wants.
A third of the girls in developing countries will be married.
*Central African Republic
Zimbabwe is among the top 40 Countries with 20% or more of women between 20-24 years old who married or entered into union by age 18.
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
Allow me to be a girl!
“Child marriage is a traditional practice that happens simply because it has happened for generations.”
Characteristics of Causes Poverty - Is the major driving force for child marriage in rural areas Health - Child marriage occurs more frequently among girls who are the least educated, poorest and living in rural areas. In 2011, women aged 20- 24 and living in rural areas were about twice as likely to be married/in union before age 18 than their urban counterparts.
Education - Child marriage often means the end of education for girls. It is closely linked to girls dropping out of school, denying children their right to the education they need for their personal development, their preparation for adulthood, and their ability to contribute to their family and community.Education is associated with the prevalence of child marriage in Zimbabwe. 48% of women in Zimbabwe who had attended primary school had been married by the age of 18 compared to 87% of those Although it is who had not attended school. an offence under the Domestic Violence Act to Married or in union at age 18 marry an underage girl, it is difficult to stop such marriages as they are never year extra in reported to the police most secondary school of them have blessings increases a girls from the parents and potential income guardians E
What can we do?
Urgent action is needed to take solutions to scale and prevent the thousands of girls in Zimbabwe today from being 87% 48% 23% married in the next decade(s). Ending vi Secondary ba No Primary by 15-25% child marriage requires nce m education or higher education education Mugu strategies for girls' empowerment, social, Girl Safety - Child marriage puts women and girls at particular risk of sexual, physical and psychological violence throughout their lives. Girls who are married before 18 are more likely to report cultural, and religious being beaten by their husbands and forced to have sex than girls who marry later. beliefs norms change, legal reform, and policy Poverty - Household wealth influences the prevalence of child marriage among all wealth quintiles. Child brides are more likely to be poor and to remain poor. Girls from the action. Proven solutions poorest 20% of the households were more than 4 times as likey to be married/in union involve girls' schooling before age 18 than girls from the richest 20% of the households. (especially lower secondary) and Location - Child marriage occurs more frequently among girls who are the least educated, poorest and living in rural areas. In 2011, women aged 20- 24 and living in rural areas were programmes that offer life about twice as likely to be married/in union before age 18 than their urban counterparts. skills, literacy, health information and services, Human Rights & Justice - Child marriage is a serious human rights violation affecting and social support. Married children’s and women’s rights to health, education, equality, non-discrimination and to live free from violence and exploitation. “Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and girls especially need full consent of the intending spouses” access to sexual and GOOD RESOURCE GIRLS NOT BRIDES - A global partnership of more than 350 civil society organisations from over 60 countries working to address child marriage. http://www.girlsnotbrides.org reproductive health Sources https://www.newsday.co.zw/2013/08/03/early-marriage-prevalence-worrying/ http://www.devinfo.info/mdg5b/profiles/files/profiles/4/Child_Marriage_Country_Profile_AFRZWE_Zimbabwe.pdf services, including family http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/reports-and-publications/unfpa-child-marriage-country-profile-zimbabwe/ http://baobabtales.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/some-facts-about-marriage-in-zimbabwe/ 6IPPF, Ending Child Marriage: A guide for Policy Action (2007), http://www.researchandadvocacyunit.org/ www.pdfsearch.asia/Sibanda.html Zimbabwe Marrriage Act Chapter 5:11 United Nations Children’s Fund planning and maternal (Unicef) UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2013 http://www.girlsnotbrides.org http://www.devinfo.info/mdg5b/profiles/files/profiles/4/Child_Marriage_Country_ Profile_AFRZWE_Zimbabwe.pdf http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/reports-and-publications/unfpa-child-marriage-country-profile-zimbabwe/ UNFPA Database using household survey (DHS and MICS) completed during the period 2002 - 2011 health services.
Hastings A. The Church in Africa: New York, Oxford Press, 1994, pp 81b http://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/02z/25/child-marriages-%E2%80%93-robbing-them-of-their-innocence/ http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/population/zimbabwe/customary.htm http://www.voazimbabwe.com/content/zimbabwes-controversial-marriage-laws-prime-minister/1576636.html http://www.swradioafrica.com/harmonise-zimbabwes-marriage-laws-before-changing-marriage-certificates/ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 Design & Layout By Baynham Goredema Www.xealos.com Baynham@xealos.com
Inaugural Women’s Edition
Forever young NTOMBIKAYISE KANYOKA RADIO BROADCASTER / VOICE OVER ARTIST @Ntombi_Phiri http://bit.ly/ntombi
hy is it hard for women to tell the truth about their weight, age and size? Recently I went to a photo shoot for Soul Magazine and I was asked the dreaded question, what’s your clothing size? I answered back, 36! Then came the day of the shoot where clothes were already chosen by the stylist, all a size 36. Now, one thing I forgot to mention was, I am a 36 when it comes to clothing that stretch but in actual fact I am a 38. The clothes were handed to me and I was shown the change room. After trying all 3 of the dresses that couldn’t even go past my shoulders, there was the last purple dress that was left for me to try.
I’m a size 36… Okay, okay I’m a size 38! Society has set these standards for women to be forever young and that means that if you are over 21 and are curvy you have past your sell by date. Growing up I was always the “fat” one amongst my friends and still am. I struggled with my weight, I even went to the extremes of throwing up after every meal for 3 months until my mother caught me, and gave me a good hiding. Now, some would call that abuse but I call that my “wake up call” People like Jill Scott, Lebo Mashile and Angie Stone were very instrumental in my coming to terms with the fact that I am a big girl and that’s fine. They were all pretty, confident and most importantly out spoken about issues concerning their weight.
Society has set these standards for women to be forever young and that means that if you are over 21 and are curvy you have past your sell by date.
“It fits, the purple dress fits!” I screamed… It then dawned on me, when I was standing next to this super skinny model, that maybe I shouldn’t be excited about the “purple” dress fitting cause at that very moment I felt like Barney the purple dinosaur! So my first photo shoot turned out to be a serious reality check! After 30 years of being on this earth, yes I am 30 years old, I think I know why we lie about our weight, age and size.
Lebo summed it up perfectly for me when she said: “I wake up every day and tell myself that I have no choice but to be radiant and confident. I refuse to be a sloppy, unkept big woman. I refuse to look like I am hiding from the world, even though sometimes, on the inside, I feel like crawling under a rock and hiding forever.” So let me introduce the true me this time: Hi, my name is Ntombikayise Kanyoka, I am 30 years old, I am a size 38 and I weigh 88kg. I am iS’dudla and I am ok with it. 24
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
Inaugural Women’s Edition
BOOK JACKET DESIGN
Are you watching me? So many people come to me and admire how successful I seem. To them I have it all figured out but do I? They ask if I have done it before, is it inborn, or was I trained. How come I do it so well. So I asked the question. Are you watching me thinking that I know what I am doing, do you feel as though I have it all figured? So I came up with a conversation, some people call it a poem: DUDU MANHENGA MUSICIAN @dudumanhenga http://bit.ly/1ogjApw
Believe me this art is not yet perfected It’s just enacted Most of my dreams are not effected And I am really affected Sometimes I have gone into default It’s really my fault Am doing my best as I stumble I make sure I don’t grumble All my cries are muffles My successes fumbles Watch out for that hurdle Coz there, I tumbled And many mumbled I know you aspire Thinking of how I got here, I perspire Many times I tire I have run and run yet I can’t retire I can’t remove this attire See, for every generation there must be a martyr It almost feels like a satire Don’t cut that wire That’s my fire Don’t deflate my tyre
In people have popped Out they have hopped Yet in them I had hoped They pulled the plug When I needed a hug It’s been rough But I am tough
Watch as I march I know I will win this match Coz I am a soldier Pay attention coz I am older Just be bolder Am sure will go further 26
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
PA R A D OX to a CHILD BATSIRAI CHIGAMA WRITER / SPOKEN WORD ARTIST @BatsiraiChigama batsiraichigama.maumbile.com
There is something about Harare in spring that reminds me Of my mother Harare in spring is...Bellisma She is fresh and regal The smile of her Jacaranda bloom Flirts with hope and new beginnings Carrying the scent of promise She tells yesterday’s barrenness To take flight At quarter past October She wears the scarlet lipstick of flamboyance Bold, daring Enticing to the sojourners, She wraps them in her charm sends them home enthralled Yet to me her resident She shuts her door right in my face Telling me not to get too used to her beautiful ways For soon like the purple bloom, her smile will fall Withered, sometimes downtrodden I know a truth the sojourner doesn’t Inside her Harare is wounded She internally bleeds sewer Down the throats of her children Their faces wear a permanent frown That cannot be undone. For too long ma, You’ve worn a culture up your sleeve
In the torn threadbare like seams Hesitant thoughts and words Words that never learn to crawl Let alone take flight from your tongue Beneath endless chores You are buried Only a chore-mover can dig you out of a debris that strongly smells of pain There in the depth of it, your beauty too Fell and downtrodden has withered into One big grin longing to curve into a smile There are stories your pillows would tell If they could They would tell How many buckets of tears Have drowned them How many buckets of tears have drowned you The ceiling and walls quietly have grown ears Tired of the insults hurled at you In the middle of the night Doors banging His car start in the middle of the night They can’t hold from us, your muffled cries A deep sadness descends upon your shoulder Clings to your lonely silence Like the choking smell of burnt popcorn. Desperation crouches under your tongue
Modern Mothers’ Club Our group’s aim is to help mothers through sharing of information on parenting. Lets treat each other with respect and may the spirit of love and sharing prevail and as we continue to associate with each other on this group. Over 6,394 members Join: https://www.facebook.com/ groups/156295684461218/
Seeking to be spit like morning sickness It cannot be told, we feel it, we see it For you recoil into self Widening the distance between us Yet we know you endure all this For us, Mimi and I Mimi asked me the other day “Do you think dad would still love her If we had not been born?” I had wondered the same too Would it make a difference Because if it does We would simply crawl back in your womb Just to put that infectious smile on your face
Mai waFlorence I ate paper both my pregnancies! Not bond paper but newspaper that is a few weeks or days old. Didn’t like it ‘fresh’! I was very specific, preferred The Herald and Fingaz not Daily News coz raitsvedzerera.
