Page 1

ISSUE 06: WOMEN’S EDITION M AY 2 0 1 5

ARTS & CULTURE JOURNAL - AFRIKA


LINEAGE OF GRACE

A Photographic representation of women in the bloodline of Jesus Christ as black Jews.

TAMAR

RAHAB

Dressed as a prostitute, had sex with her father-in-law, conceived twin sons, accused of promiscuity. Tenacious, grandmother of Jesus.

A prostitute, selected for high honor for facilitating the attack and destruction of Jericho, saved her whole household.

BATHSHEBA

MARY

Lost her faithful husband to lustful desires of a king and became an influential queen.

Virgin, peasant woman to carry the Messiah, bereaved mother, and widow


The writing is on the wall SOUTH AFRIKA “you have been weighed on the scales and have been found wanting”

#NoToXenophobia


COVER ILLUSTRATION Farai Wallace

06 [zim] liNda Gabriel

will you make the time?

08 [zim] baTSirai e chiGama

#FibrOid Society

10

[zim] ediTh we uTONGa

ISSUE 06: WOMEN’S EDITION M AY 2 0 1 5

ARTS & CULTURE JOURNAL - AFRIKA

Fall and rise as a team...woman!

ARS 2004 - 2 014

ARS 2004 - 2 014

N YE TE

ISSUE 03: PHOTOGRAPHY

ISSUE 05: ANNIVERSARY EDITON NOV 2014

ARTS & CULTURE JOURNAL

ISSUE 04: INAUGURAL WOMEN’S EDITION OCTOBER 2014 ARTS & CULTURE JOURNAL - AFRIKA

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

12

ANNUAL REPORT 2011 www.povo.co.za

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.god www.kgskitchen.blogspot.com The food experience and experiment that is all about enjoying food and enjoying the cooking. www.chirinda.tumblr.com www.ngizwani.wordpress.com Our interest was to tell, in pictures, the story of the Zimbabwe Election as it unfolded. www.zim freykoti.blogspot.com 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

RESILIENCE BRILLIANCE PERSEVERENCE

[zim] chriSTie brOOKSTeiN

FEATUING TUMI AND THE VOLUME AKALA METAPHYSICS XAPA TIMOTHY MWAURA

N YE

E D I T I O N

FEATUING TINA WATYOKA BATSIRAI CHIGAMA HOPE MASIKE RUTENDO AURATHAPOET

TE

INAUGURAL

WOMEN’ S

THE POVO JOURNAL 2012 www.povo.co.zw

PHOTOGRAPHY

FEATUING MASIMBA HWATI CALVIN CHITUWUNA DAVID CHINYAMA SO PROFOUND HIFA

THE POVO JOURNAL 2013 www.povo.co.zw

PREVIOUS ISSUES

ISSUE 02: ILLUSTRATION FEATURING: Boarding Dzinotizei // Charly Makwanya // Julian Mugabe // Robert Machiri // Tafadzwa Tarumbwa // Novic Hadebe // Baynham Goredema // Walter Murray // Paul Maposa

On meeting Oneself in unexpected Places

14

ADVERTISING a rate sheet is available on request zim: +263 774 168 975 / +263 77 228 3186 rSa: +27 72 600 5283 / +27 11 7603511 / +27 76 099 9770 email: advertise@povo.co.zw limited Space available!

[zim] dOreeN Gaura

Fire dance

15

[zim] barbra aNderSON

remembering dambudziko

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18

[zim] SabiNa SeldON

hair Piece

CONTRIBUTE Add your voice to the conversation. Your opinion is valid and valuable. Send your contributions to contribute@povo.co.zw

20

[zim] rObiN chaibva

Skin bleaching

KEY PERSONNEL EDITOR Archibald Mathibela PROJECT MANAGER Rudo Chakanyuka PROJECT COORDINATOR Pauline Goredema PROJECT DIRECTOR Fambai Ngirande DESIGN AND LAYOUT Baynham Goredema PRODUCTION MANAGER Tafadzwa Gutsa FINANCE DIRECTOR Rodrick Longwe DISCLAIMER POVO JOURNAL is published by XEALOS DESIGN CONSULTANTS for POVOAfrika Trust. Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of POVOAfrika Trust, XEALOS DESIGN CONSULTANTS nor any of their funding partners. The information and views set out in this journal are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of POVOAfrika Trust, XEALOS DESIGN CONSULTANTS nor any of their partners. Neither POVOAfrika Trust or XEALOS DESIGN CONSULTANTS 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. While all care has been taken during proofing, errors and omissions may slip through and we sincerely apologise for these.

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.

4

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

22

[zim] lyNNeT maNiKai

adapting to change

24

[zim] SOPhia chiTemere

breaking The Silence

28

Transforming real life moments in johannesburg into a visual language of introspection

[SOuTh aFriKa]

audrey aNderSON


30

41

54

[USA] Azella Perryman

[zim] Sibusisiwe Zilawe

[zim] Harriet Toko Mupungu

The complexity of race and skin colour perceptions in Afrika

Whom do I seek to please?

32

[zim] Nontsikelelo Mutiti

Nkanyeziyethu Malunga

Exploring the key to the growth of Afrika’s fashion industry

44 [KENYA] Wincate Muthini

34 [IRELAND] Veronica Makunike

Perception vs Reality

Make your heart beat

46 [UGANDA] Doreen Anyijukire

Women of Ankore

37 [zim] RAVEN

Who is Raven?

38 [zim] Sista Zai

The Interview

39 zim] ZVAFADZA SOKO

Heart Art Paintings

40 [[zim] Caroline Grobbelaar

Art in metal

PHOTOGRAPHY 09 Nyaradzo Dhliwayo 13 Nancy Mteki 41 Sekai Machache

When am I just me?

42 Robin Chaibva Hair braiding as Art

Showcase

55

[ESTONIA] Medeya Dollarez

Who is Medeya?

An Afrikan Woman in Hip-Hop

PAINTING 11 Mavis Tauzeni 21 Virginia Chihota 29 Audrey Anderson 39 Zvafadza Soko

58

ILLUSTRATION 49 Farai Wallace

56 [zim] Black Bird

[zim] PEGGINAh GOREDEMA

INFOGRAPHIC 26 Cancer: The Monster within

Coping with widowhood

48 [zim] Elizabeth R.S Muchemwa

The Language of Our Story

50 [zim] SHONATIGER

A Love letter to Zimbabwe

52 [zim] Orlinda Mapa-Tsoka

Discovering my life’s purpose and calling

53 [zim] Emma Dingase Thembani

Biochemist turned artist

60 [KENYA] Nancy M. Munyi

Combating dyslexia in Kenya

CANCER

ZIMBABWE

QUICK FACTS Early Detection

the monster within

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue. Cancer kills more people worldwide than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria together. In Sub-Saharan Africa there are four countries that produce cancer registers and Zimbabwe is among them.

30%

Up to 30% of cancers are related to diet and nutrition

Abnormal cell starts like this...

Ends up like this...

In Zimbabwe, breast cancer affects one in every 10 women and one in every 100 men who also have to battle prostate cancer mostly affecting males above 50 years.

MYTH

in Zimbabwe were HIV related MYTH

62

M

Black

5.7% 6.2% 6.3%

20.8%

13.7%

Kaposi sarcoma Prostate Oesophagus Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Liver

Non-melanoma skin cancer Prostate Colon Melanoma skin cancer Lung

01

MYTH

03

Some types of cancer can be contagious / infectious

05

Certain cancers only develop in people who are HIV positive

5 Most common cancers among Zimbabweans

4.9% 5.4% M 6.9% 50.7% Non-Black 10.8%

MYTH

Cancer is a death sentence

02

Cancer causes hair loss

60% Cancers

30–40% of cancers are preventable

Globally cancer is the third leading cause of death

Prostate cancer Breast cancer Colon cancer Lung cancer Lymphoma Leukemia Melanoma Basal cell cancer

Cancer Myths & Misconceptions

MYTH

04

Cancer is a disease of the elderly and developed countries

Over 508,000 women worldwide died in 2011 due to breast cancer [Estimate] Most common types of Cancer

7 Popular

Late Detection

TWO Number of government hospitals in Zimbabwe where cancer treatment is carried out. Harare’s Pararenyetwa and Mpilo in Bulawayo. Patients from across the country have to travel large distances to get treated.

F

Black

F

Non-Black

6.5%

33.5%

11.7%

5.1% 7.4% 17.7%

06

MYTH Cancer is one disease

4.9%

8.9%

3.4% 35.4%

Cervical cancer Breast Kaposi sarcoma Eye Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-melanoma skin cancer Breast Cervical cancer Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Colon

Oncologists say cancer control in Zimbabwe, as elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, involves meeting the challenge of emerging cancers associated with westernisation of lifestyles (large bowel, breast and prostate), while the incidence of cancers associated with poverty and infection (liver, cervix and esophagus) shows little decline, and the residual burden of the AIDS-associated cancers remains significant.

Types of Treatment 1. Surgery 2. Radiotherapy 3. Hormonal Therapy 4. Chemotherapy

3000

Radiotherapy costs between US$3 - US$4,000 for a whole session

MYTH

07

If I receive radiotherapy or chemotherapy it will kill me

GOOD RESOURCE This infographic is not an exhaustive list and some stats maybe be outdated. More information on Cancer in Zimbabwe - Visit the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe at 60 Livingstone Ave, Harare Tel. 707444 / 705522 / http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org or nearest health facility

SOURCES Priorities for cancer prevention and control in Zimbabwe: http://www.cancercontrol.info/cc2014/priorities-for-cancer-prevention-and-control-in-zimbabwe/ Types of Treatment - http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org/treatment.html Cancer fight hamstrung by steep costs: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2013/11/01/cancer-fight-hamstrung-steep-costs/ Cancer Myths & Misconceptions http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org/myths.html Prostate cancer on the rise in Zim: http://www.herald.co.zw/prostate-cancer-on-the-rise-in-zim/ Cervical Cancer Statistics: http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org/articles/Nat%20Cancer%20Prevention%20and%20Control%20Doc_18_3_14.pdf Cancer treatment remains out of reach http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2014/10/10/cancer-treatment-remains-reach/ National Cancer Prevention and Control Strategy for ZImbabwe: http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org/articles/Nat%20Cancer%20Prevention%20and%20Control%20Doc_18_3_14.pdf Design & Layout By Baynham Goredema | baynham@xealos.com

[zim] Gertrude T. Bvindi

One time under the sun

64 [zim] Joana Ruth Chinyoka

HIV/AIDS, How the Elephant in the room disappeared

66

[zim] Marjorie Wallace

Ceramic Designer

Women’s Edition Issue 06

5


Will you make the time? FOREWORD

LinDa GabRiEL SPOKEN WORD ACTIVIST @Gabzlin

J

PHOTO SOURCE

»

LINDA GABRIEL

anuary came and left so did February and March and April decided not to stay as well. And here we are! In May, marking the second quarter of the year, what does this mean to you, me and other readers who will stumble upon this article? Early one morning, open those windows and curtains, wide open. Allow some breeze to freshen your room, apartment even if it’s your mother’s house. If you are like me, then brew some coffee or simply make a cup of tea. This is that time of the year where I am inviting you to take out your pen and notepad, start listing. List all the women who have been a part of your journey. Acknowledge each woman and the role she plays or played. I want us to look at each woman, reflect on how she became a part of you. Was it on your first day in high 6

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

For all My Sisters’ Sake, I am tired of hearing phrases like, ‘I am busy’, ‘I am tied up’ and ‘I got a lot on my plate’, ‘Sorry Linda, I forgot we were supposed to meet and catch up’.

school? Was she your brother’s girlfriend? Did you meet her at a book launch? Or getting down to some good music? Were you once enemies or that childhood sister-friend of yours? I can almost see you smiling. Years down the line, what has the sister have to offer? When I say offer,

For all My Sisters’ Sake, I am tired of hearing phrases like, ‘I am busy’, ‘I am tied up’ and ‘I got a lot on my plate’, ‘Sorry Linda, I forgot we were supposed to meet and catch up’. I know and understand that everyone has to do what they have to. As much as a lot of us sisters say we are

As much as a lot of us sisters say we are busy, I strongly feel we are rather acting busy please note we have to run away from financial help, not that it is not important, but let’s just shift our focus from finances to many ways that these women have been a part of you. Some things that they have done could be tiny and can easily go unnoticed if you tend to ignore them.

busy, I strongly feel we are rather acting busy, too busy for a glass of red wine with your girlfriends? Too busy for girl talk and a time out? Remember that Sunday afternoon when everything was going the wrong way, you sat down and ringed

that woman. That one woman, your best friend! You knew she would make time to listen to you. Imagine that day when you got sick and a sister made time to visit you. After you healed, did you make time to pay that sister a visit to catch up and say ‘thanks for checking on me’? I am not saying that’s what should happen all the time we all fall sick, but wouldn’t it feel great? How about that day when your aunt sat with you in silence whilst you soaked in tears? When your kid sister drove your kids to school? When your grandmother made your favourite meal? And that day you got some advice from a renowned actress. After a reflection of this and when you are done with your listing, will you help me acknowledge, thank and celebrate all these women who make time for you? In the next coming months, Will You Make Time for these women?


CD

TwitterRespect

SpeakSing Vol.1 was a successful production of the CD compilation of tracks by women only. It included songs and spoken word. Featured on the CD are the following artists, AuraThePoet, Batsirayi Chigama, Breezey, Black Bird, Clare Nyakujara, Edith WeUtonga, Hope Masike, Linda Gabriel, Raven, Wadzanai Chiuriri.

Survey The sustainable development wing of POVOAfrika Trust has been carrying out a survey titled What do tertiary students know about climate change? Colleges which have participated to date are Lupane University, NUST, Midlands State and Great Zimbabwe University.

POVO Launch Official launch of the POVOAfrika Trust and the journals. It was a pleasant evening with a presentation by Hope Masike, who happened to be the first person we interviewed for the online magazine, and performances from Wadzanai Chiuriri, Edith WeUtonga who was joined by Clare Nyakujara, So Profound, whose poem recorded at Harare Polytechnic was the 50th video on our Youtube channel and Josh Meck, who was joined for an impromptu duet with veteran poet Chirikure Chirikure. Tendai Garwe was the MC who kept things moving!

Cover Design We thank Farai Wallace for an intriguing cover design for the first ever women’s edition. We were astounded by her intricate pattern making and attention to detail. Farai was a pleasure to work with. The design was also used as the them for both the cover and the CD Sleeve.

Women’s Edition Issue 06

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#FIBROID HEALTH

BATSIRAI E CHIGAMA SPOKEN WORD ARTIST @BatsiraiChigama

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lmost three years ago I experienced extreme pain in my left lower abdomen. I could not run long distances. I could not squat or do sit-ups. The pain was so intense at times it would wake me in the middle of the night and I would struggle to get out of bed. With no medical insurance then, I decided to sit-it out, as if that was possible. The pain got worse and one day I willed myself to go and see my GP and the moment she felt my tummy she said I had fibroids, several she said and I was sent for a scan just to confirm. Five of them it was revealed, with the largest at 7.2cm in diameter. I was referred to a gynaecologist who immediately told me I had to get the fibroids removed as most of them were already too big. With my HB(Haemoglobin level) too low at 7.2 it became a task again to get it to at least 12 before the doctor could operate, that and a bill of almost USD4000.00 in total. After the operation I was told that everything was good but I needed to have kids within three years or the bloody things would invade my womb again, and they have. He also said when they do come back most times there is no option but to take the whole womb out. Too much drama that. The experience was traumatic for me and the idea of having children while still feeling that much pain was also too much to handle. What causes fibroids? Well my gynae said they don’t know what causes them. 8

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

Society

Over the past three years I have spoken to many women in Zimbabwe who have suffered the same. Too many women suffer silently because this is an issue of the womb and such issues cannot be talked about publicly. I feel this problem is much bigger than our health system cares to

To every woman I say your health is your priority, no one should have such sensitive spaces like the womb mutilated if they can help it admit. Otherwise what is the explanation when 7 out of 10 women waiting to get scanned, have fibroids, yes true I was the last one in that queue and the sonographer told me, she found it scary too. She said the number of women being diagnosed with fibroids is alarming and attributed to a highly GMO diet. I know my story will speak to other women who have gone through the same and those that are going through the same too. You may be asking yourself why me? You are not alone. How do we deal with this demon? I regret having gone blindly through the first operation. I regret not having done enough research, looked for alternatives before rushing to go under the

knife. On the surface, because of the extreme pain one may experience, an operation sounds like a solution but if the fibroids will recur then this is far from being one. This time around I have scoured the net looking for alternatives and using myself as a guinea pig, if it doesn’t work I will eventually do the surgery but right now that’s the last thing on my mind, I am concentrating on shrinking these fibroids for good and if it does work, then my experience may help other women who suffer silently and endure this pain without anyone to talk to. I have spoken to a number of people who have also assisted in my journey to find an alternative solution to this problem. It is believed diet may have a lot to do with the many diseases affecting people today. Many sites I have gone to suggest that a plant-based diet is the way to go. Sometimes I cheat, it’s difficult because this is rather an expensive diet and sometimes I find myself in a space where there is just no alternative and have to do with what is available but I have generally stuck to this diet with a couple of herbal teas that I take. Some women spend a number of days per month in the torture chamber, with cramps, pain in the lower back and bouts of nausea, heavy bleeding for the rest of their lives and as if this is not enough get fibroids and whole shebang of issues

list of foods I give up All dairy products White flour products, no bread, cakes No meat except fish here and there No white sadza/bleached rice No fizzy drinks & anything that comes in a box No fast food Only use Olive oil & Coconut Oil for cooking No coffee

What do I eat then? Lots of green vegetables Fresh vegetable juices, water, smoothies Whole grains, brown rice, zviyo that is rukweza, mhunga Exercise regularly Nuts, beans, quinoa(when I can afford) and lentils for protein For iron I take mutsine (black jack), asparagus, blackstrap molasses, spinach and moringa regularly.

develop such as: Heavy bleeding, Anaemia, Bouts of dizziness, Miscarriages, Failure to conceive I tell myself that my health is not my parents’, boyfriend, brother or even my doctor’s responsibility so am continuously on the look out to hear what other women have gone through, share experiences and help each other along the way. To every woman I say your health is your priority and I feel no one should have such sensitive spaces like the womb mutilated if they can help it. I hope that in the next issue, I will be able to share with you the results of the journey I have embarked on.