Mai waTrish I had the giggles. I giggled at everything, even things that were not funny. Some thought I was so childish, but I just couldn’t help myself.
Mai waRudo I was very insecure, anything that didn’t add up meant my husband was having an affair, it was so terrible I was scared myself.
If only you could In this instance Walk through that door he knows to use so much And never look back You would know We would still Tug at the hem of your heart Just to see that beautiful smile We miss so much and Like the Jacaranda bloom We would hold you in our minds A seasonal freshness That permanently lingers Like your love If only you could In this instance Walk through that door he knows to use so much And never look back Inaugural Women’s Edition
DISCLAIMER All the names used are fictitious and any similarities are totally coincidental.
Mai waRejoice I loved smells. the black smoke inobuda mumabhazi. I used to move around with a bottle of nail polish or spirit ndichivhura and would smell them. I absolutely loved the smell ye that green soap yekuwacha, I would cut it into pieces and put EVERYWHERE including pillow, window sills so that the smell was everywhere.
Mai waVimbayi I used to cry from the blue and that puzzled my hubby and irritated him I guess. He just didn’t know what to think or do when it started.
Mai waTsitsi With my first I wanted nyama yakagochwa, not kumba yekubhawa!
I found myself in hiker’s heaven and hike I did! Being new in the city, hiking saved me and unbeknown to me began the training for my summit of the highest peak in Afrika, Kilimanjaro. PFUNGWA NYAMUKACHI ADVENTURER / ACTIVIST @iPfungwa
love mountains! I always have. I remember well growing up, when we would go kumusha, our village in Nerwande, Rusape on school holidays I would often stare out at Chamakumbu and Deedzo both mountains near our homestead, wishing I could just climb up. But, with stories told of how mystic mountains were and the many ‘supernatural’ disappearances of people who ‘disrespected the spirits’ by daring to walk on sacred grounded grounds, the stories would scare me put and I wouldn’t dare. Then the family moved to Pretoria, South Afrika and at university the mountains would call, yes call me and say ‘Pfungwa! Huya’ (come)! Ok no, not literally and not the Sangoma call either. But I would often be found arranging our hiking outings – Magaliesberg and Drakensberg which remains one of my best holiday retreats. Then 3-years ago I relocated to Cape Town, a pre-midlife crisis sort of move inspired by a need for more. My beloved Johannesburg, for personal reasons I shall not divulge now, just wasn’t
cutting it! I knew I wanted more, I wanted to leave, explore the world, new sights, and sounds and live a little. There were only two other cities I had always wanted to live in, in South Afrika – Durban and Cape Town. Both chosen for their proximity to oceans. Being from landlocked Zimbabwe, I have always been fascinated by these large expanses of water. As God would have it, I got a job in Cape Town. And, I could not have asked for better, I got best of both worlds – mountains on the one side and ocean on the other. It’s an open secret, I love Cape Town. I needed Cape Town. It is my soul’s sanctuary. Trekking began on the 12th of January 2014 and Lions Head and Table Mountain had trained me well. The first five days were, excuse the pun, a walk in the park. Summit day was my hardest. When we got to Stella Point (5 745m) my gentle but rock hard strong guide, George thought I was done with. He hugged me, hi-fived me, told me how Stella Point is a great achievement and that I would still get a certificate of accomplishment. When I told him that we were proceeding on, that
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
I had not come to see Stella, he simply looked at me in disbelief but I am sure weak as I was the resolve unmistakable and all he said was ‘You are one strong Afrikan woman with a strong heart!’. Even with my limbs
frozen, giving up was never an option and so I huffed, puffed and I made it to Uhuru Peak (5 895m)! I cried, I had done it!
What Kilimanjaro unleashed in me was a can-do attitude and belief in myself! I realised that I was strong! I am a strong woman – physically, emotionally, and mentally! the body, challenge the mind, challenge the will – something just gets unleashed. What Kilimanjaro unleashed in me was a can-do attitude and belief in myself! I realised that I was strong! I am a strong woman – physically, emotionally, and mentally! What an amazing
gave me any revelations and wise insights and the answer is yes. This submission was meant to be a reflection on my long walk to Uhuru, which literally means freedom in Swahili and lessons learnt along the way or as I looked back on it all. So yes, first lesson is that we need to do more crazy things - challenge
On the mountain, the two words you will hear a lot are ‘pole-pole’. Said by fellow hikers and guides alike to encourage each other on. Pole-pole is Swahili, meaning ‘slowly, slowly’. That it is not a race where the fastest one wins but that little by little, with every step each hiker can make it to the top. You soon realise that each hikers ‘slowly, slowly’ is different. What is one hiker’s ‘pole-pole’ might just leave you huffing and panting out of breathe. And I had to find my own pace. The sooner you find it and get in sync with it, the more the hike becomes enjoyable. We each have to pace ourselves lest we tire, lose steam, lose hope, give up and turn back. And so it is in life, I/we each have our own pace and rhythm to our life-song – get comfortable with it, dance and revel in it!
Many of my friends, family and chance encounters have asked me why I did it and why I would do such a crazy thing. What I now know for sure and truly believe is that everyone needs to do crazy things often! Everyone needs a pilgrim, a journey to the core, a Kilimanjaro of sorts of their own and it doesn’t have to be a mountain, it can be anything. For me it just happened to be Kilimanjaro, journey of celebration, of my life’s journey, where it’s taken me, where I found myself as a woman and the woman I want to be. Many have also asked if this pilgrim
epiphany that was! Somehow, I had forgotten that, I had settled for victimhood and stopped dreaming. Aching muscles and all as I sat back at the foot of the giant that is Kilimanjaro, reflecting on the summit, what I knew without a doubt was that I wanted more and that there was more to me, more to life and more adventures to be had! What I know for sure is I can do more and God wants to give and show me more - I need only ask, I need only do!
Summiting Kilimanjaro remains the most physically challenging thing I have ever done, as of yet anyway. Seven days of hard trekking and my prayer each day was simple, to sleep well and wake up refreshed, ready to go. God surely answered that prayer and each day, with backpack stocked with just the right amount of food, water supply and a can-do attitude, I was able to do the work for that day and little by little, ‘pole-pole’, day by day, I made it up top. I have since learnt that, on any given day, I/we all have what it takes to do what is needed for that day only – I have the energy, the competence, the wisdom, smarts – I need only focus on just today!
Inaugural Women’s Edition
Finding myself CHRISTINE NDORO FINE ARTIST
am at a stage in my life when I need more meaning. The statement that my life has to be worth more than this is consistently in my head. Over the past few days my faith was considerably shaken. I keep repeating the prayer for the Almighty to grant me the strength not to judge, because a Christian man who preaches to me in the office shook it. I learnt a long time ago that self-righteousness is a person’s worst enemy. You want the world to see itself as you see it yet you never stop to realise it is falling because of the way you treat it. Self-righteousness gives one squinted vision. You look down at the world from the tip of your nose. You narrow your perception of the world to the area that your vision covers around your nose.
You want the world to see itself as you see it yet you never stop to realise it is falling because of the way you treat it.
into my mother’s home. The little man had reduced me to being a child again.
I continue to forgive him because in his shallow world, he is doing the only thing he knows best becoming a giant through the belittlement of others. I cannot change him and I have decided to move on. In one week he has brought me more humiliation and anger than a previous abusive marriage. I am also to blame. I overlooked the little things until they developed into bigger things. I should have put my foot down from the first insult. I am good at what I do. Working for this man made me question my ability.
Daily I prayed for help to forgive him and eventually I could think of him and all the consequences of my lack of a salary without choking. I could look back at the time I spent at home with my daughter trying to keep her from questioning why she was not at school. She knew. She knew the reason because she had been the bearer of the note instructing me not to return her to class until her fees were fully paid. I wished that I could be a mother and still reserve the blissful innocence and ignorance of my youth, where responsibility always fell on someone else. I wished that I could live in a perfect world where only I would suffer the consequences of the decisions I made. I had to let go of this toxic pain...and I did.
Today I realised that what I should be questioning is why I accepted such behaviour to begin with. I should question why I absorbed his insults. It is not enough of an excuse for me to say because he owes me three months salary.
A true man protects the women in his life. He should never be the force against whom they should fight. It has been a very challenging time for me at work lately, with insults hurled at me that had me questioning myself worth. I refuse to be held down. I am too precious to let the opinion of a little man shake the foundation of my soul. This little man is deprived of motherly love. He hates women and yet he married one whom he humiliates at every opportunity – as he does every other woman; me included. First I was forgiving and insisted that it was not his fault.
My life and self-dignity are worth more than the three months minimum salary he should be giving me. In essence, if a man gets off on making women feel small then there is more man in me than in him. A true man honours his mother, sister, wife, aunty and daughter. A true man protects the women in his life. He should never be the force against whom they should fight. It has been almost half a year since I mastered the courage to 30
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
walk away from this little man and it is bliss. I was angry. To add insult to injury, the little man proposed that he half my already meagre salary and that I work on a commission basis. He asked me to think about it over a couple of days’ holiday period. My heart said no. My spirit said no. My everything said no. My life was worth so much more than what he presented on the platter. True, I went through the cycles of mourning. I mourned my time, I moaned my effort and I grieved over all the ripple effects that the little man’s decisions had caused. He was cruel. Because of him, I went through the most humiliating eviction from our home. I had been unable to honour my contribution to the household. As my landlady lectured and shouted, it alluded to a cartoon character being hit over the head repeatedly and sinking into the ground, until it was buried. That day I cried out to my God and asked him why. I stood naked, bathing. My body was empty. It was as if I had nothing and I amounted to nothing. I was angry. I asked my God to teach me to forgive this little man. It was a moment reminiscent of childbirth where pain becomes so intense, you flip into auto pilot. Where pain consumes you but you become removed from it because you have slipped into a pervasive crevice in your soul which prevents one from dealing with an immediate crisis. It was not entirely the little man’s fault. I did wrong as well. I did not maintain the house as well as I could have. With my tail in between my legs, I moved back
My mother has a saying, akava datya ariyambutsa (When you kick a frog you cause it to cross its barriers). Life is happy when you forgive because you become free. I was liberated and the right opportunity came knocking on my door that almost tripled my former salary and with it a boss who believes in the same ideals I do. Through a hostile situation, I found a part of me. Most importantly, I found gratitude. I found gratitude for the roof over my head, for friends, family, and love. I found a job that involves a lot of work. The work is hard. I am still thankful that I have it to begin with and that my salary is received every month end. I am thankful that I have weekends to my children and myself. I am thankful that I found an important chunk of me - gratitude.