TAKE NOTE *I have no medical experience and this is spoken simply from the experience I have had and my quest to find an alternative solution.


S

he dressed as a prostitute, had sex with her father-in-law and conceived twin sons. She was accused of promiscuity. Because she did not name the father of her child, it was assumed she had been promiscuous, and Judah sentenced her to burn to death. But she saved herself by a clever ploy. She bore twin sons. God rewarded her tenacity with the birth of sons, one of whom was the ancestor of King David, and became grandmother of Jesus. Women’s Edition Issue 06

9

PHOTOGRAPHY + WORDS

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NYARADZO DHLIWAYO

TAMAR


Fall and rise as a team...woman!

WOMANHOOD

EDITH WE UTONGA MUSICIAN

@Edithweutonga

T

he invite said shorts and shades,girls only and promised to be fun as I got the call from my girlfriend insisting that I be there. The party was going to be at a campsite almost two hundred kilometres from the capital city. A message on Whatsapp reminded us departure time would be early morning, seven, very early for some of us on a Sunday but considering who we were doing it for, it had to be done.

International Women’s day saw us leave town about midday, trust our birthday girl’s boyfriend to try and fit in this all girls outing as our driver, delaying us in the process. Nine girls and their handbags, squashed in a four by four Isuzu, cooler boxes with all types of drink, baskets of food, salads, meats for the braai, a cake box,and the one man driving,the car was packed. We got to the campsite and found out from the manager we were late as they had a program planned for us, team building, a cruise and horse riding. We quickly changed into comfortable sporty gear, packed our foodstuffs on a counter near some braai stands and dashed to meet our coach for the team building sessions. The games were fun but tiring and soon my curvy, fuller bodied and big team mates were bored started complaining and confronted the coach. We were given a break and that’s when we discovered 10

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

the horses at the site had helped themselves to some cake! It was upsetting but the day had to go on. We took onto the cruise boat, mud baths and finished off with braaing. It was at this point that the only man in the group decided to start calling the manager of the site to come and replace the cake that the horses had helped themselves to. We argued that we had to go,as we had left children at home,some had not told the truth about where they were going and needed to get home on time. The young manager was so intimidated by the man but still could not do anything to compensate for the lost cake. It was getting dark, we had to start making our way back to the capital,yet when we got into car packing our stuff, and arranging our seating, the man told us to get out of his car if we were not prepared to wait for him

car who got threatened not to take us anywhere. Again we off loaded and started walking towards the main road, ten kilometres away. Before we got any further we stopped as it was very dark and waited for the man to leave... he drove off while we hid in the nearby huts at the site and we waited for the manager to take us to the nearest town. Instead, the man drove back soon after and demanded to drive with the young manager to go look for us. By the time they got back I was tired of hiding and insisted to the ladies that we do not hide but confront him and get him to let the manager take us to the nearest town. That failing we got subjected to something almost similar to abductees as he would not move, time moving, and threatening at some point to lock us up at his farm. We regrouped, all the team building exercises coming into play, and planned on how we

By the time they got back I was tired of hiding and insisted to the ladies that we do not hide but confront him and get him to let the manager take us to the nearest town to get management to pay for the cake...all hell broke loose, the birthday girl offering to give the man some money to compensate for the lost cake but he’d have none of it. He told us to get out of his car, threatened his woman and scolded her in our presence. We off loaded all our things from the car into the young managers

were going to get our selves from the site. As we made calls and strategies to leave, the man, came to us and declared we were leaving, and we were going the way we came....silence, as we decided what to say next, uncertainty on some of the ladies faces as nobody wanted to be driven by one who had downed a whole bottle of Johnny Walker

Whiskey and had subjected us to such trauma. The coach had put us through an exercise of learning to convey a message in silence that very afternoon and I saw it being put to good use as we walked towards the car. The managers car was parked next to the mans car and instead of getting into the car, six ladies jumped into the managers car, immediately provoking the man, who quickly ran to the car trying to stop one of the ladies who had started the car... mean while his four by four was revving, keys in the ignition, and all I did was look at the birthday girl, and we jumped into the car, skidding our way off the site. By the time we got to the police station in the nearby town, the man had reported his car stolen,and the officer in charge thanked us for bringing the car to his station. We begged for him to give us escorts to go back to the site to pick up the remaining ladies as we had noticed their car had not made it as fast as they wanted and the man caught up with them. Worried, we called the girls first before we left and they told us the car had developed a fault and they were slowly making their way to the station, the manager and man in tow. By the time they got there, one of the ladies husband had arrived from the capital city, driving a Chaser, which normally sits five and being the only car available, there was no way we could all go at once. Birthday girl insisted she and other three stay behind and wait till next morning but,


having had a class that afternoon on staying as a team, all nine of us, Chanel, Gucci bags included, fit into that car, making sure we left nobody and drove back. Our knight delivered us all home, door to door,explaining to spouses, parents what had happened and the last one got home at four thirty in the morning.

Lesson There’s a greater chance of success in working as a team and helping each other up when they fall. We could have left our birthday girl with her furious and dangerous boyfriend, but we did not. We could have been intimidated to silence and abuse but we fought hard to get out of the wilderness as a team. We fell and rose as a team. To Rumbi, Busi, Melo, Rumbi wacho, Eve, Patu, Tary and Maggie, you fought a good fight and we got home in one piece. Well done

PAINTING

»

MAVIS TAUZENI

Happy International Women’s Day

Women’s Edition Issue 06

11


On Meeting Oneself in Unexpected Places IDENTITY

Christie Brookstein FASHION designER @kidamonafrique

W

hen I was offered the chance to write for the POVO Journal - Women’s Edition for the second time, I was delighted. I had so loved the process of putting together an opinion piece and sat down with relish to write and instead hit that infamous writer’s curse – no words, just a blank page. This condition continued right up to virtually deadline, when it struck me that actually the blank page was what I needed to write about. I am at a new beginning in my life – I have taken a terrifying leap and left all that I know behind to set out on a journey with no fixed ending, few signposts and no companion but myself. For the last three and a half years, I have had the wonderful experience of working with up and coming luxury brand The Ndau Collection. I have also carried a shattered heart, financial woes, faced the fact the forty and single was my next destination and most difficult of all, I lost my mother. As a woman, this is a loss that nothing can prepare you for. I lost her to the ravening demon that is cancer, that monster that comes sneaking into your life, the beast that is insatiable, eating up everything that a person is composed of. I watched helplessly as my vibrant, eccentric, beautiful mother faced 12

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

Words from a person who was always looking into the far distance to see if they could see themselves.

the demon for a second time, back in this incarnation with wracking pain and debilitation and I had to listen and accept as she told me she just couldn’t fight it again. In the space of a few short months, she was gone and so had all the light in the world, for myself and my family, most especially my father who had lost his sailing companion of over forty years. This was where I first came to face that blank page. All my life, it had never bothered me that I wasn’t exactly conventional, because neither was she and no matter where life took me, I always had someone to find the journey interesting. Just prior to her illness, I had started a blog where I had intended to chart the course of finding myself, my late thirties angst finally given voice. I envisioned trips to far

mission, when all along, there you are, right inside you, thinking your thoughts, looking out through your eyes, feeling your pain. The romantic vision is nothing but that. Losing my compass in life made me realize this. My mother wasn’t a saint, she was real and warm and I’m her legacy. You can’t run away from yourself, in any way or form. Instead, you can take a long hard look inside and see what there is to see. After all, that’s where the words come from, it’s the eyes that compose the photographs, the person that sets off on the adventure, the one who likes romantic notions but has feet on the ground. At first, this may sound depressing, but when pushed to extremes, I have found that I am actually happy to have not had to go very far to meet the

No one has the answer to everything and that’s something to celebrate, it keeps it interesting corners of the world, adventures, photographs and words. I wrote one entry and never wrote again. This was because I came to understand a harsh fact, something expressed just recently to me in a riff on a well known comedian’s words – the “you” you are looking for is where you are and who you are. There is no need to travel to the ends of the earth on a soul searching

person who has had the privilege of grace and love, who is still standing when that was ripped away, who has glued together lots of pieces to make an even stronger whole, who is here inside me, looking somewhat different than what I expected, but undeniably me. And now back to that blank page. It’s blank, not because I don’t know what to write, but because

it’s a new beginning. I have sat with myself and had a long discussion. It turns out that right now, what I need is to sit by a foreign sea and just spend some time with me. I have some plans and wishes, but I’m also alright with the knowledge that tides may not steer me there. I am taking a sabbatical to celebrate the fact that I am forty and have the world before me. I’ve turned to one of my life coaches, Hunter S. Thompson, and adopted his mantra:

‘Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming “Wow. What a ride!”’ Yes, I consider him a life coach, not for the manner in which he chose to live his life, but the commitment and conviction with which he did. He teaches you a lot about what not to do too, something a real life coach should in my opinion – no one lives a perfect life. No one has the answer to everything and that’s something to celebrate, it keeps it interesting. I’m packing his words, along with my mother’s smile, my joy in my brand new niece, my friends’ love, a kikoy and a pair of flip flops. Blue seas and blank pages, here I come, just me with myself, ready to fill up the future with light and life.


NANCY MTEKI

» PHOTOGRAPHY Women’s Edition Issue 06

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Fire Dance If You Call Me Lady, I Go Say I Be Afrikan Woman O

CULTURE

DoREEn GaURa ACTIVIST/ WRITER/ SANGOMA @doreengaura

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hing is, this was not a onetime occurrence. This is what I do and it is on this that my street cred (which really doesn’t amount to much to be honest) in hippie central, Obz, has been founded but although this was the case in Cape Town, it’s not so in Zimbabwe. This is because there is just so much pressure not to. What with respectability politics and all. Heaven forbid a thirty year old gogo-stina like myself be seen lahlaring her mlenze (ngoba phela mina ngiyawuphosa umlenze wam’ shem) as though she were some “ratchet” 20 year old right? Well no, not really. I don’t really subscribe to respectability politics. It’s mostly because I am yet to find a place in Harare that isn’t my sister’s living room that jams the type of music I would break out into my fire dance a la Fela’s Queen Troupe style to. There is something to be said about my claims about propriety dictates in Harare’s 14

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

While out with friends at Café Ganesh in Observatory, Cape Town, the DJ who was playing a fantastic set that featured some of Afrika’s greats; the likes of Manu Debango, bra Hugh Masekela, Brenda Fassie, Dobet Gnahore, Aster Aweke and of course the man, Fela Kuti. It was when Kuti’s Lady came blurring through the speakers that I really broke it on down, with my dress hiked up and sweat forming rivulets down my face. Hell! I even did a bit of a twerk, but like a proper twerk yeah - not that hot mess that Miley Cyrus does. OK, I lie, I can’t twerk, but if I could I would have. I did everything else though and the truth is I have never felt more uhuru or more alive.

primarily middle class social environs though, so although it’s not important to me, according to the general consensus in our society, it should be. The kind of dancing I did at my local dives in Cape Town would, for all intents and purposes, be deemed “unladylike” in a lot of the lounges and clubs springing up rather exponentially in Harare’s “up-to wn”. It would be

There persists an incessant desire amongst us to achieve Euro-centred “respectability” which only serves to increasingly ostracise certain populations of the Afrikan community. Dance as a form of expression has at intervals taken centre stage in conversations around respectability politics.

straight up ripe for the picking for all the slut and ghetto shamers in these places. As both a woman’s rights activist and a black consciousness activist I was often very conflicted by my unabashed love for Kuti’s (in)famous song, which has been redone and sampled by artists like Bra Hugh Masekela, Akua Naru & Angelique Kidjo as well as Wizkid featuring Femi Kuti as it can rightly be interpreted as misogynistic. How I have managed to justify my continued love for Kuti’s song is by doing the work of trying to learn and understand our precolonial identities as Afrikan peoples and in particular, the Yoruba people of Nigeria as far as possible. I’ve realised that our definitions of masculinities and femininities and the roles allocated therein were not necessarily the same as we understand them today as their definitions are deeply rooted in a Western understanding of sex, gender and sexuality. This, however, ConTinUED on

paGE 16


Remembering

Dambudziko LITERATURE

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y first experience with spoken word was on local television from Albert Nyathi’s infamous Spoken word piece ‘Senzelina’. A few years later without as much noise I found myself watching another spoken word piece ‘Dambudziko’ performed by a Mbira band. With all its subtleties it became one of the early influences that motivated me to pursue poetry. The first time I watched Benita Tarupiwa’s ‘Dambudziko’ was when I was no older than eleven and the creative in me seemed to have been waiting for that precise moment. Looking back now I realise I was always an artist in my own right but I just did not realise. Growing up I would spend an hour or two in our backyard garden singing off tune melodies and thinking up wondrous stories with grand plots and illustrious characters. It was my weekend routine and it was only until I watched the spoken word piece that I understood that I could choose to perform for an audience. In primary school I was involved in school plays and dance groups but I never took it seriously. Writing and performing poetry had not crossed my mind; I don’t

It was possibly this unquenched desire to know more that pushed me to write poetry and to pursue performance poetry. The first opportunity for me to perform my written work was when I was in lower six. I was encouraged to take part in a spoken word schools competition in 2007. My jittery try out, turned out to be a first step to a series of tries on stage and on paper. With anything there are first resolutions, first steps and first tries, I had ‘Dambudziko’ and that set me on a path to discovering the writer and the performer. Choosing to take to the stage pushed me to look at myself differently and to start to write in order to listen to myself. Each time I performed, made mistakes and tried again I began to slowly discover the strength I did not realise I possessed. The words I wrote stopped being just words to say but words to think over, they soon resonated within me and now I let them lead me forward. Someone once said “I write for myself” well I say “I write to listen to myself and I perform to remember those words”.

I now know that art is what the observer sees and that is all that matters anyway. I and so many other artists create without a specific idea of how we influence others. Even with that in mind it is still alright because what art creates is not constant nor is it defined and we the artists should never believe that we completely define that which we create. I have grown to know myself through my words and I am finding my way from that first moment I watched ‘Dambudziko’. I know that there will be more moments of epiphany to come and I will never stop growing and I will never tire of learning. I had to watch a poetry performance to realise my potential but I had to find more than just poetry to find my voice and to find my way. I had to find myself and to grow the belief in my potential. I know that I am growing every day that I write and every time I stand to perform. I have learnt that nothing in life is a mistake or a coincidence, each and every moment I have faced is shaping me into the woman I want to be. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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BARBRA ANDERSON

@barbrabreeze

Writing has become an adventure, my constant source of information and a continuous conversation I have with myself. Just as I was the nervous girl who took to the stage a few years ago, slowly I have found the strength to say to the world ‘I am my mind, my voice and I am my spirit’

»

SPOKEN WORD ARTIST

think that I was even sure what poetry was then. Even though I was motivated after watching the spoken word piece I did not jump at the opportunity straight away. I did though begin to want to write more, to experiment with words more and I read more to know more.