Confusion ZVAFADZA DENGA FINE ARTIST
Half way through this piece the dream I had held for over half a decade fell through. Therefore it expresses the loss of a precious dream; however it also shows the birth of new hopes. Alas, all hope is not lost!
Made with acrylics and oil paints.
Inaugural Women’s Edition
Bridging the Gap SEKAI MACHACHE ARTIST / PHOTOGRAPHER @KaiChache1
My family have always been extremely career focused therefore my creative instincts as a child were always met with a certain dismissal.
n recent years I have had the opportunity to reconnect with Zimbabwe, my country of origin. After seventeen years away from home I was lucky enough to visit twice in the space of one year. The experience has been overwhelming. I decided to take the opportunity to meet with fellow artists in a bid to establish what the art scene in Harare is all about. For the first time I was able to truly experience the art community within Zimbabwe, the defining moments of which were my visits to Gallery Delta and First Floor Gallery. I found inspiration in their openness, support and willingness to share. Growing up I was under the impression that there was very little space for art within Shona culture. My family have always been extremely career focused therefore my creative instincts as a child were always met with a certain dismissal. I would always be the only black person anywhere: grade school, high school and then again in art school. My artistic ability was always met with the same reactions. There was an over-indulgence of the words ‘raw’, ‘authentic’ and ‘rich’, the meanings of which were not immediately apparent. Throughout my undergraduate study I found myself constantly having to explain what my
I have found it almost impossible to find other diaspora artists whose practice does not deal with themes of belonging, identity and the divided self. practice was about. I would always come up against the same questions. These questions not only related to my practice but were also personal, intimate and cultural. I felt a need to express something that I suspect was
happening not only to me but also to so many artists in the Diaspora. It feels like there is a disconnection between what we are trying to express and its interpretation.
Therefore we find ourselves having to counter it by delving further into the discourse on identity and belonging. I say ‘we’ because I have found it almost impossible to find other diaspora artists whose practice does not deal with themes of belonging, identity and the divided self. This inherently traps us in a feedback loop where we lose sight of what we would otherwise be pursuing. For example, while my practice deals with the psychology of dreams, it is constantly mistaken for being purely related to racial identity issues. This can be attributed to my use of the black figure which is not as commonly utilised within the visual arts to convey the common human experience in western art. Since the 1989 Magiciens de la Terre exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou & Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, contemporary art making in the ‘third world’ has become popular and is finally being recognised alongside its western counterparts. In recent years it has become clear that the international contemporary art world is once again looking to Afrika. Artists on the continent are exhibiting at the Biennales and other prominent art fairs. Notably for Zimbabwe, the Dudziro pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale and for Harare’s own First Floor Gallery at the 1:54 Contemporary Afrikan Art Fair.
» PHOTOGRAPHY Inaugural Women’s Edition
THE EXOTICISATION & OTHERISATION OF THE AFRIKAN BY THE AFRIKAN DOREEN GAURA BLOGGER / ACTIVIST www.colouredraysofgrey.wordpress.com
n the last decade or so we have seen an increase in Afrikan visibility and participation in the marketing of the continent as a commercial and creative hub. We have embarked on re - branding the image of Afrika i.e. moving away from the traditional Afro-pessimistic narrative to a more positive vibrant one as well as reclaiming the marketing rights of our own continent and cultures. This paradigm shift has reaped benefits for more and more, mostly young, Afrikan designers, artists and entrepreneurs both on the continent and in the Afrikan diaspora. It is a cause for celebration particularly in light of the reductive, Afro – pessimistic narratives that have plagued us for centuries and enabled the violent dispossession and subjugation of our people. However, I fear that while it has created room for Afrikans and our cultures in the global market as well as facilitated cultural exchange amongst ourselves as Afrikans on a much larger scale, I feel that this new visibility and celebration of our various cultures and the different aspects thereof has done very little to facilitate a shift from the exoticisation of the Afrikan and Afrikan culture.
The norm in the world we live in is deeply centred on whiteness and the word exotic is a Euro-centric one that aims for everything to be viewed through Euro-centric lens. If anything, it would appear to have not only validated it because that same narrative is now being vocalised by Afrikans “so it must be true”, but we now participate in the exoticisation of ourselves and our cultures. I can personally think of many examples of this that I have either observed or encountered personally over the years both as a Zimbabwean immigrant living and working in Cape Town, South Afrika and as a Zimbabwean emigrant returning home every year for a visit. During my last visit to Zimbabwe I was called “exotic” by strangers for spotting natural/afro-textured hair and donning afro inspired clothing and accessories. I found this both very problematic and somewhat offensive at the same time even though on all three occasions it was intended to be a compliment. The term “exotic” does not sit well with me, particularly when it is said in reference to people (of colour) or to POC cultures and heritages and this is because of the historical baggage that comes along with that term. Historically, and even in the present day, the term exotic mostly serves the purpose of propping up and sanctioning the otherisation of the “exotic” subject so as to fetishise and 34
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
objectify them/it making them/it inferior to what is considered the “norm”. This thinking operates on the premise that there is a singular norm and anything that deviates from this alleged norm then automatically becomes unusual and abnormal. The Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in the US defines exoticisation as: …a process by which a human figure is cast as foreign, not in the concrete sense of belonging to a foreign country or ethnic group, but in the phenomenological and ethical sense of being “other.” The other is considered an object of
What I take issue with when I’m referred to as exotic, particularly by fellow Afrikans and more especially by fellow Zimbabweans is that the things that aren’t foreign about me BECAUSE I’m a brown/black Zimbabwean or Afrikan are the exact things that my viewer considers exotic and distances themselves from; things such as not relaxing my hair or not wearing a weave or even not identifying as a Christian but instead as an Afro – spiritualist. This of course speaks to the politics of decolonisation and
We can aim to dismantle the ever reductionist narrative somewhat and more importantly we can cease to legitimise and reinforce the problematic racialised inferiority imposed on us by Euro-centric supremacy. interest and contemplation for the viewing subject, who presumably represents a cultural norm. The hallmark of exoticization in European and American literature is the construction of the other as strange and mysterious—often in some desirable or attractive but nevertheless distanced way—as if she did not exist within a plausible cultural or psychological context.
betrays to what extent we are really a nation (and perhaps even a continent) of Anglophiles whose idea of normal is really Euro-centric and it is often through this Anglophile/ Eurocentric lens that we engage with our cultures or identities and wind up falling into the trap of commodifying them as opposed to promoting them.
I started to question this when I noticed that in conversations with fellow young people, be it
a celebration and promotion of Western identities and norms just with an Afrikan twist to it. It is true that doors have been opened up and conversations started about our Afrikan cultures with business opportunities being provided for our Afrikan designers but to what extent are the designers engaging with the cultures they are “marketing” in order to be considered representatives of said cultures? Is a Kente inspired printed fabric the same as a Capulana print one and therefore can be used interchangeably? Are the symbols in these prints just meaningless pretty squiggles and designs on a piece of cloth or do they represent something? To what extent are the rest of the beneficiaries of those cultures being included in this distribution of their identity? Is the appropriate respect being awarded to the sacred aspects of the things we are marketing? Is commodifying Afrikan cultures creating multiple and nuanced narratives or just creating an Inaugural Women’s Edition
in South Afrika or Zimbabwe, around “afro-print” couture for example, most people treated the plethora of prints being used in the fashion industry as though they all emerge from a homogenous culture, called “Afrikan”. Not many bother to learn more about the origins of the prints they were using or buying and what, if any, significance or meaning they hold to the bearers of that particular culture. Because we use whiteness as the standard or default for normal, modern, urban, progressive, sophisticated etc we appear to be more interested in engaging with our identities using Euro-centric rules and norms i.e. moving away from the roots of said identities while maintaining the things that have received the West’s endorsement and approval and that can fit seamlessly into the neoliberal capitalist imaging of the world at the expense of the sacred aspects of our identities. What appears to be a celebration and promotion of Afrikan identities is in most instances
That we are not is indeed problematic or has the potential to be. Don’t get me wrong, I am not entirely against the marketing of our cultures ourselves as I am for the idea of (re)discovering, (re)claiming, and (re)framing/branding our identity first as black Afrikans then as members of various ethnic and cultural groups that fall under that banner (of Afrikan) that is removed from the imposed monolithic common identity that is “human” which is usually understood as a synonym for Europhile but I believe that we need to stop viewing and identifying ourselves using a Westernised/ white gaze. Others may wonder if it is still necessary to be talking about such things and if these things still matter but for as long as we and the rest of the world determine our value by our ability to produce Afrikan flavoured versions of Western convention and form because we are “inferior” we still have lot of talking, learning and unlearning to do. Of course, there will always be the risk of opening ourselves up to continued exoticisation by others through this promotion and celebration of ourselves and our cultures, that is unavoidable, but at least we can aim to dismantle the ever reductionist narrative somewhat and more importantly we can cease to legitimise and reinforce the problematic racialised inferiority imposed on us by Euro-centric supremacy.
The exoticisation of Afrikans is nothing new and we have seen this in stories like the Allan Quartermain series and various other aspects of pop culture that romanticise and fetishise the idea of Afrika as an endless majestic wilderness filled with adventure and “primitive but mysterious and alluring jungle people”. It is this sort of exoticisation that we seem to have internalised and adapted somewhat. Since the emergence of Afropolitanism, which has come under much justifiable criticism we have seen more and more young Afrikans appearing to be engaging with both their own as well as other Afrikan cultures. I say appearing because of late I have wondered to what extent most of us actually engage, if at all, with the plethora of Afrikan cultures we are enthusiastically commodifying and consuming.
illusion of representation and adding an Afrikan voice to the already existing reductive narrative of the “exotic other”? In my opinion these are all pertinent questions that elicit the necessary conversations that I believe we should be having as young Afrikans.