PHOTO SOURCE

baRbRa anDERSon


CULTURE

Contd from

page 14 Fire Dance: If You Call Me Lady, I Go Say I Be Afrikan Woman O

is not to say that the song is beyond reproach as it surely isn’t, neither is Kuti himself – because let’s face it, he was a bit of a douchebag to the women in his life - but I also believe it can still be revered as one that seeks to redirect, albeit inadvertently, the conversation around women’s empowerment from the current single narrative of “an empowered Afrikan woman is a westernised woman” by acknowledging empowerment in the otherised Afrikan female traditional identities. Of course, context and nuance need to be taken into consideration and far be it from me to come across as though I am trying to create a revisionist and romanticised history of the gender relations in our societies but it’s about time we start seriously looking for alternative narratives and unbiased historical accounts not written by prejudiced outsiders. We must seriously consider the possibility of the existence of agency and empowerment within the otherised Afrikan woman who does not neatly fall into the box of westernised, progressive, educated, liberal and more importantly, feminist. One thing we must remember as young Afrikans grappling with the issue of identity in a liberated and modern Afrika (and I use the word liberated very loosely here) is that when our colonisers came over a century ago they found us doing “us”, complete in our “nakedness” and “sexualness” and they deemed it a sort of buggery and quickly got down to the business of erasing it. They imposed their cultures 16

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

on us, redefinining morality and propriety for us to suit their ways and it is this legacy we still sit with today where we define civilisation, sophistication and appropriateness according to those standards. One aspect of Eurocentric culture which might seem harmless enough is the concept of being a lady (and being a gentleman – of which by the way, Kuti also addresses in the song Gentleman). The trouble with this is that it not only reinforces sexist dictates of what is considered a respectable woman but it also reinforces racist ideas of the same as well as classism which entrenches socio-economic discrimination and exclusion in our societies. It’s usually middle

and I can tell you that the dancing that takes place there is anything but “ladylike” by any stretch of the imagination, yet it remains beautiful, graceful, powerful, dignified and organic. It is from experiencing the sacredness of movement in the culture of our various ancestors, be they Swazi, or Zulu or Venda or Rozvi that I have come to realise that it doesn’t matter what music you’re dancing to, the same unspoken rule appears to apply: “let the music commune with your body and set you free.” In my opinion, dancing across most Afrikan cultures has always been lively, energetic and communicative or as the “morality” police would like to call it, “suggestive”. Our dances

In my opinion, dancing across most Afrikan cultures has always been lively, energetic and communicative or as the “morality” police would like to call it, “suggestive” class cis-het women; and when it’s brown women, women who have internalised whiteness as it were; who are referred to as ladies in a seal of approval sort of way. In the song, Kuti, condemns these notions of superiority and instead chooses to celebrate the often times marginalised and disenfranchised other type of Afrikan woman, albeit problematically. There persists an incessant desire amongst us to achieve Euro-centred “respectability” which only serves to increasingly ostracise certain populations of the Afrikan community. Dance as a form of expression has at intervals taken centre stage in conversations around respectability politics. I have in the last few years attended a few traditional spiritual ceremonies

carry deep spiritual meanings and we have different dances for different occasions and settings, both sad and joyous. Our dances celebrate every part of ourselves by drawing focus on different parts of our bodies which individually and collectively convey whatever emotion or thought we are trying to express at that time. When the beat drops, as it were, we instinctively move in unison with the rhythm flowing out because we become one with it. It ceases to be something that takes place outside of us but becomes something that happens within us. It ceases to be our bodies that dance to the music but it becomes the music that dances to our bodies. I imagine that what the thousands of pre-colonial nations a.k.a.

tribes have always known is that we do not listen to the music with our ears but with the soles of our feet as the music does not gravitate towards us through the air but through the earth but we have forgotten this. We no longer commune with the spirit of the rhythm and the earth and instead reduce it to a mere engagement with sound requiring structure. We have become conscious of our movement and have stopped listening with our feet and our hearts and now listen with our ears and our minds and put limitations on our bodies because they have to abide by the dictates of the terms imposed on us. Terms like lady and civilised. Please don’t get me wrong? I am not saying that there is anything wrong with Afrikan women who choose to identify as ladies; to them I say “Get down with your bad self girl child.” Ini zvangu, I know to chew with my mouth closed (most times) and which item of cutlery is for which course of the meal (and when no cutlery is involved, to use my right hand in some communities and my left in others) and to say “please, thank you and excuse me” and that in my opinion, should suffice in making me passable company in any sort of setting. Everything else that comes along with the title lady is way too much pressure for me to be something I am not as an individual and something that is not necessarily a priority aspiration or achievement to me as a brown skinned Afrikan woman in general so if it’s all the same to everyone, I shall continue my search for my true uhuru. Along the way, I shall guffaw at will, chew my chicken bones when it so behoves me, drink my beer out of the bottle and shake my almost none existent butt to the beat of the drum. The way I see it, the fire dance is as good and as dignified as any other dance out there.


A C C E S S O R I E S

Bangles | Earrings |Anklets | Necklaces

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. Email: clariswadzi@gmail.com Cell: 0772354637


Hair Piece A Hair Journey in Time

Hair has featured pretty prominently in my life since I was a girl. I remember the rather painful experience of having my hair done in “MaBuns”. This simple method of gathering a handful of hair, tying thread around it and linking it to other “buns” to form rectangular or square patterns used to have me squirming in my chair. IDENTITY

Sabina Seldon WRITER

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am struggling for words here. There just aren’t any English words for some things that are an intrinsic part of non-English cultures. I can only conclude from this that there is something about hair that is cultural. Certain hairstyles, in fact, are cultural expressions of people as a collective, sometimes even embodying their traditions and beliefs. Take dreadlocks, for example, which have been around for ages and worn by different groups from Hindus to Buddhists and men from Kenya’s Maasai tribe. The latter’s locks are particularly distinctive with their red tint from the soil. Any mention of dreadlocks wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Rastafari. The first person I recall ever seeing in locks was Bob Marley. His song “Buffalo Soldier” with the phrase “Dreadlock Rasta” stuck out. As a child, I remember watching Sounds on Saturday and enjoying videos of “One Love” and “Zimbabwe” which he’d sung to celebrate our country’s Independence. As much as I enjoyed the songs, I was equally fascinated with Marley’s hair. How had it grown so long? How was it washed etc? 18

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

Meanwhile, my own hair remained in “MaBuns” School rules dictated my type of hair remain in a short, natural, cropped state or be tied in “MaBuns”. On civvies day, however, you could have a “puff” or “pony,” which I always looked forward to, because my hair was long. You knew you’d arrived when you got to tie your hair in just one “pony.” As our country got used to its post-Independence identity, black Afrikan school girls were afforded greater freedom. Some schools began allowing hair to be permed; then relaxed; and then braided. Chemically treated hair was still subject to the greasy hair test in some quarters. If your hair was greasy, you could be told to wash it or be subjected to other forms of punishment.

Zimbabwean ladies even more choice. You could experience your own rainbow magic right here as a redhead, brunette or blonde and everything. The choices seemed endless.

over. But it was hard work and expensive, requiring regular shaving for the back and a weekly trip to a salon where tongs and hot irons were used to press my defiant hair into shape. That was before the days you could buy your own hot iron and do it yourself at home, stretchingcomb style, with no pain. The days before texturisers and all that. Somewhere along the line, I changed careers and with it my hair. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I needed something easier, cheaper. Besides I wanted to experiment. People were no longer doing “carpets” (which I’d never favoured, preferring “singles”) but “cornrows” popularized by the likes of Alicia Keys. Cornrows, especially “the carrot” way of braiding, appealed to most. While the hairstyle tended not to last as long as “singles” (regular braids), it was quick and meant less time sitting in a chair, getting your hair tugged at. The likes of Lauryn Hill, with her connection to Bob Marley and her mean Afro, had already pointed at the political nature of hair. With lyrics such as “Look at where you be in, hair weaves like Europeans” you were left in no doubt about this (Doo Wop, That Thing).

I chose to wear my relaxed hair in a “cut” in an attempt to recapture the Anita Baker look from my school days which I’d never got

At that stage of my hair journey, I cut my hair, wearing it short, natural and cropped like men around me. I enjoyed visiting

Relaxing hair made it straight and easy to manage in ways my mother’s stretching comb from the seventies couldn’t have done. As for extensions and braids, they meant I could look like a different person (well almost) for just a few hours of sitting in a chair. By the time I was at university, American girl groups like SWV had long made waves with their weaves, inspiring Afrikan young women around me to go wild. I remained suspicious, only trying them much later and even then occasionally. I noticed that black women in weaves could easily be mistaken as being from other far-off races. Meanwhile, the rainbow nation of South Afrika was well established and hair products from there, Zambia and beyond offered black

There just aren’t any English words for some things that are an intrinsic part of non-English cultures Thankfully, I never went through that because – yes, you guessed it – my hair remained mostly in “MaBuns” until sixth form. I have my mother to thank for that unlike some of the children mentioned on Chris Rock’s film, Good Hair, and countless other people I heard and read about whose scalps got burned.


barbers and spending next to nothing on my hair. I spent even less time in a chair getting my hair done than when I’d had cornrows. Free at last. This happy scenario lasted about a year before I got bored. I went back to “single” braids, my fall back plan. I tried out, rather unsuccessfully, a weave before undoing my hair and not combing it for months. I loved this short, natural uneven look. It said I didn’t care what anyone thought. But then one day, some random guy on the street asked if I didn’t have money to get my hair done. I was gob-smacked.

That’s when I came to realise that hair could be social. I saw that some people judge and rank others in terms of social status or acceptability based on the appearance of their hairstyle. This social dynamic unexpectedly pops up even today, taking me by surprise. For instance, in some arts/culture circles, not wearing your hair in locks or not keeping it natural, classifies you as mainstream, and as somehow less creative. To some it means you’re ashamed of your Afrikan identity. Please! I love wearing my hair natural but that’s my choice right now and I

respect others too. But to remain natural can be frustrating, even in Zimbabwe. There seems to be little expertise or willingness by many salons to do natural hair beyond shaving, cutting, braiding, weaving or putting it into dreadlocks. Sometimes if you’re lucky, hairdressers will twist it. So wearing your hair natural, even in an Afrikan country such as Zimbabwe, requires commitment, personal effort, skill and imagination to keep it looking good. In the final analysis, hair is so many things. Beyond cultural,

political and social even, hair can be as simple, or complex, as being plain biological; like when your hair falls out after pregnancy or chemotherapy; or you experiment with hair colour because age is creeping upon you and you’re not ready to face the grey. Maybe that makes it emotional too but in a different kind of way from when you colour it just because you dare to. Ultimately, it seems to me, hair should be an expression of freedom of choice.

#EndChildMarriageNow BECAUSE WE CAN

BECAUSE WE CARE

“Child marriage is 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 and is a traditional practice that happens simply because it has happened for generations” Urgent action is needed to take solutions to scale and prevent the thousands of girls in Zimbabwe today from being married in the next decade(s). Ending child marriage requires strategies for girls' empowerment, social, cultural, and religious beliefs norms change, legal reform, and policy action. Proven solutions involve girls' schooling (especially lower secondary) and programmes that offer life skills, Allow me to literacy, health information and services, and social be a girl! support. Married girls especially need access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning and maternal health services. 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 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 (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 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

Women’s Edition Issue 06

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Skin

Bleaching IDENTITY

Robin Chaibva Digital Media Manager @iamngosikadzi

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s a young girl at an allgirls catholic school, like Chimamanda Adichie said in Beyonce’s FLAWLESS snippet, we girls were raised to compete for the attention of men and looks. With impossible standards of beauty we buy into products that promise even skin tone, to remove our scars, to add glow. A lot of people think dark skinned girls suffer pressure to bleach, irrespective of one’s looks and complexion, skin bleaching is still an issue. In high school one dark skinned girl after Ash Wednesday was teased by her closest friends if she had actual ash put on her forehead. The joke was that she had the same skin tone as the soot used during the ceremony. She skin bleached her skin now. Many girls often called “Tar-Babies” or “Blackie” have bleached. Light skinned pretty girls have joined modelling agencies and have become even lighter as a result of their job. The greatest marketing gimmick is used by Pond’s that promises romance to users of their product in record time of 7 days. Isn’t that a brilliant way to sell product? So does society hate skin bleachers because of the chemical they 20

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

So does society hate skin bleaching because of the chemical they use to even skin tone, the unsafe dangerous amounts of Hydroquinone in the illegal drugs? OR is it about wanting to be “beautiful” by altering the “flaws.”

use to even skin tone, the unsafe dangerous amounts of Hydroquinone in the illegal drugs? or is it about wanting to be “beautiful” by altering the “flaws”. So if the chemicals I use, are hydroquinone free, should I judge those that use extreme bleach? Blaming and shaming skin bleachers is not the issue that will solve a bigger problem of needing to be perfect. There are hierarchies of beauty from

brown skin. The concept of natural beauty does not apply to people who are told that they are ugly. What we aim to do is to use chemicals to appear naturally beautiful. I cannot judge those who use skin bleach, because the need for beautiful skin without flaws is a result of this. The unhealthy methods and the drastic measures to even skin out are the dangers of doing so, the so called side effects on the skin. Another unspoken side effect in

What is ugly is the obsession we have to never show our weaknesses and instead find ways to never accept our flaws. It is hard loving the skin you are in when people comment on your imperfections than the beauty in you. It’s not simply saying that people should not care what others think, because accepting yourself against the popular negative opinions is not that easy. Society needs the bleach to erase the scars of making people feel uncomfortable in their own skin.

#EndChildMarriageNow BECAUSE WE CAN

BECAUSE WE CARE

There are hierarchies of beauty from society, they became more visible having gone to an all-girls school society, they became more visible having gone to an all-girls school. I never made it into the prettiest girls’ lists in high school, neither did I have much going on in the standards and measures of beautiful. These standards back then were having, long black straight hair, smooth skin, even skin tone, glowing skin, light to medium

the pursuit of fairer skin tone, is not feeling fully confident after the chemicals have “worked”. Skin bleaching can fade your scars on your exterior but not the scars that killed the self-belief. What is ugly is not the scars and marks on our faces, what is ugly is society’s need to bring our self-esteem down and force competitiveness.

By The Age Of 18... 400 Million women today aged 20-49 were married


VIRGINIA CHIHOTA

» PAINTING Women’s Edition Issue 06

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WOMANHOOD

Lynnet Manikai PSYCHOLOGIST @lynn_tendai

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nsure what the move had in store for me I packed my bags and came back to Harare. Unlike the fast paced life, traffic jams, bright lights that I was now accustomed to in the five years I lived in Johannesburg the Sunshine City had its own beauty and challenges. When I arrived back home I immediately got preoccupied with planning my wedding which was less than a month away. It was a pretty hectic time with premarital counselling, meetings with the service providers, family and friends; I barely had time to think beyond the wedding day.

Change Adapting to

PHOTO SOURCE

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POVOAFRIKA

Everyone around me seemed to have it all together. They were not affected by the darkness when there was no power and of course they had their jobs or businesses to occupy their time.

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THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

The wedding day came and went, and then my real Zimbabwean experience began. Suddenly I had nothing to do but at the same time so many things to adjust to, a new city, new daily routine, not going to work, being a wife, having a new family, new church, new environment, funerals and weddings to attend, power cuts, water shortages, potholes etc. My life in Johannesburg was very different to this new beginning and it was a rather overwhelming experience. Needless to say life doesn’t stop and it doesn’t come with a formula either! I wasn’t happy. I felt like I was floating, nothing was within my control and life was just passing me by. Everyone around me seemed to have it all together. They were not affected by the darkness when there was no power and of course they


had their jobs or businesses to occupy their time. When I was planning the move back home I guess I focused on the positive aspects of it and not the total experience. My current reality was not anything close to what I experienced when I was just visiting Harare. I virtually had little or nothing exciting to look forward to every day. It was same old routine and frankly it wasn’t enough motivation to look forward to the next day. I felt like my life was at a standstill. Somewhere along my boring schedule I started to feel tired and weak then I couldn’t stand the smell of oil when I was cooking. Instead of getting better, my life was turning into a nightmare but still I’d put on a front and act as if all was well. Maybe I was missing my life in Johannesburg, everything was readily available – well for starters I was working – there was water and power and all of a sudden, I longed for the ‘perfect life’ there. Then it hit me that I had gone for a few weeks without going on a period. I know it might seem rather obvious that surely the signs and symptoms must have been crystal clear! On the contrary the writing wasn’t on the wall for me. I paid my family doctor a visit. He did some tests and the results confirmed that I was pregnant. What? Pregnant now when I’m going through all these adjustments. I needed over 30 minutes of venting, wailing and half a box of tissues. Don’t get me wrong I love children, I am my nieces and nephews favourite aunt and I had decided on my child’s name when I was 17 years old! That’s how much I was looking forward to being a mother, but the timing felt wrong. News of my pregnancy did not change my circumstances, in fact I think it made it worse. Weeks turned to months from vomiting,

From the hospital where I had the emergency caesarian, to being responsible for this little human being who is totally dependent on me - it was a daunting task. The sleepless nights came as a package with bathing the baby, laundry, ironing, clinic visits and everything in between. I didn’t have much help so I had to do most of the work on my own while healing from the operation. It was not much joy being a mother, or so I thought.

I changed the way I look at things. I began to feel alive again. I looked at my son and I couldn’t believe that this little person came out of me; he has a smile that melts my heart

lack of appetite, weight loss and a whole lot more pregnancy dynamics came into play. I felt rather depressed about the move and I also wasn’t enjoying my pregnancy. 9 months later I gave birth to the most adorable baby boy. So this is when all the fun starts? No, it’s not.

Then something happened inside of me, I changed the way I look at things. I began to feel alive again. I looked at my son and I couldn’t believe that this little person came out of me; he has a smile that melts my heart. As I looked at him growing each day, clearly the little miracles were always there but I was so wrapped up in

#EndChildMarriageNow BECAUSE WE CAN

BECAUSE WE CARE

Characteristics of Causes Poverty is the major driving force for child marriage in rural areas

Health

Girl Safety

Location

Education

Poverty

Human Rights & Justice

things that I had no control over, I hadn’t taken time to notice them. Suddenly I was looking forward to the next day, the next stage, the next miracle. The exhaustion was all wiped away by the joy inside me. I was excited about life and I started noticing the beautiful things outside my son as well. Everything that seemed to bother me began to be insignificant and things that we take for granted began to brighten up my life. I had a new lease of life, my son’s birth made me realise that indeed it is the small things in life that matter. Being a full time mother has given me a whole new perspective on life. So far it has been the most involving, challenging and fulfilling role I have had to play. As women we tend to underestimate the value we add to a child’s life, a society, a nation, a generation because we mostly look at reward and performance in monetary terms. 15 months down this journey, I have no regrets that I have had this privilege to raise my son on my own. Of course my life is not perfect; nobody’s life is, you can’t control some things in life but you can make a choice to have a good attitude about it. There is always something beautiful that you gain from every experience. Most children go through similar developments but when it is your child it is extra special. Simple things we take for granted like smiling, sitting, walking, talking, take a whole new dimension-an amazing one. I have never experienced love and joy like this before. Being a mother like everything in life comes with challenges so does moving countries or a change of environment and circumstances. All in all it has been a wonderful journey and I have learnt a lot of important life lessons. I’m really excited about the future and I thank God for carrying me through it all. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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WOMANHOOD

Sophia Chitemere Founder of Infinity Magazine @iAmSoph_Mich

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any people say silence is golden; well, I am not many people. Always forcing yourself, to be silent because of fear? The fear of being judged - the fear of people taking you out of context. We often die in silence because we don’t know how to express ourselves well enough for people to understand us. We now live in a society and generation where a lot happens behind closed doors, hidden away from the world. Only to be mentioned when it’s too late; when all the unnecessary damage has been done. I am a true example of someone who has been living in silence; in some occasions, lest my silent loudness in this piece fool you, I still am. Where do I start? What do I say? To whom? Do they even care enough to listen to me? My response to this all the time is, “Why bother... let me keep quiet.” I died in silence, faded deep into it, when my parents separated. Literally went from riches to rags and rage. The only thing that stood out, that I held on to, was the fact that I still went to a private school and still had those fancy clothes. I questioned. I complained about any and everything. Eventually I learnt to ‘be grateful for the little that you have.’ Seeing my mother try to make ends meet was a painful experience, one that led me 24

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

Breaking The Silence We often die in silence because we don’t know how to express ourselves well enough for people to understand us. We now live in a society and generation where a lot happens behind closed doors, hidden away from the world.

to look for a job to do every weekend at the young age of 10. I died in silence, faded deep into its abyss, the last day I saw my father and mother alive. What do you say? Where do you start? My parents were the most powerful people I knew, and seeing them defeated and helpless was, and still is, something so new and unreal to me. I died in silence, disappeared without a trace within it, when I was in a relationship; thinking ‘I’m in love’, yet emotionally abused and called names by the person that claimed to love me. The one person I thought to be my fountain of trust. Some, maybe even much, of what I speak forth today may apply to you. It may have applied to some of you. How do you deal with it?

These life lessons happen on a daily basis, in so many negative ways. We have rape cases happening right under our noses. Some of these oppressed women do not explicitly show, through speech or action, what trauma they bear. That’s when we feel most alone, having to keep such a thing to ourselves, to brave it on our own. Young girls are being forced into marriage every darn day. We seem to think its ancient history, but it still happens today. Having the right to say no, and saying no, knowing that you can and should say no, are altogether different concepts. Enter respectability politics. When girls feel like they are disrespecting their parents and

Life is too short to hide away your feelings and pain. Life is too precious to take those moments for granted Do you say, I will miss you? Did you say I love you? I hate you for treating me so badly? It’s only human; that sometimes we’re unable to express ourselves and when the opportunity to speak out goes, it can never come back... And we now live with regret that we should’ve done this, should’ve said that.

relatives by saying no. When they are explicitly told so. When violence comes into the picture and still it is more respectable for a woman to be beaten up in silence than for her to fight for her dignity. When her child is taken from her, and society - the same society that breaks her calls her broken. Unfit mother.

When a woman reports such incidences, only to get threatened: ‘I’ll look for you and kill you with my bare hands,’ he says. She can now only sleep next to this monster, every day, knowing now that she only thought she loved him enough to wait for death to part them. Now she lives only by being afraid for her life. As for the reporting the matter? Hahaha! That’s a verbatim report of what the police report reads like the next morning. How then can women come out and state or speak openly and honestly about their fear or about their health condition? When something like breast cancer or HIV/ AIDS is brought up into the conversation? They die in silence, and entrench their crushed bones in it because nobody cares; they feel it, at least, as much as it is possible to feel a lack of care. So they do not share, and even less people care. Women like these simply have nowhere to turn. So when you are done reading this, I want you to do or say what you mean. To express what you’re going through. Those who truly care will help you and guide you through it all. Even though you may feel like a burden to someone, you can never know where your breakthrough help comes from or where that helping hand may come from. Life is too short to hide away your feelings and pain. Life is too precious to take those moments for granted.


NYARADZO DHLIWAYO

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prostitute, selected for high honor in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11. She heard about the God of Israel and recognized him as the true God, worth risking your life for. Joshua sent two spies to scout out the fortified city of Jericho. Rahab hid the spies on her roof top. The king of Jericho learnt that the men had been to Rahab’s house, he sent orders for her to turn them over, she sent them off in the opposite direction. Made a deal to keep silent about their mission and the Israelites would spare her household. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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PHOTOGRAPHY + WORDS

A

RAHAB


ZIMBABWE

QUICK FACTS Early Detection

the monster within

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue. Cancer kills more people worldwide than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria together. In Sub-Saharan Africa there are four countries that produce cancer registers and Zimbabwe is among them.

30%

Up to 30% of cancers are related to diet and nutrition

Abnormal cell starts like this...

TWO Number of government hospitals in Zimbabwe where cancer treatment is carried out. Harare’s Pararenyetwa and Mpilo in Bulawayo. Patients from across the country have to travel large distances to get treated.

In Zimbabwe, breast cancer affects one in every 10 women and one in every 100 men who also have to battle prostate cancer mostly affecting males above 50 years.

60% Cancers

30–40% of cancers are preventable

in Zimbabwe were HIV related

Over 508,000 women worldwide died in 2011 due to breast cancer [Estimate] Globally cancer is the third leading cause of death

Most common types of Cancer

Prostate cancer Breast cancer Colon cancer Lung cancer Lymphoma Leukemia Melanoma Basal cell cancer

5 Most common cancers among Zimbabweans M

Black

5.7% 6.2% 6.3%

20.8%

13.7%

4.9% 5.4% M 6.9% 50.7% Non-Black 10.8%

Kaposi sarcoma Prostate Oesophagus Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Liver

Non-melanoma skin cancer Prostate Colon Melanoma skin cancer Lung

F

Black

F

Non-Black

6.5%

4.9%

8.9%

33.5%

11.7%

5.1% 7.4% 17.7%

3.4% 35.4%

Cervical cancer Breast Kaposi sarcoma Eye Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-melanoma skin cancer Breast Cervical cancer Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Colon

Oncologists say cancer control in Zimbabwe, as elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, involves meeting the challenge of emerging cancers associated with westernisation of lifestyles (large bowel, breast and prostate), while the incidence of cancers associated with poverty and infection (liver, cervix and esophagus) shows little decline, and the residual burden of the AIDS-associated cancers remains significant.


7 Popular

Late Detection Ends up like this...

02 MYTH

Cancer causes hair loss

03

Some types of cancer can be contagious / infectious

Cancer is a disease of the elderly and developed countries

MYTH

MYTH

01

Cancer is a death sentence

MYTH

04

MYTH

Cancer Myths & Misconceptions

05

Certain cancers only develop in people who are HIV positive

06

MYTH Cancer is one disease

Types of Treatment 1. Surgery 2. Radiotherapy 3. Hormonal Therapy 4. Chemotherapy

3000

Radiotherapy costs between US$3 - US$4,000 for a whole session

MYTH

07

If I receive radiotherapy or chemotherapy it will kill me

GOOD RESOURCE This infographic is not an exhaustive list and some stats maybe be outdated. More information on Cancer in Zimbabwe - Visit the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe at 60 Livingstone Ave, Harare Tel. 707444 / 705522 / http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org or nearest health facility

SOURCES Priorities for cancer prevention and control in Zimbabwe: http://www.cancercontrol.info/cc2014/priorities-for-cancer-prevention-and-control-in-zimbabwe/ Types of Treatment - http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org/treatment.html Cancer fight hamstrung by steep costs: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2013/11/01/cancer-fight-hamstrung-steep-costs/ Cancer Myths & Misconceptions http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org/myths.html Prostate cancer on the rise in Zim: http://www.herald.co.zw/prostate-cancer-on-the-rise-in-zim/ Cervical Cancer Statistics: http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org/articles/Nat%20Cancer%20Prevention%20and%20Control%20Doc_18_3_14.pdf Cancer treatment remains out of reach http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2014/10/10/cancer-treatment-remains-reach/ National Cancer Prevention and Control Strategy for ZImbabwe: http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org/articles/Nat%20Cancer%20Prevention%20and%20Control%20Doc_18_3_14.pdf Design & Layout By Baynham Goredema | baynham@xealos.com


Transforming real life moments in Johannesburg into a visual language of introspection ART

Audrey Anderson Fine ARTIST @AndersonAudrey

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veryday moments, like getting dressed, going to work, making coffee or waiting for a lift, are seemingly forgettable. For most of us, they have simply become automated must-dos. Yet, they make up most of life and shapes patterns, identities, personalities and relationships. My work focuses on turning these ‘slice of life’ moments into narratives by complicating them in an illustrated or graphic novel-inspired way. In doing so, I emphasise the simplicity of these acts or events, how they represent a shared experience and relate to the South Afrikan context.

Simple lines, great impact The act of drawing, and the flexibility it provides, support my process. With a visual interest in and inspiration from illustrations and comic book art, I have seen how simple lines can depict complex ideas and emotions with great impact. Drawn lines are interesting communication tools. I don’t think I will ever stop investigating this medium or its narrative potential. My work specifically explores interpersonal and emotional relationships through different drawing mediums and 28

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

My work focuses on turning these ‘slice of life’ moments into narratives by complicating them in an illustrated or graphic novel-inspired way.

techniques. In this way, the artworks subvert the narratives and overemphasize the banality of day-to-day life.

Inspiration and an approach Banal, simple moments not only inspire my work, but also form part of my approach. As unexpected moments and accidents can reveal themselves as artworks during the creative process, I often use spills as a starting point. This relates to the fact that in life, accidents do happen (and often in the most banal of ways), causing an emotional reaction. Small moments can define big moments, like an emotional change that may affect the whole day. I sometimes use consumables (wine and coffee) on paper to create these ‘accidents’, using a technique requiring a balance between the mediums, nature and my control. In doing so, the coffee and wine works reflect the balance between what you can control in life and what you can’t.

Creative collaborations Wine and coffee on paper encourage communication, speaking to whoever stops to look, whether educated about art or not. As a personal manifesto, I want art to be accessible to

everyone regardless of their art knowledge. It is the driving force behind my creative process and plays an important role in the concepts behind the works and even where I exhibit. I may collaborate with waiters, kitchen staff, cashiers or shop owners, people outside of the art industry to involve them in the creative art-making process. The concept in essence: a person’s slice of life + an artist’s interpretation = artwork. It’s about making others an intricate part of the process instead of merely the subjects.

The walk-in graphic novel I also try to spark the viewer’s imagination by creating works that offer open stories.

I am always investigating new drawing and visual communication techniques. I consciously monitor what is happening in every work without letting full control over the medium get in the way

Although I can’t control their perception, the works are visual puzzle pieces which they will weave together with their own imagination and based on their own experiences. I describe my exhibition space as a ‘walk-in-graphic-novel’. It is about creating a body of work that becomes an ‘interactive imagination story-telling’ or ‘walk-in story-triggering’ space. My works are purposely created to provide visual clues so that the spirit of imagination and wonder can continue in each viewer’s mind. More than copied scenes of the everyday world around us, I use different techniques aimed at inspiring viewers not to just accept what they see, but rather to linger, consider, wonder and get curious about the work.

In summary I am always investigating new drawing and visual communication techniques. I consciously monitor what is happening in every work without letting full control over the medium get in the way. This translates as a philosophy in my art, automating though life is not much of a life without a good balance of control, accidents, elaboration and unexpected moments. Edited by: Netanja van der Westhuizen


Women’s Edition Issue 06

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PAINTING

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Audrey Anderson TITLE

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Coffee State of bean - Siren 6


The complexity of race and skin colour perceptions in Afrika IDENTITY

Azella Perryman Strategist @Azella_P United States of America

I

was lucky I suppose, that I discovered it at all. Many foreigners come to Afrika and never really get to hear what locals think of them and their time spent on the continent. And many foreigners leave with a distorted sense of what they ‘understand’ about the culture they’ve spent 3-6 weeks or months volunteering in. I’d like to think that I’ve had a deeper view, a peek under the surface, thanks to a few incredible friends that I made in my time in Zimbabwe. Friends that would eventually let me know that to them; I wasn’t Black. Despite the fact my dad is Afrikan-American. Despite the fact that he was abused, beat up, and disrespected by a white institutional racism similar to the one colonized Afrikan countries have endured for centuries. Despite the fact that I grew up with militant, angry black uncles and aunties, and that my grandmother was a domestic her entire life. Despite all that, to my Zimbabwean friends I am still seen as a murungu. Not a sister in the struggle. Not a kindred spirit. Before they see my color, they see my “foreignness”. My status as a person from a wealthy country. 30

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I didn’t realize how little being “Black” means anywhere outside of America until I came to the one place where I thought “Black” was how we all identified ourselves.

I didn’t realize how little being “Black” means anywhere outside of America until I came to the one place where I thought “Black” was how we all identified ourselves. You see, in America, because we have no tribes, no oral history, no sense of where we come from (thank you slavery) – there is no nationality. There is no identifying someone as Zimbabwean, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Zambian. Slavery separated families, mothers, sons, husbands and wives – scattered them across the continent, never to be seen again. Oral histories were lost. Bloodlines broken. Any semblance of knowing where

of blood of Afrikan descent, we were discriminated against as if we were fully Afrikan. The fact that I am only half black (and half Chinese) means that when the time to look for a job, get a loan, or get into university comes, I am still and always will be considered “Black”, and generally considered “less than”. That consistent oppression over the last three centuries has created a consistent, if reconstructed identity. An identity, rooted in prejudice, nevertheless gave us something to be connected to, something to be a part of - a makeshift tribe if you will.

We came together culturally, to create our own new heritage that includes everyone – blue-black, brown, caramel and in-between. We take solace in knowing that we’re all connected – somehow.

Not to say that’s what I came to Zimbabwe for – I honestly kind of fell into the country wide-eyed and bushy-tailed (true story: I’d never heard of Robert Mugabe). But the people I met very quickly made me feel welcome. The culture was familial, friendly, community-based, homey – all the positive things we associate with traditional ‘Black” culture in America. Cultural traits you rarely see in the large urban cities I’ve been living in the past 10 years. It didn’t take long to make real connections with some amazing friends. To feel like this was family. So I assumed that of course we were all Black. They saw themselves the same way I did. Sure we came from different countries, but hey – oppression is oppression right? Apparently not.

So imagine the dismay I felt when I discovered that in Afrika,

To my friends who regularly hang out with other expats

We are all Black. Historically, if we had one drop of blood of Afrikan descent, we were discriminated against as if we were fully Afrikan your grandmother came from – completely gone. I don’t even know my great-grandmother’s or great-grandfather’s name, much less their origins. So, for centuries, there has only been “Black”. We are all Black. Historically, if we had one drop

“Black” doesn’t mean anything. Many Black people in America have an unspoken whimsical fantasy that one day, we’ll return to Afrika and discover where we come from. That the continent will welcome us back ‘home’ and, for those lucky enough to travel there, we’ll acquire some renewed sense of deep-rooted identity. That in some metaphysical sense, we’ll reconnect with who we are. Who our ancestors are. Where we belong.


who are actually white (i.e. of European descent – or straight from Europe), I may have been different because of the melanin in my skin and my attitude. But to the average Zimbabwean – the guy who I called for a taxi, the one who served me food at Gava’s, the domestic who cleaned my friend’s house – to them, I was just another Murungu. And it wasn’t until I had a (painfully) honest conversation with my ‘salad’ friends, that I discovered, when push comes to shove, even they saw me as a foreigner first, and a ‘black person’ a distant second.

I am now irrevocably aware that my roots are tenuous, shallow, and fabricated It was a blow, I have to admit. I didn’t believe the first one who told me. But the second, and the third, and the fourth convinced me. They helped me understand how myopic the American view is. The way “Black” people see the world in America, on some level, crushed me. There is a beauty in knowing your roots. A grand, connected to the universe, timeless reassurance of knowing where your ancestors came from. A steadiness, a sense of comfort, a security in the old ways, old languages, old traditions. Traditions and languages we, in America, are wildly grasping for – and gradually giving up on, when we realize the echoes of the past become more and more distant with each passing generation. I am jealous. Deeply jealous that my friends in Afrika know where their parents and their

parent’s parent’s come from. Regardless of how strongly they adhere to or subscribe to the old traditions – they HAVE them. There are stories behind the superstitions. Reasons behind the cultural norms. A memory as old as time to guide them along their journey towards creating a new generation, built upon an ever-growing foundation that stretches deep down into the soil of the earth from which they came from and will one day return. I am now irrevocably aware that my roots are tenuous, shallow, and fabricated from the little my enslaved ancestors were able to salvage from the wreckage of our own history. Maybe that’s why I keep coming back to the continent. My friends laugh and say no one is surprised any longer when I pop back up in Zimbabwe after being gone for a month, a few weeks, here and there. But in the short time there, somehow it feels like home. Like there’s a distant thrumming - a vibration that feels right. Like a radio frequency that plays a song you barely remember but could never forget. It wasn’t until I realized how fabricated the identity we’ve created in America truly was, that I was able to truly appreciate the sense of home I now feel in Zimbabwe. So I thank my friends for being honest, and letting me know I’m a Murungu. They trusted me enough to tell me the truth. Because even though I’m not one of them, it’s enough that I am part of the family, even if I might just be that distant cousin that you just call aunty because no one knows who she’s actually related to.