The commodification and exoticisation of ourselves, our cultures and our identities also seems to entrench the socio economic and political issues that already plague our communities. It appears to disenfranchise certain communities (particularly the rural ones) who by the way are usually the ones who preserve, live and identify with these cultural aspects more than those who wind up profiting from commodifying and commercialising said cultures. We end up replacing the current perpetrators of the exploitation of our people and our cultures. Also it is very problematic how we seem to be only embracing our cultures because we feel that there is business to be made from them for as long as the west is still enamoured by the idea of the exotic other.
ANNIE MPALUME PHOTOGRAPHER
he world of Rastafarianism has come under increasing awareness, investigation and scrutiny as we dawn into the information age, and the many cultures of the world become globalised. The popularity of its native son Bob Marley has many of us asking, what is it? What propelled Bob into his faith and how did his faith tie into his mystique and his prophetic-like mannerisms? Despite what many people think they know about Rastafarians, it is fair to say, there are many misconceptions. Many are bent on calling any person with dreadlocks, or anyone who lives apart from the rest of society a Rasta. Reggae musicians, weed smokers and Jamaican patois talkers are also lumped together under the Rastafarian umbrella. Clearly those external references only create a more disillusioned understanding and unidentifiable characteristic of Rastafarians. For anyone to call themselves Rasta, one of the most important tasks one must do is study. Unlike other religions where all one has to do is accept the doctrine as truth without study, or study
Rastafarians believe in the biblical God Jehovah but they call him Jah. They are people who love God and believe all life, regardless of skin colour, class, education level, is worthy of love and respect. without changing behaviour to be accepted, to live as a Rasta, one must study the doctrine, the diet, the laws and the strict codes that adhere to the faith. It is, after all, seen as a way of life rather than a religion. Since each individual has his/ her own personal relationship with God, there are very few churches, synagogues, or places of worship that are identifiably Rasta, however there are means that Rastafarians use to congregate and engage in spiritual communion. In my country, Rastafarians are usually raided by policemen because of their use of the illegal marijuana smoking during their praise and worship and their simple way of living raises questions as to how they make a living.
My interest to photograph and tell their story arose after I started growing my own hair naturally and moulded it into dreadlocks. Wherever I went people would address me as Rasta. Other Rastas would bow and greet me 36 36 THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
In the end I realised that many people can be called Rasta because of the dressing or hair style (like myself) but Rastafari is definitely a way of life.
with such politeness – I knew there was something mystical about their behaviour and wanted to find out more, why they were different from other individuals or perhaps become a real Rasta myself. So, I started by documenting their place of worship to learn more about their beliefs which I later realised are not very different from those of a Christian as they use the same bible and their belief of Haile Selassie is equivalent to the Christian belief in Jesus.
In the end I realised that many people can be called Rasta because of the dressing or hair style (like me) but Rastafari is definitely way of life. Having spent so much time documenting their church I still feel there is more to discover because every time I attend I’m sure to see new people and things. I have also opened up and I am no longer shy amongst them, as I found it so difficult in the first days to point my camera at them. To this day I continue, from time to time photographing from the sidelines, more as a spectator, capturing whatever catches/excites the eye. This remains a story in the making. Inaugural Women’s Edition
RUVIMBO MOYO ARCHITECT @ruvimbodesign www.behance.net/ruvi
he Afrikan context has recently been the playground for international developers that use it to create their rendered promises of functional and technologically relevant cities. These represent dreams and ideals of the global society- a capitalist one that does not necessarily meet the needs of the average Afrikan, one of which is a need for an alternative to the existing housing and socioeconomic conditions.
Amidst these grand commercial designs, the social housing sphere has remained stagnant and in crisis, still carrying the legacy of pre-independence. Amidst these grand commercial designs, the social housing sphere has remained stagnant and in crisis, still carrying the legacy of pre-independence. We re-use social housing models from a period of imperialism that are located at the periphery, away from the city centre reducing access to economic opportunity. Why is this still the quickest solution for our governments rather than thinking of innovative solutions 38
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
that do not limit construction to the same materials, the same area and the same indignity? The deconstructing of this physical and psychological inheritance within the housing sphere is a difficult undertaking. The issues include that of land acquisition, poor service delivery and sanitation and the use of hoary housing models that do not provide an ‘adequate’ solution. The continent is in dire need of innovative approaches
to improve these conditions, conditions that reflect inequality and poverty and poor service delivery. My attempt to respond to these conditions involved searching for a site with potential to address all these issues. Let us consider ‘Utopia’. It proposes an innovative look at quarry rehabilitation in the mining industry that includes participation from the government, private companies and the people to create a viable community. Initially, the mining company enters with the obligation to plant trees on arrival. Sustainable mining is practised and the overburden (earth dug-out) is collected.
The community can now access the site in a self-build process. The remaining stone and timber from the trees planted years ago by the mining company can be used in construction. Furthermore sun-baked bricks can be made using clay available. This construction method harnesses and re-uses surrounding materials promoting the self-sufficiency of utopia, limiting the import of material at this final stage. Grazing land for animals and farming land is allocated nearby. Energy-efficiency is promoted with solar power and grey-water systems along with informed simple methods of construction that include building orientation, solar control mechanisms and thermal mass. The zone is established in the 21st century by giving it internet connectivity.
An extended Exclusive Prospecting Order (EPO) limits mining to 6 years, after which the mining company moves on to the next quarry. While the trees continue to grow, the parameters of the quarry are set up. These are; setting up suitable dimensions, population, programme and typology. The quarry will be built up with the necessary sedimentary layers, cleared of toxins to make it habitable and foundations set. There needs to be an analysis of the pollution level in the mine to determine an appropriate solution to the toxins and acid water, for example, in
Monowai New Zealand, the safe solution was to fill the mine with concrete to prevent water contacting the rock surface while other mines with little acidity can be rehabilitated with plants. Terracing is built up using sorted overburden with adequate drainage. At this point the government provides the core structure (public buildings, circulation, core walls and services in the housing) to make a self- building community easier. It becomes a housing development where the vital minimum is provided for the people to complete, giving spontaneity and variety within certain limits in the quarry.
The site will have a programme promoting the simplicity of self-sufficient rural life while giving necessary elements for empowerment in these massive enclosures reminiscent of the Great Zimbabwe architecture. It would have a more public zone located at the rim of the quarry allowing for overflowing growth and a private zone of housing units within the terraces of the quarry to limit the population. These elements will be organised so that passivesurveillance is possible within short walking distance. Global competitiveness should not be based on global homogeneity; this proposal then creates its own architectural identity of its own dynamic terrain. If we start portraying ideas that reflect the continent we want, the landscape has a better chance of developing to reflect an architecture that adds more than just commercial value, but the social values we aspire to.
Energy-efficiency is promoted with solar power and grey-water systems along with informed simple methods of construction that include building orientation, solar control mechanisms and thermal mass. Inaugural Womenâ€™s Edition
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
MARJORIE WALLACE POTTERY
MARJORIE WALLACE Inaugural Women’s Edition
Expansion I began to develop that word and gave much relevance to my works and my everyday happenings, just the way a designer expands his thumbnail ideas to produce that final one.
GEORGINA MAXIM ARTIST
heard somebody say the word expansion, then realised much later that it was me. Silly I thought, then later it became interesting. I began to develop that word and gave much relevance to my works and my everyday happenings, just the way a designer expands his thumbnail ideas to produce that final one.
It is difficult to let people easily grasp what is in your head, nobody does, and it’s all in your head. But once it is out as an art form then the value is lost. Then why do we share as artists? The intention of my work is to understand the time I never knew, never experienced and only heard through oral tradition. What you hear, the things you imagine and more importantly what you want to expand from what you have been given. Growing up, girls liked to play with objects that best defined them; ragged dolls, the product of rags found in that so hard and unbearable pillow that always stiffened your neck, knitting with wool and grass, macramé in grass and hair plaiting creating patterns, form, design and texture. It was a soothing time, a time to look forward to as results could be seen. I am interested in these past time events and would like to marry them with the present.
However difficult it is to make these objects relevant to our new found technology, I still worship them. At times, I wonder if people remember any of these pastimes and whether these activities and education are still at play today. My work, tries to bring about the story, the idea only and at times the actual events of the past. It remains a concept. It eventually becomes understood when there is a language between the viewer and the work. Each can produce her own conclusion and might as well expand. Again I heard myself say that I do not need to do great things every day, but I need to do something towards that great thing daily. The key word for me was daily. It doesn’t mean be a slave at it, but my thoughts are, a little reading, a little research and practice leading to the expansion of an idea. Expansion can be taken from any context. Many art houses have been born, adding value to expansion. Artists continue to be made whilst also creating expansion in the medium used, content and art. It brings about a comfort feeling that it is being done and that we can be compared with the rest of the world. In the end I believe that by remaining loyal to oneself and to the expansion statement the influence becomes real like a ripple effect, inspiring everyone and hopefully in a few years everyone will accept honest art. 42
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
However difficult it is to make these objects relevant to our new found technology, I still worship them.
Inaugural Women’s Edition
Alice in the
Wonderland of Photography When you think of decay, the kinds of images that come to mind are of rot, decomposition, deterioration, that kind of thing. Certainly, most people wouldn’t associate decay with anything positive. But to photographer, Alice Tavaya there are qualities associated with decay that are often overlooked. SABINA SELDON WRITER
“There is a beauty in decay,” she says. Perhaps it has something to do with the way one sees but I am not so sure. “My attraction is two- fold,” she tells me. “I am drawn by the beauty but I am also interested in the aspect of mourning what used to be,” she adds. Now she has me interested. She pauses and doesn’t seem to want to go into details. But soon she lets out the secret. “Well, I am actually working on a series on urban decay, the decay of the industrial sites.” Ah. I get it. Well, sort of. Alice is not afraid of tackling difficult subjects. I remember this from the first time I encountered her work about ten years ago. At the time she was participating in an exhibition about street children called “The Streets where I live,” about ten years ago. The exhibition included paintings and photographs by street children as well as established artists about life on the streets. That’s not the only exhibition Alice has been involved in. She has taken part in various others in Zimbabwe and her work has travelled to Australia, the United States, England, Cuba, Botswana, Malawi, South Afrika, France, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and other places she has forgotten about, she tells me. Impressive, I think. I am interested to know how all this began.