DID YOU KNOW?

The first 10 Women to contribute to POVO 1. The genesis of Edith WeUtonga! Marcia Nonkululeko Tladi, Writer Interview | Music

It is no wonder that Edith we Utonga is one of few musicians in very high demand in Zimbabwe today. A female bass player, a band leader at that, is harder to come by than a female Mbira player was in the times of Stella Chiweshe. 2. Slamming with Aura Aura The Poet, Poet Interview | Music |

Audiences are also starting to warm up to us and the appreciation is growing. In terms of history, there is not much, can say about the history of poetry in Zimbabwe as I spent 5 years of my poetry life outside the country and started performing in Johannesburg. 3. Leaping the Limpopo Karien Cherry, Writer/Director Interview | Film

The fear of foreigners is obviously relevant in a social context at the moment but the film is not about xenophobia. It’s about another human being’s journey. No matter who we are or where we come from we can learn from each other’s stories. 4. Zimbabwean Hip-Hop under Attack! Black Bird, Musician Opinion | Music

The amount of publicity that goes to Sungura and Urban Grooves is so unbalanced with what rappers get, and I hardly ever see any stories about local hip-hop artists. 5. How SMART are you? Nonsikelelo Muzvidzwa, Writer Opinion | Society & Culture

Resolutions can be vague and drawing them up is relatively easy. Goals require some serious thinking. Obviously you can start with your resolutions as a source of inspiration. 6. Shona Proverbs - Tsumo Pauline Goredema, House Wife Opinion | Literature

The time when fundamental values in the form of customs of institutes were laid down by the progenitors of the Shona culture. As part of the Shona philosophy of life, is the Gurumuswa period. These values were captured in pithy and aphoristic statements (terse statements of truth/dogma) we call proverbs (tsumo) they had to be short so as to be memorable. 7. Hope Masike - The Person! Hope Masike, Musician Interview | Music

I spent TWO years studying Ethnomusicology (“the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts”) at the Zimbabwe College of Music 8. The Eradication of Poverty Tendai Mufunda, Activist Society & Culture - Opinion

Today’s generation will sympathise for as long as it takes to flip to the next page. The report may even be privileged enough to get an unexpected referral, before being used as lining in a kitchen cupboard. 9. Creating platforms and the R-Effect Rutendo Mutsamwira, Artist Opinion | Art & Design

What I have been trying to do is getting Zimbabweans to form a virtual community that identifies with something completely Zimbabwean. 10. The right to love and be loved Pfungwa Nyamukachi, Activist Opinion | Society & Culture

We are all familiar with the bill of rights, human rights for all people of all nations, creed and colour that make up this earth. I believe in love we have rights too! I believe one of these ‘rights’ is the right to love and be loved the way you love to be loved. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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Exploring the key to the growth of Afrika’s fashion industry CREATIVITY

Nkanyeziyethu Malunga designER

Designers in Afrika carry the diverse yet similar cultures (which are the foundation of our creativity) much to the world’s amusement and fascination.

@Nkanyeziyethu

I

am a young self-taught designer at Ganu creations. An old soul. An animal loving globe trotter, and potential chef who has secret aspirations of becoming a scientist. Being a designer is mother nature’s way of entrusting one with the power to enchant, charm and whisk away the ordinary style palette. Designers in Afrika carry the diverse yet similar cultures ( which are the foundation of our creativity) much to the world’s amusement and fascination. However, the fashion industry in our continent is far from being the ‘fat man’ within the international arena. The cultural and creative industry is not given the practical attention it deserves, nor the potential it has to generate income and economic independence. Despite the increasing interest in the fashion industry in Afrika, there is a need to establish a sustainable market for artists. The minimal economic freedom and the absence of locally produced resources means local designers are at the mercy of the global 32

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

community. Asian and European domination in the continent restricts its potential growth and exposure. At the end of the day the usage of ‘ grown-in-Afrikamanufactured-in-China goods’ mean our identity as designers in Afrika is a product of complex cultural relationships. For some reason, the current state of our continent feels like the renaissance of an industrial revolution, only difference is our case is continuous.

between passion and the need to create a sustainable environment for artists. As if not receiving sufficient support from governments and concerned stakeholders is not enough, we have to deal with social red tape. Private institutions can only compensate so much. The provision of relevant education from academic institutions is needed in order for us to permanently mark our existence in the

Art for us is a spiritual, priceless process. It serves as a medium of communication which bridges racial, gender and geographical boundaries It sees the lower classes not graduating, the creatives not getting enough legislative regard and art being the art effect reserved for the home industries. Art for us is a spiritual, priceless process. It serves as a medium of communication which bridges racial, gender and geographical boundaries. The mammoth task is to be able to strike a balance

international market. Afrikan governments need to rally behind the fashion industry. A unity of effort will get us moving at an international speed. We need to create organisational models unique to us. Models that are innovation-driven and reflect the gradual transformation of designers.

One wishes for a united designers/ creatives’ front. A union that will advocate for networks that encourage and inspire creativity and innovation. Solidarity will be the ultimate survivor. Afrika is a habitat to home industries and craft works. But this is not enough, since artisans require intensive training in order for us to meet the global benchmarks. There is a need for modernisation, if we are to improve our production pace and quality. I am just a voice of the designers in Afrika. I see the Afrikan fashion industry blowing international fashion week events off their boots. Talent is in abundance, and our own if not better ‘Zaras ‘will soon be born. My goodness, I am starting to sound like a 1950s vinyl player. Having almost exposed the lives of Afrikan designers, one would proudly say it is passion that drives creatives, it is what keeps them going. Wear Afrikan, to help grow the industry. Buy Afrikan to help build factories and invest in emerging designers. We are getting there. One needs to invest in the future of the creative industry. Let us rally behind each other. Remember Solidarity will survive.


Home of mushrooms in Zimbabwe where mushroom is the language Training & Consultancy | Mushroom Spawn | Growing kits Types of mushrooms we specialise in include Oyster mushroom, Button mushroom, Shiitake and King oyster mushroom

Cell: 0773 842 677 Email:nmupaso@mushtella.com Twitter: @mushtella Facebook: Mushtella Specialty Mushrooms www.mushtella.com


Perception vs Reality My journey to the motherland

CULTURE

Veronica Makunike Childcare SupervisOR Ireland

I

met my husband initially, almost eleven years ago. It wasn’t until two years later when we began our relationship. He knew how to treat a woman, had such a kind nature and from that day made me the happiest I have ever been! From two very different backgrounds we had an instant connection. We shared the same quirky humour and he was so open. We enjoyed every second of each other’s company. He was a college student who came from Zimbabwe. I was just after finishing school with a part time job and no certainty for how I wanted to live my future. We lived in Tipperary and spent every other weekend enjoying student life together. We had a mixed reception about our relationship. People seemed to think our relationship had secret alternatives and they weren’t shy on giving us their outlook. We had our close friends who were genuinely happy for us but others had their doubts with Simon being an Afrikan man in Ireland. They would suggest that perhaps he is with me for a visa to stay here and would constantly remind me how he could have a wife and children back home for all I am aware. But I took a 34

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

chance, I had moments where I let people’s opinions annoy me and make me doubt Simon but there was something about him that made me feel I was safe and could trust everything he said. He never hid anything from me. We often had remarks muttered and even shouted at us on occasions. Racism remains to be something which will always be within people but we won’t let the ignorance spoil our happiness. Simon visited Zimbabwe when we were together but our income wasn’t great so I didn’t make it to Zimbabwe with him until two years ago, almost seven years into our relationship and one child later. I couldn’t wait to finally meet my in laws and

forms. My son was turning two and was not very happy about the long flight from Ireland that we had just endured, with a nine hour stopover in Dubai to add to the mix. Air hostesses who were on our flight, passed us as we waited in the never-ending queue. “Aw Kevin is still crying” one of them joked as they walked by. Everyone on that flight got to know my son very well as he spent the whole day shuffling up and down the plane, smiling into passengers faces then crying inconsolably when boredom kicked in. The people were so nice and so understanding. I was delighted as the lady stamped my passport for three months. I had never been outside of Europe until then so

While there were a few differences I noticed in the culture I also thought there were a few similarities, like the humour of Zimbabweans was excited to introduce my son to his family and to begin to get in touch with his roots. It’s something I felt was important from the start, to teach my child about where he comes from and now we were both going to experience this journey together for the first time. Stepping off the plane one breezy August, we proceeded to the arrivals section where we filled out our visa

it was a novelty to have a stamp in my documentation. At 6pm it became dark outside. Back home it would still be bright until 10pm at this time of year. But I didn’t mind as I was so tired the darkness came as an advantage. Around twenty faces looked into ours as we walked out of the airport. Cameras were flashing, phones in hand taking photos of the family who they had never

met before. My son was lifted from me and passed around being cuddled by each family member. He loved the attention but still had his eyes focused on his dad and me. In the jeep we passed people walking the streets home after closing their market stalls, people tidying away statues they had carved and on display in the hope that someone would make a new purchase. Little bonfires were lit where people kept warm as they hung out there for the night. I wasn’t yet sure how to feel about Zimbabwe. I was expecting it to be hot and bright and the people at the airport were unfriendly. But I took comfort in knowing that our family was so happy to have us home and was excited to get to know each one of them. The three vehicles went through the security gates of my sister in law’s home. My brother in law’s wife Emily was driving the jeep which I was in and my husband Simon and our son were both in different vehicles. I think this was my husband’s intention to throw me in the deep end to get to know people without having him constantly by my side. As I was about to get out of the car, Emily stretched her hand across me, locking the jeep door and putting her scarf against the window, blocking me from seeing what was outside. I looked at her with confusion and she smiled back at me. She began to shout “you have to pay to see your muroora (sister


in law)” and cheering began outside and singing. Dollar notes were squeezed into the gap of the window which was slightly open holding the scarf. I found this practice somewhat hilarious.

We visited the city and it was just like any other, full of hustle and bustle, very built up and mixed with Asians and both black and white Zimbabweans. I did however notice that in my time in Zimbabwe, I hadn’t seen any couples who were of a different race. I felt like white people kept to themselves like blacks did. We had a certain amount of attention from people but I don’t think it was because, as a white lady, I was in the minority. Rather their fascination arose from me and Simon being together with our biracial son. However there was no sense of unfriendliness, I felt very safe, safer than I feel in some of the towns and cities in Ireland!

Rural kitchen in the background, Zimbabwe

We then went to Simon’s rural area to meet some of his family. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them and here I met a very interesting character who gave me a different insight into life in the rural area. When I first arrived here, I was shocked by how we even found where Simon’s family stayed! I felt like we were on a main road one minute then randomly took a turn into what looked like a desert of sand, drove continuously for around twenty minutes and finally stumbled upon some form of settlement. I could see thatched roofs on circular looking houses then in the distance some concrete blocks in a back to back “L” shape. Luckily I had explored some old Irish settlements when I was a child and the circular houses were not new to me. Similar houses were here in Ireland during the Bronze Age and the reconstructed versions can still be visited in Craggaunowen Co.Clare. It was insightful to see in the 21st century, how some people are still living. I was told how these little rural kitchens are used for the cooking and I witnessed an elderly lady picking corn from its leaves in order to grind it into maize meal. I was shown around the well and the areas where food can be cooked outside when the electricity gets cut off (braai), and those “L” shaped concrete stands which I was informed are actually toilets (blairs).

The three weeks we spent in Zimbabwe were the fastest three weeks! We juggled between touring different attractions and visiting the many relatives and friends of Simon. We visited the Eastern Highlands, Nyanga, Mutare, Vumba. This area reminded me of the windy Irish Cliffs of Moher, so cold but breathtaking! ContINUEd ON

page 36 Women’s Edition Issue 06

VERONICA MAKUNIKE

one lady brought a big basket of fruit and vegetables from her stall while another brought a free range chicken for us to kill and eat.

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We spent almost three hot weeks in Zimbabwe and it was such a wonderful experience. Almost every night we had loud music and dancing in the living room. I found a great sense of happiness from the people in Zimbabwe and felt so welcomed by them. I felt a great sense of community here also. We bought groceries as a gesture to those who had lost loved ones while Simon was in Ireland and this is a common thing to do as a neighbour, friend or family member. I often heard about Ireland being so tightly knit as a community long ago, but now people seem to be more private and restricted. Neighbours and family members came with gifts to welcome me into the family,

Craggaunowen houses, Ireland

Simon’s uncle was the character that brought me on a tour around his rural home; I asked him if he liked living there even though his enthusiasm suggested he couldn’t be happier. He said to me “did you see that large bank in the city of Harare” I replied in the affirmative. He told me he worked there all of his life and lived in the city centre. He actually chose to move to the rural area when he retired as he felt life was easier in the rural area. I thought he was crazy. I looked around at the crop he had to grow and maintain all year and the livestock he had to feed, the well that he had to collect water from and the fact that his toilet was outside and non-flushable. He asked me “Do you enjoy going to work every day and spending all of your money on bills?”. He had a point. He told me how money was rarely needed for his life in the rural area as his livelihood was home-grown. His house was built on this land which they claimed generations ago and it owed him nothing! He took pride in planting his own crop watching it grow and feeding his family with it. He said he would never trade the rural life for the busy city life. “The more money you make the more money you spend” he had a very valid point!

PHOTO SOURCE

This took me back to the first time Simon met my parents which was nothing in comparison. My parents gave Simon a firm handshake, asked him a couple of questions and we spent an evening getting to know him before watching a DVD with Chinese take-out. They say first impressions last and I have to say, this family was so fun and carefree and definitely knew how to welcome me into the family. After a couple of minutes watching dollar notes being squeezed into the window Emily unlocked the door where I was greeted by the back of someone who I couldn’t even recognise in the dark. Before I realised it, I was on top of her back and the family sang a traditional Shona song and they took me into my sister in law’s house. When she let me down I could see it was another of my sister in laws. I spent the whole introductory event just laughing and laughing. It was so much fun.

My son enjoyed interacting with the livestock, chasing goats and even chickens. He was in his element.

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CULTURE

Contd from

page 35 PERCEPTION VS REALITY

The British influence was very evident in some of the places like Troutbeck Inn but the large open-fire comforts were appreciated. The highlight of our touring was definitely Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls! They were out of this world!

PHOTO SOURCE

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VERONICA MAKUNIKE

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

I thought that these famous falls were just an attraction of their own but never realised that it’s a town with so many experiences to offer. I was impressed with how the people are managing to maintain the natural look of the falls and how there are little man made aspects to it. We went with our son but we were so fortunate he was sleeping in his stroller through the entire visit as it is quite rocky and can be slippery from the mist which comes from the falls. We found it so amusing that as we walked through the town, baboons and monkeys were also just randomly walking around the town. Simon bravely did the bungee dive from the Victoria Falls Bridge and together, we did the safari through Hwange National Park. We went on a sunset cruise through the Zambezi and 36

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

witnessed hippos swimming in the water while crocodiles basked in the sun at the bank of the river. One of the nights we went for the traditional “Boma dinner”. This was an experience in itself and will definitely return! For anyone who goes to Zimbabwe looking for some traditional Afrikan activities this is on the top of the list of things to do. From stepping off the bus to being welcomed by men and women in grass skirts

then to relax while a band plays Afrikan beats and then to feast on an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with game meat, this was such an experience! People from all around the world gathered here and some bravely took part in learning some traditional dance moves. Each person at their table was given a drum to beat per instruction of the head of the band. It was so much fun. Our family had such a great time. My son even adjusted to

Scenery at the Troutbeck Inn, Nyanga

and fire torches, being led into an open garden, being clothed with an Afrikan style dress, having patterns painted on your face and

not sleeping in his stroller and slept on his aunt’s back instead. There were a couple of cultural differences I had witnessed in

We came back for our dream wedding in Zimbabwe

my time in Zimbabwe which I embraced and enjoyed. I take my hat off to the women of Zimbabwe; life is so busy for them. I participated in the chores to get a real sense of what it is like to live there and realised that we have it much easier back home! Hand-washing clothes (yes including jeans, jumpers, bed sheets etc), using brooms as sweeping brushes (those brooms we buy every Halloween for dress up are actually used to sweep carpets!), cooking in time before the electricity cuts off. Other differences that stood out to me are the traditional ways of greeting, it’s like here when someone sits and relaxes and you begin by saying “so how are you anyway?” or “how’s things?”, but makadini is said in Shona along with a handclap. Of course there are also the eating habits, Zimbabweans eat their traditional staple food sadza with their hands so it is courteous to bring water to those who are visiting and to help them wash their hands before eating their dinner. While there were a few differences I noticed in the culture I also thought there were a few similarities, like the humour of Zimbabweans. I think it’s very similar to Irish humour as we always use a “break the ice” tactic when meeting someone new as we speak in a light hearted manner. The people I met were so friendly and so welcoming. Also the neighbourly way that people are there for each other is something that may not be as evident in Ireland now but the old rural Ireland, had similar practices. I was sad to come to the end of my trip as I had enjoyed the people I met and the activities we did. My son and I enjoyed the energy of our family with the loud music and constant singing. We couldn’t have asked for a better reception and an even better family!


PROFILE

B

orn and raised in Harare. I’m single. I participated in public speaking, swimming and modelling. Future plans of studying psychology.

How did you get into music? There is history of music in my family. I have always been passionate about music and thank my poetic streak for my song writing skills.