“Well, I am fortunate to have received a lot of nurturing. I was born in Ashira, in Tanzania, to Zimbabwean parents,” she says. “I began my early life right on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. I can still remember it to this day, even though we only lived there until I was five. The mountain disappeared every day at four o’clock in the afternoon,” she says laughing. “I imagined it went to its mother and came back the next day.” We both laugh.
A photography lesson at school? Alice nods. “That’s right. You could pick any combination of lessons you wanted to take as long as you had the compulsory ones covered. As part of my combination I chose photography,” she says.
At the age of two, Alice’s father bought her a set of non-toxic water colours. “I knew from that age what I was going to become,” she says. Her father went on to introduce her to the wonders of photography when she was six.
I am a portrait photographer with a touch of surrealism in my work. I love to do portraits of Afrikan women. I work a lot with fabric and skin tone, skin texture. I find those so dramatic.
“I still remember him lying on the ground playing with our adopted stray cat, Susan, by the rockery. I still have the photo – blurry as anything,” The camera she used to take that picture was a Pentax, a manual one. “My father said to me, ‘just point and shoot’. I did. From then on I fell in love with the camera.” She rediscovered the camera when she was 17 years old. By then Alice’s family had moved to Zimbabwe, where she did her schooling up to O level before moving once again. This time, it was to Australia. “I went to St Clare’s College in ACT, Canberra, and I picked up a camera during a photography lesson.” 44
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
“When I was at school in Harare I hated it. But when I got to Australia, school just changed for me. The teachers at my school had a lot of passion for the pupils.
They cared and that made the world of difference,” Alice says. After high school, she did a BA in Fine Art before going on to obtain her Masters at the Australian National University, Institute of the Arts. “I majored in photography and animation,” she says. “When I was doing my first degree that’s when Photoshop came out. They introduced it at my university and since
then I’ve been hooked.” It was during that time that she also developed a love for the dark room. “The quietness in the environment and the quiet I experience within myself is what I love. Creativity just germinates in different ways. You are part artist, part scientist. It’s just a beautiful combination.” Unfortunately, Alice doesn’t have a dark room of her own. “Perhaps one day,” she says. That doesn’t stop her from pursuing her love of photography though. She can cover a wide scope in terms of subject matter but tends to enjoy portraits. “I am a portrait photographer with a touch of surrealism in my work. I love to do portraits of Afrikan women. I work a lot with fabric and skin tone, skin texture. I find those so dramatic,” she says. These days, she uses a Canon EOS 10D digital. “It’s light, portable and it has become an extension of my hand. I am often with it,” she adds. She has come a long way from that girl with a Pentax manual. I’m guessing a Pentax manual wouldn’t be ideal for pursuing the artistic side of photography, which Alice does. What keeps her going, I ask. “I believe that all creativity is spiritual,” she answers. “I have a Nigerian acquaintance, a fellow artist, who used to say that when you pursue your art, you are imitating the creator. I find that I need to tap into the spiritual side of things in order to produce good work.
We are spiritual beings. God is spirit. He is creative,” she goes on. So, does that mean she never suffers from artist’s block? She shakes her head. “I have had artist block, like many artists. Often blocks come when I am not in the right place with God. The moment I get that sorted out, my work just flows. Speaking of work flow, we talk about her most recent work. “My last exhibition was at MAD (Multifaceted Arts Domain) earlier this year. I did portraits of Afrikan women with fabric. I focused on the richness of the fabric texture and sensuality of the skin, playing with the drama on each, but juxtaposing this with a calm background,” she says. I ask her which artists inspire her. She spouts off names. Michael Parkes, a lithographer and sculptor. “I love his work for its colour, its themes. He deals a lot with the female body. I find the way he does this beautiful,” she says throwing in other names like Cindy Sherman, Tonely Ngwenya, Cosmos Shiridzinomwa and Annie Leibovitz.
We talk about where she sees herself in the future. “I would love to have the passion for my craft, to still be adventurous and experiment with it. And most of all to still be in love with it,” she says. It turns out that she’s worked as a lecturer somewhere along the path to where she is today. “When I lectured at the local poly, I was so stimulated by the people I taught. I would love to go back to lecturing, but only when I’ve finished my adventures. I don’t believe in retirement so that’s what I would do after all my adventures.” Here’s to many more adventures in the Wonderland of photography, Alice. Inaugural Women’s Edition
My journey into
photography I believe that everything begins with passion and drive. If you really want to get something, fight for it. Prove the doubters wrong. Go for what you feel is your destiny. It is, after all, your life.
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
So from an early age, I was quite enthusiastic about photographs. And as I grew older, I became increasingly interested in the aesthetics of the work. With my first real salary of note (I was 22 at the time), I bought my own point-andshoot digital camera. I loved it dearly and was often to be seen attempting to document things around me through the eye of my camera. Sadly, it was stolen two years later, leaving me quite heartbroken.
It wasn’t going to be a cheap buy and it was by no means an entry-level camera. It would require a lot of learning to finally be able to use with some level of aptitude. As I summoned the courage to go to the shop and buy it, I constantly heard a voice in my head telling me that this wasn’t worth the money, that I would never learn how to use it and in the process, waste cash that would be better used elsewhere. But after ‘test-driving’ the model by going into the camera shop and taking a few shots and asking an assistant more about it, I decided to take the plunge. However, the day I walked in to buy my 550D, the elements were in agreement to contrive to make me doubt my choice.
By the end of that year, however, I was back in business with a new model which kept me happy for another three years.
The shop assistant assigned to help me continually tried to convince me that I was too new to photography to go for such a complicated model. In fact, he made it his mission to try to convince me to go for something simpler.
But by 2011, I knew I wanted more from a camera. Higher resolution, greater creative freedom and more features to allow me greater control and precision.
But I was adamant. I wanted the 550D. He was adamant that I should take the 1100D Reaching this frustrating impasse, I stormed out of the shop.
And so, quite randomly, I began to scour the Internet to try to figure out what I wanted.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe I’m being stubborn. Maybe I can never learn that camera.
Now, try to imagine a person with zero knowledge of the potential or desired specifications of a DSLR searching the Internet for something like this. Very daunting!
And so I began my precarious journey into photography. Learning to understand exposure settings, aperture sizes, ISO, lenses, filters and compositions. I am not really good at teaching myself things but was sure that I didn’t want to prove my doubts right. And so I put in the extra effort. As I grew to understand my camera better, I began to realise that it could serve as an extension of my eye. What I saw, how I saw it and chose to frame it. It became a way of telling stories without words, of keeping memories that might otherwise be lost. My photography has therefore become an extension of my thoughts and feelings, and extension of me. It is two years now since I started taking photos. I have had the fortune of having sessions with some wellknown Zimbabweans like writer NoViolet Bulawayo and singer, Shingai Shoniwa. I have also taken photos for events, both personal and public. I believe that everything begins with passion and drive. If you really want to get something, fight for it. Prove the doubters wrong. Go for what you feel is your destiny. It is, after all, your life.
The doubts began to visit my thoughts.
I look at my camera and the body of work that I have amassed. And I feel very proud that I have chosen to explore and challenge myself in this way. It’s been worth every cent spent.
I wrestled hard. Thought long and seriously about my choice. And then I decided to believe in myself and abilities.
Inaugural Women’s Edition
I eventually returned to the shop and bought the 550D. With it, I bought dummies’ guides to using it and other books on photography. I was determined to make this purchase worth every cent.
have always enjoyed photography, but never really thought more of it beyond being able to capture memories. My mother and sister initiated me into the joys of photo-taking when aged 11, they bought me a flame-red camera of my own. Perhaps, more accurately, it was my cousin who had done that a few years before when she let me use her own camera to take shots.
But after a few consultations with friends in photography, and a feeling that I had found what I wanted, I settled on a Canon EOS 550D.
RESEARCHER / ACTIVIST
Telling her story... RUDO NYANGULU LAWYER / PHOTOGRAPHER
There are few who can speak of a lower standing in society than a poor black Afrikan girl child, except perhaps for that girl born HIV positive.
y passion as a photographer is to collect and tell stories. In particular I love to tell stories about women, their joys, their struggles, their hopes and their dreams. As I thought about this special POVO Women’s issue and the great opportunity it gives women and artists to tell stories that matter, I felt a burden on my heart to share the story of Mwemwa.
Mwemwa and I met in 2011 when she was 7 months pregnant. She is HIV positive but had not accessed the ‘FREE’ ARV therapy that prevents transmission of HIV from mother to child because she did not have the US$30.00 to pay the clinic to register. Without registration at the clinic the nurses would not give her this vital medicine required to save her child from being born with HIV. The nurses, women like her said no they would not help her save her child and turned her away. When I heard Mwemwa’s story it moved me deeply. To think that in 2011 with all the knowledge and donor-funding pouring into our country to reduce the transmission rate of HIV, the fate of our children; our next generation at risk of contracting HIV was dependant on the child’s mother’s ability to produce US$30.00 in a country that is scarred by rampant poverty.
US$30.00 was the price to ensure healthy life and a future for Mwemwa’s child. US$30.00 stood between her child being born HIV negative or HIV positive in a country where access to ARV therapy to prevent mother to child transmission should be free... Now I do appreciate that government clinics are under resourced and struggle to stay
open and provide a service BUT surely a nurse over the common man sees daily the effects of HIV and having the power to aid in ensuring that no child is born HIV positive how can she turn a mother away? I asked myself, “Is this OUR Zimbabwe?” A place where children can be born with HIV next to a clinic that has the vital medicine to prevent this locked
Without registration at the clinic the nurses would not give her this vital medicine required to save her child from being born with HIV. 48
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
away and out of reach of the very poor? I gave Mwemwa the US$30.00 and she went to register at the clinic and started the ARV therapy medication at 7 months pregnant. December 2011 her baby was born and it turned out to be two babies instead of one, twin girls. Today the twin girls are thriving, HIV negative and growing well....they are the lucky few... how many more Mwemwa’s are there out there who end up giving birth to HIV positive children because they are economically disadvantaged, living next to a clinic that has the power to save their children this fate, locked away beyond their reach?