What type of music do you sing

It still has a long way to go in terms of good quality production, video wise and recording.

What role is music playing in Zimbabwe today? Protests and assisting with domestic violence awareness, child abuse and issues that affect the populace.

Where else have you performed? Book cafe,Alliance Francaise, Zimbabwe German Society and Maestro.

Blues and Neo soul.

Tell us something that we do not know about you?

Do you play any instruments?

I’m a good dancer.

A bit of the marimba and I’m learning how to play the piano.

What does the tattoo mean?

Do you have a band?

Rebirth, through any difficult situations I emerge victorious.

Yes, a 4 piece band, which includes a drums, keys, Bass and lead guitar.

Zimbabwe at 35, what are your thoughts?

We first heard you backing vocals for Outspoken, what was it like working with him? It was a great experience. The hip hop/spoken word element was a different culture as Outspoken addresses social, political and religious issues.

Will he feature on some of your tracks? Yes,I have one special track that would sound great with a spoken word feel.

Which other artists have you worked with before? I recorded a track with award winning hip hop artist Synik, live shows with Hope Masike, Prudence Katomeni Mbofana during a Human rights concert. I will be doing a collaboration

Encouraging to see that artists are free to mingle and produce their music anywhere in the country.

Given $1 billion to tackle any social issue in Zimbabwe what would that be? I would pick an organization that tackles prevention of child abuse, helping children who have been abused so they can get school fees, medication, school uniforms and food.

What’s your definition of patriotism? Identifying myself with my country endeavouring to make the world a better place.

Zimbabwe is the best country in the world because... We are a peaceful nation.

Meet Raven Women’s Edition Issue 06

APC RECORds

Tell us a bit about your history, (Where you are from, family, highlights outside of music)

Your thoughts about the music industry in Zimbabwe?

»

MuSiCiaN @ravenduchess

with Kenyan artist Silas Miami during HIFA 2015 and Jam Signal.

phOTO SOurCe

raVen

37


The Interview LITERATURE

Sista Zai STORYTELLER / Writer / Radio DJ @sistazai

I

n the distance, I could hear the sprinklers hissing water across the thick carpet of green lawn; and the sound of whistling to the tempo of gumboots cutting a steady path across the green lawn towards a flower bed punctuated the air with rhythmic effect. It was idyllically peaceful here – an untouched bubble of luxury and ease. I was pleased that my interview subject had chosen this oasis for our interview. I was nervous. She did not seem to recognize me but I knew her from many photographs and from even more stories than the pictures could ever reveal. I cleared my throat and nodded at her, indicating that I was about to press the record button and to start recording the interview. She nodded in response. I pressed record and glanced down at my list of five questions and then, looking up at my interview subject, I asked her the first question. “Please, can you tell us, what is your nationality?” “I am ‘The-Woman-WithToo-Many-Lovers-And-NoDesire-For-One-Husband’.” She giggled. Her unexpected response to my simple question caught me offguard: as I was reaching over to the sugar bowl, her statement struck a moral nerve and, for just a second, my body froze and then jerked back to life. I spilled small brown granules of sugar all over the table. 38

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

I turned on the voice recorder and set the recording volume to an appropriate level. The background noise of traffic moving along one of the city’s main thoroughfares mingled with the soft music playing through the speakers in this popular inner-city garden hotel.

She giggled harder. I cringed inwardly. Silently, I hoped that nobody was listening in on this conversation. An air of suspicion always hung over women who frequented inner city garden hotels and I did not want anybody to walk away with the wrong impression about my intentions. I looked around and quickly scanned the parameters of the garden. I did not recognize anyone who might recognize me or know my family and friends. I suddenly realized that this woman had a loud voice and an even louder giggle. She did not seem to care that her voice carried far and pierced the idyllic calm forcing people to eavesdrop on our conversation.

“I am ‘TheWoman-WithToo-ManyLovers-And-NoDesire-For-OneHusband’.” She giggled Suddenly, she noticed my discomfort. At that point, she sat forward in her seat and leaned in towards me. She stuck out her pretty face and with eyebrows raised, she peered into my eyes through the big dark Jacky-O sunglasses that hid all evidence

of emotion from her face. In those sunglasses, all I could see was the reflection of my fearfilled eyes. “I see,” came her quick report, “you are shocked and you feel embarrassed, perhaps you also feel a little bit scared.” She had a sharp gaze – the perceptive gaze of a traveller fluent in body language. I had tried not to look shocked, embarrassed and fearful but my slightly open mouth, shrinking posture and widening eyes betrayed my true feelings. She laughed, again but even louder this time. Then, as if to increase my feeling of discomfort, she picked up her can of beer and, ignoring the empty beer glass on the table, she dramatically threw back her head and proceeded to pour the remaining few gulps of beer straight out of the can and into her mouth. Then, delicately, as if she were sipping on tea out of the finest bone china while seated in one of the finest rooms in Buckingham Palace, she elegantly placed the beer can down on the table and boldly signalled the waiter for another can. I was now acutely aware that we had attracted the gaze of a few frowning eyes. I wondered how long it would be before a member of staff would politely ask us to leave the premises and join our “friends” on the street corners.

Oblivious to the stares, she continued to talk. “I do miss the beer from home – this home. I’ve lived in many countries and fallen in love with all of them; but I can tell you one thing, nothing can ever beat my love for the crisp and bitter taste of an ice cold Lion Lager on a hot summers day. I also love the price. I cannot complain about spending my hard earned foreign cash here, that’s a fact. All of this is a luxury I can afford because I have two lovers. Both of my lovers are equally generous to me, in their own particular ways. One gives me the money I need and the other gives me the life I crave. Lovers are jealous beasts but I do hope that one day they can coexist in one place. I am tired of all of this back and forth, flying between continents to satiate my needs from one lover and then the next.” I nodded. I was still at a loss for words. Remembering my question sheet, I quickly looked down and tried to find the next question to ask her. Again, with a smirk on her face, she observed my discomfort with her open affinity for sexual metaphor and public displays of drunkenness on such an unladylike beverage as beer. Nonchalantly, she shrugged her shoulders as though she were shaking off some dust that clung to her fancy foreign shoes. She leaned back in the comfortable cane chairs and took one last drag from her cigarette. She proceeded to squash the burning end of the cigarette into an already overflowing transparent glass ashtray.


The ashtray sat exactly halfway between us, positioned on top of the transparent and round glass table that separated myself from her. “So, are we conducting an interview or what? I promised you thirty minutes.”

She lifted a slender wrist up from her lap and looked at the time on her watch. “It looks like you have exactly twenty minutes left.” A waiter placed another cold tin on the glass tabletop. She reached forward, tapped it gently and peeled back the aluminium

tab. This time, to my relief, she poured the contents into her glass. As the rich golden liquid gushed into the transparent glass, she spoke. I cleared my throat and asked: “Mum, why did you leave me behind?”

She choked, spluttering on her first sip, foam landing on the green grass beneath her feet. She took off her glasses and tears welled up in her eyes as she whispered my name in disbelief. “Nhamo?”

Heart Art Paintings ART

ZVAFADZA SOKO ARTIST

H

eart Art came to me in Canada as a method of striving to survive when I found myself at Walmart one night after waking up with a heavy heart, at my wits end. From that night painting has become a part of my life so much so that I moved back to Zimbabwe, the mother land to where I believe it will be most appreciated for what it is – Heart Art. For it is only in Africa that I have seen people live (I.e. laugh and love through hard times) in order to survive.

Colours of the Wind I call this the colours of the wind because it took me the longest time to complete and as soon as it was completed the theme song for Pocahontas “Colours of the Wind” by Vanessa Williams played on television and seemed ideal.- Made with mostly oil paints.

I am grateful for the opportunity to share my heart’s journey in painting, a journey which saved my spirit.

The Vision

LIdys Garcia

I have committed myself to bringing focus awareness to the art that is natural beauty: nature, natural looks and man-made art. Art in all its forms is heavenly, so heavenly it is included the first line of the Lord’s Prayer.

Window to the Soul Here is a close up of the previous Reflections painting’s pupil. If one were to zoom in on the reflected images the above is what they would see in detail. Glimpse into my soul; a joyful and peaceful place to be. - Made with acrylic paints

Reflections The red eye was inspired by my left eye. After capturing the image of my left eye, this abstract view was the reflection of home sickness and the anticipation of a joyful return home to my mother; Mrs. G. Soko. - Made with acrylic paints Women’s Edition Issue 06

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Nature & natural beauty inspire and guide the development of my work. I thank the Lord above for every piece I have ever produced.

»

Inspiration


Art in metal ART

Caroline Grobbelaar Artist / Metal fabrication

I

was trying to find someone who could make me a mirror, I knew exactly what it needed to look like but had never done anything like it before. We had a big container in our garden which we were helping a friend renovate into a tuck shop. I looked at all the equipment and thought if we can transform that giant chunk

I had just moved back to Harare from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique. We finally moved into our rented home and naturally I wanted to pretty it up!

spaces and the various sizes of steel we would use. Once we had made it everyone who saw it wanted one. I love jobs or tasks that have a distinct beginning and end. This certainly did, standing back and looking at our mirror moulded, ground and then painted to perfection with a smooth glossy finish was all the inspiration

PHOTO SOURCE

»

CAROLINE GROBELAAR

Our amazing team

of steel into what we envisioned then we would definitely be able to make my little mirror. I spoke to Stixon Vhinyu, who was the welder we had contracted for the container job, I drew the mirror I wanted on the floor in the work shop in chalk and discussed it with him to see if he thought it was possible, he did. We decided on specs and 40

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

needed. It was beautiful and we had made it right here in the work shop. That was how my love for this art began. I had a million more designs I wanted to make. Stix had been working with steel for years, his level of skill was undeniable and basically he showed me that whatever I could

think of we could make. He showed me how to bend, twist and shape the steel. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the potential was limitless. My mind revelled at the vast expanse of all that was possible. Practicality is very necessary. If it does not fit or does not function then it is not going to work. This is where our third and final

member of our team’s strong point lies. A year and a half later I employed Elliot Chipomho as a gardener. He also took an interest in the goings on in the work shop and with his practical, organized and energetic approach he soon proved that his input was invaluable and completed our team perfectly. I would never have called myself an artist, Stix often stands and shakes his head when I produce a new sketch of an idea. Only after a lot of explaining and more sketches or after half of the fabrication work is done do we finally reach a mutual understanding of where the piece is going. I think of what

we do as more of a craft or skill set but in the end the product is a form of art. The furnishing you garnish your house with is an art and an extension of you, if you don’t like something it wouldn’t be in your home. People complimented us on the quality and finishing’s of our work, that’s when I scouted around and realized we did produce very neat creative pieces, now all I needed was to find outlets to showcase our work. Fortunately for me Harare has a number of Fairs where craftsmen can exhibit. Yes some are filled with mass produced factory items but a select few were full of artists amazing work, we attended some of these and they went well. I managed to get a small stand at Doon estate were local artist’s exhibit and sell their wares. We also display at Periwinkle gift shop number 167, Enterprise road and our newest exciting spot is KwaMurongo Galleria at number 9 Normandy, I love it as they serve delicious traditional food and the gallery is filled with hand made Zimbabwean paraphernalia, making it the perfect setting for locals or visitors. Luckily for me our work seems to speak for itself, it’s mainly word of mouth referrals for curtain rods that keep us busy. I Love this because it gives me the opportunity to meet people who are in the process of improving their homes. We all seem to have an idea of how we would like to improve or change our home, this allows me to collaborate with individuals and incorporate their ideas into finished home art or functional accessories.


Whom do I seek to please? POETRY

Am I for the one that makes me breathe Or I serve the one that makes me grieve? Have I forsaken my chosen path, Do I follow the road to wrath? Is this an ignorance of the mind? Is my spirit willing to fight? To what am I exposing my soul to? Is it venomous what I let my ears listen to? How else can I explain the filth surging through the flimsiness of my brain? Is it because of the poison I yearn to empty down my oesophagus? It devours my dignity consumes my sense of shame Leaves me uncovered, exposed, a mere weakling Even the feet I’ve known for eternity start to deny me My eyes have become heavy with gloom Even they reject this destruction I have brought upon myself This toxin I’ve guzzled down has manipulated my brains To think this is what its all about Being in ‘high’ spirits This hazard to my soul I let it control me Whom do I seek to please? Am I king or slave?

SEKAI MACHACHE

@sibzilawe

Whom do I seek to please, for whom do I live?

»

POET

PHOTOGRAPHY

Sibusisiwe Zilawe

Women’s Edition Issue 06

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Hair braiding as Art ART

Nontsikelelo Mutiti Artist / educator

Interview by Sabina Seldon When did you first become interested in hair? How did this manifest itself?

I

moved to New Haven, Connecticut for graduate school in July 2009. I’d twisted my hair for the long trip to the States the night before leaving Harare. When I needed to change my hairstyle after a few weeks but couldn’t find the right comb in the supermarket or pharmacy that was something of a beginning. I didn’t comb my hair for 461 days.

PHOTO SOURCE

»

Nontsikelelo Mutiti

What? 461 days? Yeah, that’s really when I became interested in hair, not so much as a subject, but as material. When I travelled to the United Kingdom for my summer vacation in 2010, friends and family were concerned about my lack of shaping and styling. Then my older sister presented me with a set of black plastic combs. 42

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

The packet contained 10 combs each of varying sizes. I knew I needed these things in my life. Not so much as instruments to train and groom my unkempt mane but as objects of interest. I took the combs back to my desk at the Yale School of Art and hung them on the wall. This was the first spark of inspiration that

them to use the space to develop work and present process and development to an audience ranging from curious passersby to an initiated art audience. Being interested in braiding as a visual form and formula for building, I used the residency to learn more about braiding. I set up workshops and invited

I didn’t comb my hair for 461 days led me down the path I’m on with a project related to the shape and form of hair.

Tell me about Recess? What is it? Recess is a small not for profit organisation led by Allison Weisburg. Recess runs an artist project space out of a storefront at street level in Soho, New York. I applied for their residency program, Session, in 2014. I had finished graduate school in 2012. My full time teaching schedule does not afford me much time to get my own art work done. The residency is open to artists or different disciplines and invites

facilitators to lead groups of twelve participants to learn two to three techniques in a session. There was a lot of sharing around past hairdressing experiences, differences in techniques, memories from childhood, issues around identity and gender. I also curated film screenings with Shani Peters, a multidisciplinary artist based in New York. Our collection comprised Black American films that had influenced black women’s concepts of self-presentation. These included Coming to America; House Party; Poetic Justice, starring Janet Jackson in

those unforgettable box braids rivalled only by dancehall artist, Patra; and not forgetting Set It Off.

What is Ruka? How did the idea for it begin? Ruka (To knit / to braid / to weave) is what I called the project I did at Recess. It was my attempt to work through thoughts around the contemporary practice of hair braiding. My goal was to create a space echoing and rhyming with hair braiding salons I’d visited in Harlem, Brooklyn, Detroit and back home in Zimbabwe. They all had so much in common; the brightly coloured walls; the television propped high on the wall mostly playing Nollywood movies; and vendors passing through selling socks, snacks, insects and toys. I became fascinated by these spaces and wanted to think about them more. My project at Recess was a redrawing of an Afrikan hair braiding salon. I quickly found that recreating the space was impossible without using it.


I got to assist a new colleague, Sanchel Brown, in braiding waist length box braids on two heads. My hands and feet and back hurt badly after we’d finished and I learnt that braiding is hard work. Five hours on your feet with your hands going all the time! I’ve tried to incorporate principles in my artwork from the practice of hair braiding; namely that labour and repetition are important to the formal and conceptual decisions that create meaning and aesthetic in the resulting works.

And the gorgeous Lupita came to see your project at Recess?

Why did you focus on braiding in particular with Ruka? What other styles interest you? I’m interested in threaded hair. My mother would do this for us going to school. I remember how most people did not like to get maBuns down. Some of my friends with longer hair had more elaborate styles using this technique. I really love the visual result of creating sections of hair that then get bound together in this way. My mother would thread her hair into many single spikes. I miss seeing these kinds of images. Weaves are a formal architectural structure and interest me too but I’m not sure about doing anything with them yet.

What are your plans for Ruka in the future, if any? I’m starting work on a reader/ sort of magazine for hair braiding salons in which I’ll cover issues around immigration, the economics and laws around salons etc. I hope to interview a doctor on repetitive strain disorder that can affect your wrists if you do the long stretches doing the kind of work hair braiders do. I want to supply hair braiders with information on

need to challenge these notions, play with them and just do what feels good for you.

What are your earliest memories of doing your hair?

A flat top with patterns shaved into the sides. I’m not sure what the pattern will be but I’ll go to a really good barber who can do something that feels like lace around the sides and back of my head.

I grew up in a home with three sisters. My mother was too busy to do our hair and took us to the barber regularly to get our hair cut down to short cropped afros, till we were about eleven or twelve. Once I stopped getting these haircuts, my mom would sit me on the floor in front of her whist she watched soccer. She was a Liverpool fan. She’d tug tighter and thread faster when the game was getting really exciting. I loved her becoming so animated but hated my hair being pulled so tight. The next day I’d go to school with what my friends and I called a ‘face lift’. You know, your hair pulled so tight you’d have ‘slit’ eyes. We had so much language around hair, like ‘shungu pony tail’. Well when you had a face lift, everybody tried to make you laugh, which was torture for your facial muscles. They wanted to contract but your hair made them taught. I got my revenge making funny faces and telling my best jokes when the tables were turned on my friends.