Inaugural Women’s Edition
SABINA MUTSVATI | PHOTOGRAPHY
SIMON DEINER (WWW.HAUTEFASHIONAFRIKA.COM)
I love being able to tell stories through fashion and art.
FASHION DESIGNER http://bit.ly/HouseOfBantu
» RAQUEL SCHWAEZLER | MODEL » FELICE BOYD | HAIR AND MAKE UP » RENEE SCIFO | STYLING AND CLOTHES » HOUSE OF BANTU
aving grown up in beautiful Zimbabwe I can still remember all the colours that filled the air through the trees and all the colourful garments that the women wore everywhere. I am particularly inspired by splashes of colour that contrast dark spaces. I love how colour is such a good indication of life. It doesn’t matter what colours you use be it in a piece of artwork or a lovely piece of clothing, colour is such a good indication of life. Having lived in Australia for the last 12 years, I am constantly looking at colour through nature. Birds, especially have been such a good way of expressing this. Australia is a country known for its beautiful range of wild life just like Zimbabwe and in this season of my life birds are just that symbolism of freedom. I am a big believer in metaphors, and symbolisms. I believe that as artists we have a story to tell and when we use metaphors and symbolism we leave the interpretation of our art to the viewer. This opens up more room for conversation of what you have created. It’s been 12 years since I was last in Afrika, but you would never tell that through my art and my designs. Afrika, in particular Zimbabwe still plays a huge part in my creative expression. I will always relate my designs and artwork back to my roots.
My influences come mainly from the hope that I see in Afrika. The hope of Afrika one day being a worldwide leader in the arts sector. I have always felt that creative arts are the vehicle through which barriers can be broken and our views of the world can challenge people’s mind sets about what it means to be an Afrikan in the western world. Barriers of ignorance and hostility which open up room for education and conversation. It seems I no longer have to talk about where I am from and
The world is hungry for a new perspective on how we see things. I see suffering in this world, pain and a lot of hurt. But underneath that there is a lot of hope, there is more hope than suffering and I suppose that is the story in each of us; a story of hope about the future. There is no group of people in this world that I think can tell that story better than Afrikans. We Afrikans carry that in our spirit, we have that hope always. I don’t know where it comes from and will probably spend most of
Being an Afrikan in the western world through my creative expressions I see barriers being broken. Barriers of ignorance and hostility which open up room for education and conversation. what it was like for me growing up. People see my influences through creative expression and they also see a connection through the normality of being just a human being born in a different part of the world with a different view of the world. I love seeing Zimbabwe and most of Afrika having a surge in the push for creativity like never before. There are people’s stories that need to be told. What are we without our own personal stories? When we create something, it doesn’t matter what it is. We tell our stories; our lives are laid out for the world to see. 50
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
my life trying to figure that one out. But I also believe that it is a true gift we have been given. Who knows but underneath all our suffering as a people we have persevered and stuck through the tough times and I can truly say as humanity we have not needed hope more than at such a time as this. And if we begin to rise up as a people, the ‘BANTU’ people we actually bring hope through our own stories and experiences to people who would otherwise see their situations as being lost. So in telling my story, I have been on a long journey in search of freedom. Freedom from being swallowed by the disease
of complacency that seems to be catching on quite easily and quickly in our generation, ‘the born free generation’ I feel like underneath we have such a massive story that we can all share both individually and as a collective. And that is what I am hoping people will see and catch in my latest jewellery collection. My latest jewellery collection is called “Taking Flight”. This collection is a story about my own journey to freedom which has been a twelve year journey which is all my life in Sydney, Australia. A journey associated with the heart aches of wanting to be seen and recognised as an Afrikan artist but some also personal journeys that are still working hugely in me. As I truly believe in my heart that until the day each and every one of us, when our time is up we will always be working our way through this journey of freedom from something or someone. As humans we will always be fighting to break chains off of us. I realised this when being an Afrikan living in a predominantly white society I used to take every criticism and comment as being race fuelled or some sort of insult to my heritage when people asked simple questions like so, “did you have pet lions, why is it you don’t wear sun screen?” and “would you be offended if I called you black?”. I soon realised that as much as I took offence, I also had a revelation that my friends also just wanted to free
themselves from their cage of assuming what they could call me without offending me or just wanting to be better educated about Afrika (which in itself is another whole conversation on its own). On a more personal level I have gone through the journey of realising that I am well and truly loved as I am and never need to seek approval from anyone. As a young Afrikan woman there can be times where approval can be the one thing that can seem to be some sort of relief from all the expectations that the world has of us. When we truly begin to see our individual selves as being valuable members of our community and having a voice that counts for something that on its own sets one free. Our motives change, our intentions and actions change. We turn from wanting the world around us to change and we rise up in who we are and find our voice and speak out loud. We can stand firm in who we are individually and say I am born to change the world around me for good not for me but for those who will come after me. That is one of my passions, to grow constantly and challenge women and girls to rise up and live in their purpose to change the world around them. Through my creative expression I hope to transfer and ignite a fire in our younger generation that says no matter who you are and where you are from you have a story that the world needs to hear that is going to bring hope to someone who would have otherwise not seen or known hope. Inaugural Womenâ€™s Edition
CHRISTIE BROOKSTEIN JEWELLERY DESIGNER @ndau_jewelry www.ndaucollection.com
was asked to write this opinion piece on the fashion industry in Zimbabwe and all the predictable adjectives like fledgling and emerging came to mind, when I realised that none of these truly captured what it was like to be in the business here and now. As I pondered how best to describe the state of designers in our country today, I began to relate to one of my favourite authors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and decided to paraphrase one of his novel’s titles for this piece’s title. Hear me out – this may seem a bizarre connection to most, but like all creatives, I draw inspiration from everything I come into contact with and to me, this quote could have been written about the design process instead: “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera Fashion is a living breathing entity that dies at the end of every season and is reborn on the next season’s catwalk; that grows as a designer develops their signature and comes to represent the distillation of a creative’s vision in a capsule of garments or even an item. To anyone in the industry, the mere image of a leather fingerless glove is Karl Lagerfeld. If that item has become so iconic, what is representative of Zimbabwean fashion? Well, the honest answer is that we don’t have an identity yet. We live in a world where
in the Time of Cholera An opinion on the Zimbabwean Fashion Industry by an insider working with an emerging luxury designer brand. and buyers. Local designers can’t compete with pavement shops of second hand clothes from giant consortiums that specialise in global fast fashion, on sale for a fraction of the price of local designs.
putting food on the table is most people’s major concern, where going to school has become a privilege. And somehow in the midst of this, there is a group of passionate individuals to who fashion is as essential as breathing – take a look at Instagram and Facebook if you doubt me! This overwhelming love overcomes all obstacles, embraces the bad with the good and literally puts their best shoe forward – Fashion in the Time of Cholera. What is needed now is for the passion to be channelled correctly. The Zimbabwean fashion industry has few players and even fewer of these are keeping their heads above water. Fashion is a cruel mistress and very few in the world make it to the top. Without any of the support structures offered in other countries, it is even harder here. We have no specialist courses to attend, very limited student and small business loans, a nearly defunct fabric and construction industry, few fashion outlets that aren’t flooded with cheap mass produced imports, all coupled with limited exposure to international fashion standards 52
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
What we do have and what I believe will help the top few stay the distance is who we are. We are Zimbabweans – a nation that perseveres no matter what, has a rich cultural heritage to draw from and is blessed with highly talented artisans. The modern concept of luxury has become to own something that no one else can possess, something touched, finished and made unique by the human hand, not a faceless machine, something that holds a story within it. Afrika is one of the few places left where this concept can be realised, but to achieve this, we have to hold ourselves to the highest standards of quality and design and become the home of modern luxury. We have to be honest and hard on ourselves – what makes a design not just good but great? What makes it Zimbabwean? Why would someone value it and want to buy it? The harsh truth is that it’s not because it’s a Dutch designed print fabric made up badly in a predictable shape. Hand-print a design on hand loomed Afrikan raw silk, hand-embroider and bead it, then cut and tailor it
exquisitely and now we can talk. At the end of it all, the local fashion industry needs to make money to exist and we can only do that by working harder than anyone else and by being our own harshest critics. We’re on our own here and nothing less than the best is going to make it. We have to accept that this is a competitive industry and people in it will struggle to work together harmoniously – this volatility is what makes fashion, fashion! We need to be clear about which level of fashion design we stand in (there are many) and excel there. Haute couture does not exist outside of Paris. Not everyone who wants to will make it as a designer. Making some clothes for a show does not make a designer. That’s just the way it is. As a designer, you have to know your brand inside out - what it’s about, where its placed in the market, who its’ competitors are and where it’s going and then stick to this when you get it right. If the core group of passionate local fashionistas can push on with these points in mind, we can slowly grow this industry and start to provide jobs in the many different facets of fashion – from pattern cutting through to social media. We’re here for the love, the passion and the pure joy of creation – but let’s also be real and build a rock solid foundation and put food on the table.
Inaugural Womenâ€™s Edition
The modern concept of luxury has become to own something that no one else can possess, something touched, finished and made unique by the human hand, not a faceless machine, something that holds a story within it. 53
Dress to express: adornment as art ANTHEA TADERERA LAWYER / BLOGGER @TCKFeminist http://bit.ly/1ogjApw
or some time now I have been pondering (obsessing over?) how people relate to their bodies and whether or not this affects their understanding of bodily autonomy which has fairly obvious implications for those interested in women’s rights. Whilst pondering I took a detour and wondered how people associate with their clothes and their adornment, beyond the search for or subscription to beauty, and in terms of representing who they are? That is presenting themselves to the world as they would like to be regarded as opposed to how they think they should be regarded. All with a side of “Why can’t this be art?”
It is the element of expression that I am particularly fascinated by – having the opportunity to interact with the persona that someone represents as the physical manifestation of his or her inner self. which grace catwalks and the pages of glossy magazines. I am referring to the end product of people choosing what to put on their body, what to adorn themselves with be it their clothing or something more permanent such as piercings or tattoos, that allow the world at large to catch a glimpse of the person that lies beneath. I used my laptop’s dictionary in an attempt to find a definition of art, it said that art is, ‘the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form’. It is the element of expression that I am particularly fascinated by – having the
I am a feminist. I have always liked clothes. I juxtapose those two statements purely for the effect, although I am a little bit late to the party given that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian writer already wrote quite a compelling article, ‘Why Can’t A Smart Woman Love Fashion?’ You see, it is often expected that feminists or women who take themselves seriously, will neither enjoy clothing or fashion, nor see it as a form of self-expression or creativity – art. Instead, they will see clothing as yet another (frivolous) means by which the status quo regulates women’s bodies. This is with good reason
We might as well take the opportunity to express ourselves, our world views and our paradigms in the way in which we adorn ourselves and to do it with pride I have come to appreciate fashion as an art form. Actually, that is a little misleading – I have come to understand the way in which people dress themselves to be an art form. I see the creativity that extends beyond the beauty of the initial designs of the garments,
opportunity to interact with the persona that someone represents as the physical manifestation of her or his inner self. It is yet another example of art being used in order to represent or explore what is otherwise a potentially inaccessible abstraction. The self. 54
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
as prevailing beauty standards are often exclusionary: racist, ageist, sizeist, ableist and many other things to boot. There is in fact a rigidity in place in the over arching beauty discourse of mainstream society, in terms of what can and cannot or rather what should or should not be
worn by certain people, as well as value judgements in terms of who can be deemed attractive. For some the clear solution to the issue of regulation of beauty seems to be a sustained boycott not only of things easily identifiable as being fashionable, but also boycotting the idea that clothing can hold any meaning. I’m not saying that everyone should go out there and embrace a particular brand of femininity complete with make up and high heels (not that there’s anything wrong with that if its what you enjoy). Neither am I suggesting that clothing or material possession usurp the importance of the inner self. Rather the point is that because we are the masters of our bodies we are entitled to present them and represent ourselves in any way that we see fit and that the way we dress presents such an opportunity. Clothes, tattoos, jewellery are often deemed to communicate. As such, we might as well take the opportunity to express ourselves, our world views and our paradigms in the way in which we adorn ourselves and to do it with pride. A T-shirt and a pair of tracksuit bottoms worn for enjoyment meet this criteria perfectly. The goal is not to aid in the objectification of the human body through conformity to prevailing beauty norms, but rather to use our agency to better reflect the subject and our subjectivities. That is, to dress to express. That must be art.
Inaugural Women’s Edition
The power of social media RUTENDO MUTSAMWIRA WRITER / POET @RuTendoDeNise http://bit.ly/1fWIFmK
nce upon a time, I was in my final year of an undergraduate degree at Monash University in South Africa. I was broke, broken and with no guarantee of graduation in sight. During that time, our family, like many others, was going through a very rough financial patch. We owed the university thousands and thousands of rands and as a result I was encumbered. My diet drastically changed, my concentration levels plummeted and isolation gradually became more and more appealing to me. Despite all my temporary transgressions, I learnt invaluable lessons in budgeting, endurance and reaching out. These are lessons that have played a colossal role in my personal and career development. I have always believed I was born to serve a purpose. What that purpose is, I cannot define, but all I know is that it is bigger than anything I have ever been through. It is bigger than my triumphs, my fears and insecurities. It is this overwhelming sense of purpose that has kept me sane when I have been on the brink of insanity, depression, suicide and self-doubt. It is also the reason why I am where I am, and who I am today. I was recently selected to be part of the first group of interns part of the Microsoft 4 Afrika initiative. Out of thousands of applicants all over the continent, only 70 were selected. I was one of them. The only one from Zimbabwe. My mind still can’t fully wrap itself around that.
The 4 Afrika Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can accelerate technology for the world.
The Microsoft 4 Afrika Initiative was launched in February 2013 to help accelerate Africa’s economic development and to improve its global competitiveness. It is a long term commitment to help empower African youth,
entrepreneurs, developers, and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the continent and the world. Microsoft would like to enable Africa become a net producer of technology,
It is a long term commitment to help empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers, and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the continent and the world. 56
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
rather than a net consumer. This is premised on the belief that African innovation can and should shape Africa’s future. Up until I went for on-boarding at Microsoft South Africa, I did not own my own laptop. While I was in university, my family could not afford to buy me my own device. I did, however, use my brothers’ old laptop, but it had gone through a lot in its time and so, it gave up on itself, and it gave up on me! As a result, I became the Queen of the Media Labs on campus. I literally resided in those rooms 80% of my university career. While everyone else who had the luxury of owning their own laptops or PC’s was downloading series and movies on DC++, I was online enlarging my sphere of influence virtually. I have always been cognisant of the impact and influence I have on people, especially my peers. Don’t get me wrong, I also wished I could snuggle up in residence watching Sex & the City, NCIS, Modern Family etc. However, it is only now that I realise those years spent in the media labs engaging and collaborating virtually, were my biggest investment in myself to date. I realise that I have been very privileged to be where I am today. To have access to a plethora of resources and people that are enabling me to realise and maximise my potential. However, with privilege comes responsibility. To be a young Zimbabwean woman learning from and being mentored through the Microsoft 4 Afrika initiative means I have an enormous responsibility. Firstly, that is to impart the knowledge and skills I have and
The more you read. The better you write and speak. Invest in yourself by enriching and expanding your mind. Reading widely and critically is very important. It not only
Volunteer when you can. Apart from the social responsibility that is attached to volunteering, it enables you to learn more about yourself through doing good for others. Set aside a date and time to volunteer, whether in your community or neighbourhood. Do what works for you. If you feel you are not ready to volunteer at a community organisation, then start where you are. If you have a family friend, relative, or one of your workers who needs help or assistance, invest in them. This can be by either teaching them how to read or write. Just be consistent in what you choose to volunteer in. Exercise! A healthy mind = A positive, go getter attitude. With life’s challenges swinging at you with menacing blows, exercise keeps you going. There’s no substitute to exercise. Invest in your health because nobody else can do that for you but yourself.
Where do I see myself in the next five years? To be honest, I don’t have a clear answer to that. My goals keep on changing, and God keeps on revealing different plans than I ever had so we’ll see how it goes. I have strong interests in women, skills development and how technology can be an economic change agent. I am looking to invest my time and resources into all three in the near future. With regards to my music, that has taken a back seat for now. However, don’t be surprised when you hear that RuTendo DeNise went to the moon to shoot a music video! That’s just how crazy and big my dreams are!
The Amoeba Project
CLAIRE DONGO ANIMATOR @thaadd1ct www.be.net/clairedongo
his project is a screenshot from a short film I worked on titled “Amoeba”. The short film came about as a component of my studies to complete my Masters in animation at Wits University. I was part of a team of four people who worked on this project two of us being Zimbabwean. I was primarily in charge of managing the production and guiding the team’s direction. I worked on every aspect of the production pipeline from concept to the final product but took a particular lead in modelling, texturing and technical tests. This short film has proceeded to be entered into various international film festivals. It has so far won a silver medal at the New York Film Festival in the United States. It has also been selected for screening at Stuttgart Animation Festival in Germany, Inaugural Women’s Edition
I was part of a team of four people who worked on this project two of us being Zimbabwean. I was primarily in charge of managing the production and guiding the team’s direction Toronto Film Festival in Canada and Kinematifest in the United States. I am pretty excited by its success in so far as it is also Wits University’s first and only short animated film to do the international festival rounds since they started the program over 10 years ago. My hope is to help continue building the animation industry in Zimbabwe and make a difference. Amoeba - The story is about a lonely amoeba called Fred who lived in the vast empty expanse of the petri dish. He played on his own everyday until he decided to end his lonely existence leaving this cruel world behind. WATCH HERE http://bit.ly/1olBIi6
Invest in your relationships. You cannot achieve much through isolation. Collaboration is the key to success. Be sure to surround yourself with people that appreciate you, those that are hungry for growth, and those who strive for personal excellence. You are the company you keep so be mindful of that and invest in maintaining and starting relationships that serve a positive outcome and purpose.
In Shona, there is a saying which goes: Kudzidza hakuperi, which means one never stops learning. Through sharing my story I hope and believe that it will be a call to action for the wealth of talent and potential that is the youth of Zimbabwe and Africa to invest in themselves. Investing in yourself means you realise that in order for either an investor or organisation to invest in you or your idea, there has to be tangible value you can add for them to realise a return on investment should they invest in you. Below are some rules I follow religiously that might guide and inspire you.
enables you to develop informed opinions, it is a great starting point for conversations. Conversations are great ways to start networking, so READ more broadly!
ANIMATION SCREEN SHOTS - SOURCE
shall continue to acquire from the programme to my peers and fellow youth. Secondly, to advocate the importance of skills development from an individual, organisational and national perspective. As Zimbabweans we boast about having the highest literacy rate in the continent. However, I firmly believe that as a country, if we invest meaningfully in skills development we will be well on our way of reaching economic stability, and eventually global competitiveness. I also believe that there is a colossal need to revise the current curriculum to ensure that our students learn and are equipped with relevant subjects that enable them to realise their fullest potential. Organisations need to invest in developing the skill sets of their employees to not only increase morale and productivity, but to enable their staff to reach selfactualisation. Skills development from an organisational frame work encourages and motivates staff through empowering them with the tools to be more productive and efficient. This is also great for business.
What’s Beef? BLACK BIRD RAPPER @blackbirdafrica www.iamblackbird.wordpress.com
What is the main motivation of beef in Zimbabwe I think a lot of what is happening in Zimbabwe beef is based on misunderstandings between people. But the real agents of beef are the gossip-mongers who go around spreading info from one studio to the next. Some of the guys in Zimbabwe hip hop love to gossip more than women in a hair salon. I am shocked at some of the things I have been told without even asking. Some of it is really personal stuff and you wonder what they say about you to other people. Recently I was told that someone who is spreading a rumour that I have a son ( but I actually I don’t). I have two daughters. It’s lies that do the rounds and then lead to beef. However there is also an element of beef caused when people don’t want to pay respect and give props where it’s due. When someone runs their mouth off about people who helped lay a foundation for them, there’s bound to be offence taken. Some peeps in Zimbabwe hip hop have over-inflated egos and need a reality check every now and then. However giving someone a reality check usually gets interpreted as trying to start beef.