What hairstyle do you currently have? What do you think it says about you? Haha, I haven’t combed it lately but it’s always washed. Isn’t it interesting, though, how a hairstyle can frame your state of mind and the way you project your personality? I find people tend to police others about personal choices around presentation.

True. Who are your hair icons? None other than Grace Jones. Her sleek cropped flat top is one of the most powerful hairstyles I’ve ever seen. We’re socialised to think about self-styling within gendered boundaries but we

What’s your next hairstyle?

Interesting…..Will you do braids? Do you ever braid your own hair? Attempts to flat twist and cornrow my hair have proved challenging, but I know how

practice improves any technique. I want to install my own braids in a few weeks. Braiding is expensive in New York and some of my friends are doing it for themselves. But for me, it’s so much easier to work on someone else.

Any last thoughts or comments? In my next life I want to create an art space around hairdressing which teaches hairdressing as an economic tool but also as a creative skill. In Zimbabwe, we undervalue hairdressing practitioners. They provide an important service and we need to start rethinking this. They are people we allow to touch us and carve or sculpt an integral part of our public presentation. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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Nontsikelelo Mutiti

What did you learn from your “Ruka” experience?

We’re socialised to think about self-styling within gendered boundaries but we need to challenge these notions

how to take care of themselves and offer information about accessing therapy for repetitive strain disorder.

»

Actually, a previous iteration of the Recess project happened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit in November 2012. I’d been invited by their Department of Education and Public Engagement for a two week residency and one of the obligations was to host a public event on the museum’s family day. Having found myself in conversation with hairdressers whilst exploring the city, I invited two of them to the museum. Dina Peace agreed to teach me how to braid and a barber, going by the name Zoonine, came to cut my hair at family day. This event recorded the largest visitor turn out the museum had ever experienced. Since Detroit’s population is 87% Black American, visitors were really excited to have an event directly addressing their cultural practices. As I sat in the barber’s chair with Zoonine giving me the freshest haircut I’ve ever had, I talked with and listened to community members share ideas around black hair aesthetics in a Black American and Afrikan context. After that, I knew I had to continue with this work.

Lupita was already a friend from graduate school. What was great was doing the Vogue video with her and a group of her friends; some from the Theatre department at Yale, and others from her undergrad days. Lupita plaits really well. She doesn’t pull too hard. I was impressed by her skill.

PHOTO SOURCE

What were your inspirations for the project?


CREATIVITY

Wincate Muthini Marketing & PR manager @WincateMuthini Kenya

I

want to make your heart beat, I want to make your heart BEAT, Your creative heart. Take a deep breath… and remember the moment you had a great idea that made you scared and excited at the same time. The moment you pursued it and it turned out just as great. How about, the moment you didn’t and another did it. The moment of regret. Did you stop there? Just shrugged your shoulders and turned away. Head low, walking on the road of ‘what could have been’. The ‘what if’ sign post at each corner. Your picture at this time is a grey gloomy picture. No smiles. No warm colours. Just the blues and hues of tormented self. Perhaps it was not as such, perhaps all you did was just turn away and switched of the above film. Clear days. Clear thought. Amnesia.

PHOTO SOURCE

»

Wincate Muthini

Hahaha oh my, did that truly satisfy you. I would think it a rouse to hide what you truly feel. The urge to not turn back. A high tempo, slow motion, beaten up to stand up film. Beat. Your body slightly shivers. Beat. Beat. You are scared, ‘Why am I standing?’ ‘There is no way I can come up with something similar or greater’. Beat.Beat.Beat. A smile, not a smug, a crazy smile. Suddenly you cannot 44

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

Make your heart beat The best ideas are born from your creative heart beating

stop laughing. Beating, beating, beating fast. You are short of breath, your shivers elaborate. Something is different. It’s easy to turn, here is a cliché moment, in the direction of current but it’s exciting to not do it. To be constantly hit by the current of normal.

up again , it may be thrilling and tiresome . What is the point? Just now, you went down looking up on your own will, your heart, your normal heart beating from the adrenaline. Shhh now look up. You see them don’t you, the ideas.

Jump start your creative heart by switching your view Okay okay, enough hitting, squat down looking up, below the current. I know you are thinking, ummm wasn’t the point to stand up strong and show you can take on any challenge. Well, it isn’t. I mean you can only take a certain beating from life, fall down then get encouragement to stand back up to be beaten

Beat. Normal has a flaw, you have been settling for less. Beat. Beat. Now, let your mind wonder in possibility, actually, after the beating you just had, your mind will go on automatic. Note, I said wonder not think. Beat. Beat. Beat. You are slowly awakening your other heart. Your smile is slowly disappearing, your eyes

squinting, and your mind in a fast pace…beating, beating, beating fast. Suddenly you are dumbstruck, wide eyed. You have figured something out from looking at the normal current, something simple, or complicated, that could change the course of the river named normalcy. You stand up, pacing, your mind rearranging your surrounding and train of understanding, too engrossed in it to realise the current no longer hit you. A sudden halt. Two hearts at once, as you scream and jitter like a child who just got a present. A new idea. Will you follow it this time? Or will you turn your back? Changing a river’s course is not an easy task, obstacles left, right and centre. If you want to keep going, constantly squat back and view it again. Keep your heart up and surround yourself with those who get it. When it becomes a reality, let’s say your film soundtrack will be that of a creative genius. After all, what is creativity other than showing the another how to view differently? Take a deep breath. Calm down. Now it’s up to you to make your heart beat. Afrika is in need of a different view, and you who understand her, who know her normalcy first hand will creatively take her to a new direction suited for her unique treasure. Oh, one other thing . There are no limitations of what you can do. Only you limit yourself.


O

bject of lust, wife, mother, and influential queen. A voyeuristic King David spies on Bathseba as she bathes on a roof. King David, is not where he is supposed to be, on the battlefield with his troops, but instead has tarried at his palace. And though he is normally a righteous man, with a harem already full of wives and concubines, the king succumbs to his overwhelming desire. He sent for her and she came and lay with him. He is lust drove him to scheme and kill his faithful general, so he could have his wife. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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PHOTOGRAPHY + WORDS

Âť

NYARADZO DHLIWAYO

BATHSHEBA


Women of Ankore CULTURE

Doreen Anyijukire ACCOUNTANT @anydorah Uganda

I

n Ankore, women/ mothers are a great treasure. A home / house without a woman/ wife is a shame. Bany’ankore fear being ashamed hence the ankole saying that “I rather die instead of being ashamed.”It is prestigious to be married in Ankore. Women are not allowed to do hard work like fetching water, herding and milking cattle, fetching food from the garden, this kind of work is done by men and children mostly grown up boys. Women are supposed to stay at home take care of the house and other simple household chores like cooking, washing and cleaning around the house.

PHOTO SOURCE

»

Doreen Anyijukire

In Uganda, a country found in east Afrika there are a lot of good and interesting things to talk about, the good weather, rivers ( river Nile) lakes ( lake Bunyonyi and lake Victoria) hot springs( Kitagata hot spring), national parks with almost all animal species, and most importantly the cultures. Hence the slogan “ Uganda the pearl of Afrika” This time, of all the flora and fauna of Uganda I would like to share with you about the beautiful Ugandan culture. In the pearl of Afrika there are many cultures which are very well treasured, loved, respected and followed from age to age, young and old by its respective people. In Uganda the cultures differ from region to region as well as the languages. Almost Each region speaks its own language different from the other and so 46

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

Omugamba, an important item in a traditional marriage

are the cultures. These cultures include Baganda from Buganda region ( central Uganda), Basoga from Busoga region (eastern Uganda), Bacholi from Acholi region (northern Uganda) and then lastly Banyankole from Ankole region (western Uganda). To mention a few since there are other cultures in those subregions. The above mentioned cultures differ a lot right from the way they eat, dress, live and marry. I will focus on the amazing and interesting Ankole culture.

though the words are the same, the pronunciations differ.

Abahima - The cattle keepers Cattle are a treasure to this group of people. To have cows in Bahima is prestigious, you cannot marry a Muhima’s daughter if you don’t have cows because the question asked will be ‘what will she eat when she is married?’ Since milk, is their staple food, Bahima depend on milk and meat for food and family income. They also make a lot of things from cattle like yoghurt and ghee from shaking

Women are married off through the same cultural procedure called Okuhingira (giveaway) whereby the girl’s family sends off their daughter officially for marriage by giving her different gifts Ankore is found in western Uganda and it covers thirteen districts which include Mbarara, Isingiro, Bushenyi, Ntungamo, Ibanda, Sheema, Kiruhura, Mitooma, Buhweeju, Rubirizi, Rukungiri, and others. Ankole is divided into two groups and these two groups are Bahima (cattle keepers) and Abeiru (cultivators) non cattle keepers. These two groups of bany’ankore behave differently in the way they eat, live and also speak

milk for about three days, this group of people own the biggest part of land in Ankore since it is needed for grazing. A single hima family can own thousands and thousand heads of cattle. This group of people cover most of Ankore districts including Isingiro, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kiruhira, Rushere, to mention a few. A muhima boy when ready to marry tells his father who gets him cows according to how many the

girls family has asked for and then a traditional marriage called okuhingira is held at the girls home which is meant to send off the girl officially for marriage, whereby the girls family in turn gives the new couple a lot of gifts including hundreds of cattle and other household items called emihingiro to help them start a family. The muhima men sleep outside to watch over the cows at night. They do not build permanent houses, they have temporary shelters since they are nomadic constantly looking for water and pasture for their animals.

Abeiru - The cultivators They grow crops which include matooke, beans, ground nuts, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava etc which are meant to be a source of income for the family and for domestic consumption. This group of bany’Ankole on the other hand when a boy is ready to marry, his father and family gets money according to what the girls family has asked for it can be 20 million ugx or even less and they take it to the girls family instead of cows and then the same cultural Ankole marriage function called okuhingira is held at the girls family to send her off officially for marriage which in turn a lot of material gifts and household items called emihingiro are given to the newly married couple. Both bahima and abeiru women have the same dress code, which is an attire called omushanana or akasuti (dress, and long skirt with a cloth to cover her head. Whereas the men dress in a kanzu which are long white robes.


CYANIC WEB STERLING SILVER. ANTIQUE CANDY CANE BEADS. AFRICAN GLASS SEED TRADE BEADS

A beginning point for a collection, the nucleus, is the seed from which its form grows.This fractal unfolding led to the tenets of geometry and a journey into the esoteric world of mathematics. Mandelbrot's observation that things typically considered chaotic actually have a degree of order was a design revelation and thus we present our Spring Summer 15 collection 'The Fractal Geometry of Form'. www.ndaucollection.com


LITERATURE

The Language of Our Story

Elizabeth R.S Muchemwa Poet / Writer / Theatre Director @ZaMuchemwa

M

y grandmother used to tell stories. I remember how my family visits to the rural areas were enriched by the experiences of the stories she told us. After the evening meal, the grandchildren, would gather around her for story time. As the embers that had smouldered died down and she rekindled the fire, she would transport us to a time that even the T.V could not match. Then, there was a dearth of our own people’s stories on screen. I believe this was the first time I fell in love with the purest form of story. This love was only later cemented when story rescued me from teenage angst and the pains of growing through another form- poetry. This became an intimate relationship that I was only keen to share with myself before I discovered the art of performing poetry. The evening story times with my grandmother had shaped me. Not only did she tell us these stories and folklore, she would sometimes challenge us to tell stories that we had heard to the rest of the group. On one of these occasions the circle went round and all the stories that I knew were told. In desperation, and in order to not lose face, I remixed an old folklore and re imagined it in the context of my modern experiences. Someone might say the experience of having my grandmother tell us 48

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

The evening story times with my grandmother had shaped me. Not only did she tell us these stories and folklore, she would sometimes challenge us to tell stories that we had heard to the rest of the group.

stories influenced me because she used my native language, a language that held no barriers for me and no confusions, I don’t know. It certainly helped me that she spoke in a language I understood. These memories were brought back to me when the other day, an older friend had a heated discussion with a younger man over using English as a young creative. My friend insisted that the young man was disenfranchising himself by using a language that he does not have much practice with in

East Afrikan musicians who use their native languages and have still gained popularity in the international market. In response the young man noted that there was no way he was not going to make his music using the English language when he, a product of the education system that makes millions like him, was schooled in English except for the Shona class which was one of 8 other subjects. That the cadence and rhythm of the Shona language itself is difficult to break into hip hop music’s style. The debate came to end with both parties agreeing on one notion; language

In a bid to re-actualise self through the liberation of the mind, the Afrikan has been faced with the challenge of going back to her own heritage and dismiss the constraints of the residues of colonial customs; which included the colonial master’s language in favour of one’s mother tongue a bid to create rich and ground breaking hip hop music. He went on further to tell the young man that by using the English language he is pitting himself in a race with young people who have been creating in English from the moment they were born. He referenced West and

is important but both were convinced on the importance of the points of view they held at the beginning of the discussion. An often repeated question is: Why do these writers (e.g., Achebe, Rao, and Desai) write in English? Rao’s answer is:

“Historically, this is how I am placed. I’m not interested in being a European but in being me. But the whole of the Indian tradition, as I see it, is in my work. There is an honesty in choosing English, an honesty in terms of history.”… “The important thing is not what language one writes in, for language is really an accidental thing. What matters is the authenticity of experience, and this can generally be achieved in any language.” Braj B. Kachru, World Englishes: Agony and Ecstasy Now the argument of native language versus borrowed language usage in the creation of products of literature read and performed is not new. In a bid to re-actualise self through the liberation of the mind, the Afrikan has been faced with the challenge of going back to her own heritage and dismiss the constraints of the residues of colonial customs; which included the colonial master’s language in favour of one’s mother tongue. The questions for us young Afrikan artists; do we express ourselves better in our native languages? Should we be doing our part in fighting against the extinction of our languages through the usage of these same in creating our artistic products? Are we losing ourselves by using foreign languages that come with their cultural connotations that are so different from our own? Can we effectively tell our stories hence our history through borrowed language?


“Trying to express one’s ideas even in one’s own language is difficult because what is said or written often is not exactly what one had in mind. Between the birth of the idea and its translation into words, something is lost. The process of expression is even more difficult in the second language of one’s own’ cultural group… In other words, until these writers and their western midwives accept the fact that any true Afrikan literature must be written in Afrikan languages, they would be merely pursuing a dead end, which can only lead to sterility, uncreativity, and frustration.”

the language is very racist; You have to have harrowing fights and hair-raising panga duels with it before you can make it do all you want it to do. It is so for the feminist. English is very male. Hence feminist writers also adopt the same tactics. This may mean discarding grammar, throwing syntax out, subverting images from within, beating the drum and cymbals of rhythm, developing torture chambers of irony and sarcasm, gas ovens of limitless black resonance.”

Obiajunwa Wali, The dead end of Afrikan Literature

Dambudzo Marechera in his writings defied the constraints of the English language by deforming it and its artistic forms to communicate a less narrowly defined postcolonial Afrikan position. Today many young writers hold him in a god like status, because of this feat and loosely because of the defiant lifestyle he led. Even some writers like Chenjerai Hove in his novel Bones managed to let the Shona tongue speak through English words but not necessarily the expressions of the language itself. These days we have Brian Chikwava continuing the quest to deform the English language with his novel Harare North. But what is the point of deforming a language instead of using one that we have already that does not try to exert its own domination on the narrator as well as the recipient. But do not think the same is not happening with our own native languages. Writers like Ignatius Mabasa have been in the recent past criticised for retelling Shona folklore splicing old Shona with colloquial Shona by Shona linguists. For them, language should exist in its purest form and the job of the writer and artist should work towards the preservation of the language. But for Ignatius it was a simple

“The nondescript writer has little to tell us, anyway, so he might as well tell it in conventional language and get it over with. He is like a man offering a small, nondescript, routine sacrifice for which a chick, or less, will do. A serious writer must look for an animal whose blood can match the power of his offering.” Chinua Achebe, English and the Afrikan Writer Our local TV station has the main news in English and our native languages are relegated to being the news before the main news. If critics are going to subscribe a language to a writer, to a performer should they not then subscribe that we be taught in our native languages that the borrowed language be done away with?

Will there be room for us to communicate amongst ourselves? Poets like Madzitateguru, Godobori and Sithandazile Dube perform primarily in their native languages and they have garnered following from amongst their peers but in trying to penetrate the global market have also used English to have appeal with an English speaking market. One wonders then whether there is truth in all arguments to the story of language. My conclusion is this, if you can write in your native language, write and if you want to perform in your native language, you should but we should be wary of calls to cement our identity through something as singular as language, when it is there for us to break, piece together and communicate with. Language changes and adapts to the changes in our times. Whatever your language choice, your story is authentic because you tell it. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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POVOAFRIKA

case of reaching to a young audience whose socialisation is far removed from the context of how those stories were told.

»

“I took to the English language like a duck takes to water. I was therefore a keen accomplice and student in my own mental colonisation…For a black writer

Elizabeth Muchemwa at a Peace in Hood workshop

PHOTO SOURCE

For some of us we think in our native languages and have to translate those into the borrowed language that does not fully articulate our essences, some things are lost in translation. For some of us we think in the borrowed language and speak the borrowed language, and we are totally disconnected from the everydayness of our existence because the borrowed cannot fully account for the complexity of our relationships and our connections to the elements around us. And for the other part of us, we don’t know the colour nor the language of our thoughts because we are still trying to figure out what or who speaks when we are silent, are these thoughts our own or just borrowed versions of the same view that the other has for us? Yet what is the push behind our language choices? Today in the Zimbabwean Poetry circuit we have more poets trying to prove their mettle using English than those who use Ndebele, Shona or any of their native languages.