Does beef play a role in hip hop, is it a necessary stage of the development of the movement?
A lot of people fuel beef by spreading rumours about artists so then when it gets back to the two people involved they take it a notch up and start dissing each other. As long as you have people with different personalities, values and mentalities beef will happen. Even in dancehall and sungura there is beef, but people seem to think Zimbabwe hip hop is the only place where there is tension. Read the newspapers and you will see beef happens across the entertainment industry. If you go to any workplace in any industry you will find people have beef with some of their colleagues but because they are not in the public eye, no one will know. You will find that in such and such a bank this manager has beef with that manager for example, but the papers don’t write about it because no-one knows them, unlike musicians whose songs play on radio everyday.
What’s the difference between beef (Dissing someone on a song of which he replies with his own) and a one on one freestyle battle? Battles are there purely for the entertainment value and to display lyrical skills and creativity. You can be in a battle with a total stranger, diss each other on stage, dazzle the crowd and shake hands afterwards. Beef on the other hand usually is between people who know each other and have a history. They probably have had various encounters with each other on different platforms and these
Beef stimulates everyone to pull up their socks and stay on their A-game because you know your haters will take shots at you if you don’t. I think beef is definitely necessary because it shows our individuality as hip hop artists. Imagine we all agreed with each other on everything and pretended to like each other. That would be so fake and it’s not progressive at all. Beef stimulates everyone to pull up their socks and stay on their A-game because you know your haters will take shots at you if you don’t. 58
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
all culminate in beef. It usually develops over time and when certain events happen that stimulate the people involved to retaliate through song.
In this ongoing debate about Hip Hop in Zimbabwe, what is unique about Zimbabwe Hip Hop that we can call our own,
NEBILA ABDULMELIK ACTIVIST @aliben86 http://aliben86.wordpress.com
You don’t define me You can’t stall me You don’t decide my worth You can’t condemn me You don’t confine me You can’t try me You don’t faze me You can’t break me You don’t frustrate me You can’t impoverish me You don’t school me You can’t silence me You don’t fool me You can’t deny me I’m Beauty I’m Progress I’m Precious I’m Innocent I’m Freedom I’m Hope I’m Patience I’m Perseverance I’m Faith I’m Fortune I’m Wisdom I’m Outspoken I’m Cynic I’m Truth.
since rappers are being accused of just copying American lifestyles and narratives, just changing names, dates and language? I think hip hop is a universal language. Trying to make hip hop for Zimbabwe alone isn’t the way the movement works.
Pregnancy Peeves I am often told I sound like I am from overseas and my music doesn’t sound Zimbabwean. I don’t take offence at that though some people might think its an insult. I think my flow needs to stand with the best of the best, and hence I strive to sound international. My content is where you can differentiate me from a US rapper because my lyrics reflect my reality. I don’t use much vernacular so language isn’t the automatic giveaway, but if you listen to the rhymes you wont hear anything bout gangbangers and drug dealing. But you will hear about hustlers selling forex and jazzman pushing weed. That’s where Zimbabwe hip hop is different. There’s a new school of thought saying Zimbabwe hip hop is mbira and 808’s but I disagree. I have rapped on mbira a couple of times and it was great. But rapping on a gangster underground beat doesn’t make my hip hop any less Zimbabwean. It’s an entire culture that’s the same in New York, Japan and Somalia.
In American Hip Hop it can be argued that the whole beef issue was a commercial gimmick, with rappers making up and making a record together? What is your take on the commercialisation of beef? In Zimbabwe people are starting to understand that beef keeps you in the limelight. Some are actually starting beef with artists when they are making big moves to try and feed off the publicity of the artist they are attacking. I don’t know if it will get to the level that it did in the States because most Zimbabwean hip hop artists don’t realise working
Riding someone elses publicity wave by dissing them or sabotaging them with bad publicity isn’t really going to make you money. together has a much better chance of success than working separately. I think this year the amount of beef that happened is evidence that beef is here to stay, the only question is are Zimbabwean hip hop artists clued up enough to capitalise on it. Riding someone else’s publicity wave by dissing them or sabotaging them with bad publicity isn’t really going to make you money. It might get the artists who do the attacking one or two articles and radio interviews, but that’s not dollars in the pocket. Co-ordinated beef that brings money is something I am yet to see. Two crews in Zimbabwean hip hop have come close to doing that but I think they still at the ‘use beef for publicity’ phase.
Some really cool songs have come out from beef some of our favourites being 2nd Round Knock Out by Canibus and the verse that started it by LL Cool J on 4-3-2-1, and King of the Hill by West Side Connection. Which rap beef stands out for you? Oh definitely beef has inspired some of my favourite rap songs of all time. Firstly when I was growing up, “Hit Em Up” by Tupac dissing Biggie was
amazing and the video was the cherry on the cake. Then “Ether” by Nas, it’s one of those classic tracks that is so dope even the Jay Z fans liked it and even today it’s a banging tune. Finally Lil Kim buried Nicki Minaj on “Black Friday”. The Queen B pulled out her guns blazing for the disrespect Nicki Minaj has been constantly displaying toward Lil Kim, the person she so clearly imitates.
What would make you draw the line and say “No I got to dedicate a song/ verse in response”?. Well right now I am actually being pressurised by people to do a track for a certain individual who keeps tarnishing my name on Facebook, radio and even one newspaper picked up on the ‘beef ’ story. I was and still am tempted I can’t lie, but the only thing motivating me not to is knowing my brand is way bigger and by actually giving them even ten seconds of my airtime on a track I will be immortalising them and making my fans think we are in the same league. I think doing a public attack of someone is like endorsing their existence and I won’t waste my bars or studio time on someone who keeps going out of their way to tarnish my name on public platforms and mess up my brand. But that said, I am a very emotional person and even though I have contained myself thus far, let’s see what happens in the future because I might not be able to control myself if I feel a certain line has been crossed. Until then, I won’t even waste a Facebook status on haters because that’s exactly what they want. A piece of the action and to ride my wave. Inaugural Women’s Edition
Mai waMavis I think the weird part is that you know you are being irrational but can’t control yourself, I cried once because my husband stole a sip from my tea! Drama in the house, yelled at him and told him to finish it. Felt so embarrassed later.
Mai waRutendo For me it’s forgetting what I am saying mid conversation. I will be chatting away then just go blank, unable to remember what I was talking about. Funny enough, my sister used to do that and I used to get annoyed. Mai waChiedza I remember not knowing what to eat coz everything made me want to puke. Then I found oyster mushrooms and it was like “where have u been all along”. I asked my Sisi to make them for me (noone else would have made them how I wanted) and enjoyed my supper. Asked her for the same the following day, came from work hungry and tried to eat. Mushroom yakaramba kudzika.
Mai waRuth With first pregnancy I liked fish and chips but it had to be from down town where the oil would smell like a week old. Mai waHelen Hubby used to take his deo outside, spray and then throw it back in the house through the window. Even when my mum came to help I banned her off her lotions telling her to use them when you go back to your house.
Mai waBrenda Wanted the smell of soil when watering the garden would go around the hood asking “ko mai nhingi can I water your garden?” Mai waGladys I also ate paper but ndaida bond paper. I must’ve devoured half a ream in my pregnancy. Ndikashaya iri fresh ndaibvarura mamargin emadocuments.
Mai waGrace With my pregnancies I liked muchenje to the extent that I will cry when it rained coz my delicious snack would be washed away.
Lest we forget NYARADZO DHLIWAYO PHOTOGRAPHER @nyarydhliwayo http://bit.ly/1ienQP9
Lest we forget, lest we ever forget, That within us soldiers lay, Lest we ever have the propensity to forget so easily our history That wars were waged on this land to secure a better destiny for us. Lest we ever forget that we are Lucky like Dube To have the liberty not to worship human kind and be slaves in our own land, Lest we cloud our eyes, not to see the dance of liberty John Mauluka captured with his lens, and chain ourselves with mediocre prophecies Lest we ever forget because some media field has fractionally tried To divide and subtract the knowledge we have of how we came to be entirely. Lest we cease to hear the intrinsic djembe drums of victory our fore fathers played. So this is for those of us who donâ€™t understand that This land cannot be contained or defined by whatever simplistic categories That exists in our minds. This is for the born frees and everybody who thinks The concept of our independence is abstract. Lest we think like assembly lines and forget
That with this independence came with it an unbounded potential to be free. Free to love, free to give, free to stand, free to express, and free to live. May this day remind us and teach our wounded souls how to fly Because we were made to be free, a divine poem destined for the sky. Happy Independence Day!!! 60
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
» ILLUSTRATION Inaugural Women’s Edition
@Rud oNyan gulu
Introducing guest contributors from the rest of Afrika. Welcome!
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
92% of our contributors in this issue are on Twitter. Follow them!
PHOTO CREDITS: MARJORIE WALLACE by Jac de Villiers // SABINA SHELDON by Diana Rodrigues Inaugural Women’s Edition
graphic design illustration gift cards +263 774 186134 email@example.com www.faraiwallace.com
ANNIE MPALUME PHOTOGRAPHER
All mothers deserve to be comfortable during their pregnancy. Call us so we provide the necessary attires to make this wonderful journey comfortable. Cell: +263 77 215798
A C C E S S O R I E S
firstname.lastname@example.org +263 772354637
+263 774 1 33274
Global Village Developments Environment, Conservation, Rural development on way to a better and more sustainable Zimbabwe. Email:email@example.com Cell: 0777278345 / 0738352178 www.globalvillagedevelopments.org raykasezim
Inspired by mother nature herself with all her simple glory and natural palette of lovely colours. Imagine the graceful African princesses adorned in beads. You are entitled to that sense of royalty when you adorn yourself with one of these hand made accessories.
Nyasha Mupaso +263 773 842 677
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: Mushtella Twitter: @mushtella Blog & Website: www.mushtella.com
delicious nutritious healthy farming consultancy | spawn | gourmet & medicinal mushrooms
CHIWONISO 1976 -2013
» MAGAMBA NETWORK
Zimbabwe’s Mbira Queen
THE POVO JOURNAL October 2014
PO VOAf ri ka www.povo.co.zw
The 4th Issue of the POVO Journal. This is the Inaugural Women's issue with contributions from women only. With this issue we also break out...