Dambudzo Interviews himself, DAMBUDZO MARECHERA 4 June 1952-18 August 1987


A Love letter to IDENTITY

SHONATIGER CREATIVE

I wrote this when I was thinking about my home, and my mixed feelings toward it.

@shonatiger

O

h, Zimbabwe! Country of my heart! I don’t know anymore where I stand with you. Could you ever love me like I love you? Or is this love I bear for you that worst kind of love - unrequited? I have loved you through so much! I have laboured with you, travailed on my knees, wept for you. I have turned my back on you, and sought to embrace others - and still found my way back to you. And yet still my heart is torn apart by you. Still, for the sake of my sanity, I must find a way to leave your suffocating embrace.

#EndChildMarriageNow BECAUSE WE CAN

BECAUSE WE CARE

Religion 1.2

million Members in the country.

Child Marriages are prevalent among the Johanne Marange Apostolic sect commonly known as ‘vapostori’. The issue is also compounded as they tend to have more than one wife 50

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

But walking away is like tearing off strips of my skin, or like dashing my heart against a rock. You birthed me. All that I’ve come to be is because of you. You taught me to crawl. My memories of early mornings, the sun creeping over the mountain, burning away the mist: that was you, Zimbabwe. You gave me milk - in small packets, with animals printed on them, in three languages, so I could talk like you. You taught me about meandering bush paths, about which berries not to pick. Do you remember that bridge? Yes, the rope bridge! Yes, remember how I walked onto it - stumbled, really - and how

But that was before. Because things grew dark between you and me, Zimbabwe. You began to turn away from me. I didn’t understand what I might have done wrong. You began to starve me. I learnt how to chase after the truck carrying mealie meal, instead of going to work. I watched as you took my savings away. I said nothing as you made me sleep in a queue outside the bank, to take the little I had left. I fell sick, and the hospital told me there were no gloves, no medicines, no sheets or blankets for the cold nights. I still said nothing when my brothers and sisters saw what you were becoming, and left.

I have loved you through so much! I have laboured with you, travailed on my knees, wept for you when I realised I was over the water, and the bridge was swinging, I began to quake? And you laughed, because little children ran across it all the time. And do you remember Easter, the wetness of the earth, that thick, dark red mud? And the nippy mornings - oh, and my breath misting in front of my mouth, and my nose running as I skipped to school!

And then one day, I, too, left. It wasn’t for their reasons at all; I just wanted to see. My heart was still with you - is always with you! And so, when I had seen, I came back running to you! And for a while our love was like in the old days; we were so happy in one another. But, Zimbabwe, is that a cruel streak in you? Do you enjoy my

pain? Because you were soon up to your old tricks again - no, worse! Now you beat me openly, in front of the neighbours. Do you remember when MaNxumalo from next door had to come and see what was going on? You stopped pretending to look after me - no, now I had to use my own wits, my own smarts to survive. Well, Zimbabwe, this is where we are now. I have left you yet again. That’s right, this is a Dear John letter. By the time you read it, I’ll be gone. But Zimbabwe, my heart, I will be back. I just need to find my sanity, find my feet again. I need to find what I lost while trying to hold our love together. I need to do it for us, so something may be retrieved of what we had. I need to do it for the future. I haven’t abandoned you. The insecurity was impossible to live with. Not knowing how to keep it together was killing me. But oh, Beloved, I will be back; this I promise you. And even while I’m here, my eyes remain on you, and my ears always listen for news of you. It will be better. One day, all of our pain will be in the past. One day, we can sit and reminisce about the past, without being torn apart. We will be together again, Zimbabwe. Until then, I remain, always, yours!


FARAI WALLACE

» ILLUSTRATION Women’s Edition Issue 06

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INSPIRATION

Orlinda Mapa-Tsoka Critical Care Registered Nurse

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ife doesn’t always turn out the way one envisions it. Sometimes it turns out for the best and sometimes, well not so good. Growing up I never imagined myself as a nurse. Funny as it maybe, I aspired to be an “air hostess” given my obsession with new places, culture and meeting different people. Option number two was being a veterinarian, although this was more imposed than a calling. However, being the not so tall but full rounded Afrikan woman that I am - hips as wide as a drum, being an air hostess didn’t seem feasible since it was the preserve of the tall and slender. Top of that, my phobia for any nonhuman creature made it impossible to even ignite the thought of being a vet. As I moved to the United States I found myself struggling with decisions regarding what my career path would be. I thought “why should I pursue a career in nursing and pay for it when it’s free in most European countries”. I somehow ended up going through with a nursing career on account of outside influence and still love the job eleven years down the line. Although I wasn’t sure at the time, I have grown to appreciate my career and be the best at what I do because I am capable. The most important thing in life in my opinion, are memories and I aim to create picture perfect 52

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

Discovering my life’s purpose and calling

However, being the not so tall but full rounded Afrikan woman that I am - hips as wide as a drum, being an air hostess didn’t seem feasible since it was the preserve of the tall and slender.

memories when I cross paths with my patients. I have learnt that it is possible to become the best at what you do no matter where you end up. I have learnt over the years of my nursing career that I can make a difference in someone’s life as long as I have the right attitude and mind set. Often, people whine and grumble about a lot of petty issues and fail to realize that it really and truly could be worse than what it is. The old saying goes “the grass is greener on the other side”. However, we fail to realize that so is the water

impression on my heart is that of a middle aged man losing the dreadful battle against cancer. Very humble, appreciative and hopeful. Even though he had lost an arm in a failed attempt to surgically conquer the cancer, he remained hopeful. He talked about the beautiful view he had from his room. He also talked about his dying days, confiding in me and with a weak smile saying “If you ever hear them say there is nothing they can do for me, please make sure I’m in a room like this so I can die with a beautiful view”. I encouraged

I have learnt that being content with the resources one has at any given point and time is key to living a happy and meaningful life bill. I have learnt that being content with the resources one has at any given point and time is key to living a happy and meaningful life. Often times one thinks if I can only have “this or that” I will be the happiest person on earth, but “what if you never have that one thing?” One experience that has left an

him to take one day at a time, to which he replied “Yes absolutely, even if I have just 7 days left I will take each day as it comes”. That broke my heart! It was in that moment that I took a chance to reflect on my life, values, priorities and the meaning of it all. You can either choose to look at your glass as “half full or half empty” and that determines your

perception of life. In good health, good times or bad times attitude is the most important thing one can possess. The life we live now is the life we have and happiness is a state of the mind. Although I sometimes wonder how I ended up as a caregiver, I believe I am blessed and I am endowed with a special talent to touch other people’s lives and make a difference in a way no one can. I have learnt to appreciate life, love the people around me and cherish my relationships. Despite me telling those I care for to take each day as it comes, I am learning to personally accomplish this so I can take a moment to enjoy the simple things in life. I am alive, I am healthy and I am in my right mind. I hold the key to my happiness and life is what I make it. So with each day I will write each page with anticipation of a great ending. Whatever you aspire to be, be it, and however you want to live your life live it with the knowledge that you can the best at any and everything you put your mind to. You can make a difference in the world by being the best at what you do and remembering that people will always remember how you made them feel instead of how successful you were.


In this entire discovery and the great journey of life, I have also learnt to value and nurture my relationships with family and friends. I was asking a few of my girlfriends if they are still in good books, better yet in touch with their bridesmaids. Some don’t even know what happened to them or where they are. I have been blessed to be as close as ever to the girls who stood by me on that one special day. Although some may not be the best communicators, I have learnt to handle each relationship with care knowing that each person is different and we all don’t bring to the table the same characteristics. My life would not be this blessed without the great relationships I have cultivated over the years. Some actually go back as far as grade school!

Biochemist turned artist ART

@dingasev

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didn’t know I had it in me, this artistic side. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and having worked as a Scientist for more than 10 years, a creative Emma, if you will, was the last thing on my mind. One day a friend of mine invited me to a fund raising event where I met Auntie Thelma Boettrich, the founder of an organization

As I attended more and more meetings at Aauwena Arts and as I came into contact with artists from different backgrounds, I found that I had other interests. I thought it would be interesting to learn how to paint and to

learn to do some bead work. I was paired up with another artist who specialized in beading and he taught me how to make necklaces and earrings. The rest is history. So far I have 6 original pieces and am coming up with more. I need to be inspired though, before I can come up with more pieces. Am I going to leave Biochemistry? No, I don’t think I will leave Biochemistry because I love that as well. Maybe I will just pursue both. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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EMMA THEMBANI

BIOCHEMIST / ARTIST

known as Aauwena Arts. Aauwena Arts seeks to promote artists and is involved in production and marketing of various artefacts. Auntie Thelma initially recruited me to do some research on the medicinal benefits of different herbs. She wanted Aauwena Arts to expand into that area.

»

Emma Dingase Thembani

JEWELLERY DESIGN

Although people change over time and different situations produce certain seasons in life, it is important to maintain relationships and keep them blossoming. I find that keeping it real with the people I love always makes for a favourable outcome. I strive to keep things moving, and not dwell on emotional baggage that tends to stand in the way of real happiness. As some say, “people are in our lives for a season and some for a reason”. I am still learning to be the best daughter, sister, wife, mother, and caregiver that I can be. I want to be in people’s lives for a reason and not a season. I am learning to live life the best way I know how. It is not promised to anyone and my dream is to live a meaningful life full of hope that will bring a bright future for others. I love my life and what I have learnt and am learning along its journey. I want you to love yours too, regardless of the path you have chosen and where it has led or is leading you!


When am I just me? IDENTITY

Harriet Toko Mupungu Student @heytoko

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or as long as I can remember, my mother has always been known as “Mai Berry”, Berry being my brother and her eldest child. I have always thought that this is a mark of respect, that in our culture, you cannot call a married woman, a mother (!), by her first name. I remember the look on my mother’s face when she corrected the woman - she was proud. Proud to be a mother so much so that she wanted to be identified by it. It was admirably beautiful but all the same confusing to my inquisitive young mind. Why did

It looks to me as if individuality becomes bound in a straightjacket were any movement outside the boundaries of the seams becomes an unattractive outburst my mother not say “Ndinonzi Elizabeth”? I dismissed it as old traditions but years later; I am rather intrigued by the fact that within my seemingly modern social circle, my peers are showing similar traits. With other 54

globalisation and influencing factors,

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

My father is a semi-retired tailor who worked from home. All through my childhood, our home was a fully functioning workshop I with fluid opening hours typical in the lively Z. It was gogogoi every two minutes. One memory is clear in my mind – a client of my father’s came over early one morning and greeted my mother with the words, “Makadiiko Mai Tera”. I silently begrudged her arrival as I had been cleaning the house so I half paid attention to the conversation by the door. Suddenly, my mother let out the longest kissing teeth curse. “Ha! Handina mwana anonzi Tera ini, ndinonzi Mai Berry!” I looked up from where I was sweeping just in time to see the embarrassed face of the woman and I could not help but let out a laugh. 

without preconceived censors. A little bit of selfishness never hurt nobody!

that attached to someone else. It is either we are identifying ourselves as our husband’s wife, our partner’s girlfriend or our children’s’ mother. Can we not be casual as ourselves too? Do we become ourselves only on “serious” LinkedIn? When are we us? I fear that constantly associating our self to our families strips us of our individuality. Everyone needs an escape, a safe place to indulge free thought and expression

As a woman, I was and am me before being someone’s wife and someone’s mother. I appreciate and am proud of myself individually and to not always associate my identity with that of others, even those whom I wholeheartedly love. I want my womanhood to still “independently” coexist with all aspects of my life. The changes in my life may influence how I live my life but it hardly defines me.

Zimbabweans have spread out across the world and are increasingly dependent on social media to restore, build and maintain relationships with friends and family. Facebook has perhaps become one of the quickest ways to trace that old school mate or work mate. Or is it? If anyone were to look for some of my friends using their real names, they would hit a brick wall because nobody uses those names anymore. We have all become “Amai vaNhingi” and that is how we are being known as on our profiles! Our profile pictures are also that of our beautiful offspring as we will not miss a moment to show them off! It is all very sweet but what does it say about our own individuality? I have challenged friends who do this and like my mother back in the day their response is “that’s who I am now”. Is it really? I, of course, appreciate that social media is as it says on the tin, social, and that we can be as casual as we want with it. However, I cannot help think that as women, as mothers, we are restricting our identity to

There is a level of respect one attracts if everyone knows your marital status or that you have a child. Attached to that respect is the expectation of certain behaviours which can ultimately be restricting in your interactions. It looks to me as if individuality becomes bound in a straightjacket were any movement outside the boundaries of the seams becomes an unattractive outburst.

#EndChildMarriageNow BECAUSE WE CAN

BECAUSE WE CARE

65 % Rural girls are married or impregnated by the age of 19


PROFILE

MeDeyA DollArez MODEL / DANCER estonia

A

t 10 years old I went for training to be a hip hop and go go dancer. At 18 I was invited for the first time to perform on stage. It was unbelievable for me and I enjoyed it. After that I was invited to dance for Russian group ‘’Lotos.’’ We worked together for many years until I moved to New York and continued to dance there. My first professional photo shoot was in 2005. I enjoyed modelling and the lifestyle that came with it, travelling and meeting famous people. If I was not modelling and dancing I would like to be an architect, designing houses, apartments. Through modelling and dancing I have been fortunate to visit many countries including America, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. Of all the places I have travelled New York is my favourite, its a I love it, its just like in the movies. My dream however is to visit Afrika. I have just seen movies about Afrika and I fell in love with it. I am sure one day my dream to visit Afrika will come true. I want to visit Cameroon, and visiting Zimbabwe will be my biggest dream. I want to find out more about life in Afrika and if I like it I might settle there!

Women’s Edition Issue 06

MeDeYA DOLLAReZ

Who is Medeya?

»

What I think about men? I think men must to be strong, not physical, but inside, smart and know what he wants in life. Do I believe in love? Yes, love is a very magical thing. You never know what tomorrow holds. You can be sad about your life today, and tomorrow you meet your soul mate, after one second you can understand, that this is the person I have been waiting for all my life. I’m in love and I am so happy!

PHOTO SOURCE + MODEL

I have tried many different types of food. Being Russian, I enjoy Russian food. I love Afrikan food, Indian and Japanese. I am a fan of sadza which my Zimbabwean boyfriend used to cook for me.

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An Afrikan Woman in Hip-Hop MUSIC

Nonku Vundla aka Black Bird RAPPER / MC @blackbirdAfrika

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omen living in modern day Afrika are constantly embroiled in the ongoing battle for equality and acceptance. Despite the growing number of women being employed in the various professions, Afrikan women in the arts still face a lot of discrimination. In my experience, the stigma is even more extreme for women in hip-hop, as the male dominated genre has come to represent a lifestyle that degrades and exploits women. This makes the majority of females who walk the path to hip-hop shy away from their talent when they discover that the Afrikan community doesn’t make it easy to be an Afrikan woman in hip-hop. When I look at my own life it’s obvious that the demands that Afrikan society places on me as both a woman and as a mother 56

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

In my experience, the stigma is even more extreme for women in hip-hop, as the male dominated genre has come to represent a lifestyle that degrades and exploits women.

tend to clash with my career as a rapper. I know several male emcees that have the unwavering disapproval of their parents. Imagine how much more disappointing it would be for the typical Afrikan family to discover that their “little princess” has no intention of finding a decent job and good husband, but instead she prefers to gallivant the neighbourhood with the local boys hopping from studio to studio, making unintelligible music that glorifies violence, promiscuity and drunkenness. According to most if not all Afrikan traditions, girls who live the hip-hop life break several societal norms. Firstly, a girl is supposed to play with other girls and the thought of an adolescent girl spending all her free time with a bunch of rowdy teenage boys is just the beginning of the

taboo. When I was 15 years old I began taking hip-hop seriously and discovered that I was the only girl in my entire high school who actually knew how to rap. Some girls could throw one or two lines out, but when it came to freestyles none could match me. As a result of my decision to rap, the rest of my life generally saw me being the only girl in all-boy crowds. Needless to say, to most people, the situation left a lot to be desired. As I grew older I thought that people would become more tolerant of my choice to be a hip-hop artist, but the reality revealed that the older people got, the more judgmental they became. Now, 12 years later, I still get the same looks of disapproval when I am spotted with my fellow emcees or other associates of the opposite sex.

Sometimes I feel like stopping all the glaring eyes and shouting out loud, “I just work with them, that’s all!” However, reality always kicks in and I keep walking ignoring the condemning looks from mothers, aunts and grandmothers. What makes the disapproval even more painful is that it’s never men who assume the worst; in fact they usually respect and commend me for my work. Instead, it seems that everywhere I go; it’s the women who rip me to shreds with their piercing glares and floating rumours. I find this so ironic, when it’s these very same women who protested and signed petitions for women to have the freedom to pursue whatever careers they desired. It’s these very same strong Afrikan women who raised girls like me to be independent, confident women who use their talents and abilities to feed their families. I am blessed with the gift of flow, yet the women in my community are the ones who parade plastic smiles.


The minute I turn my back, I overhear them speak about the unsuitability of my musical career and how those ‘poor’ children deserve a proper mother. I remember an incident about 2 years ago, that triggered my first feelings of rebellion against society’s expectations of me. I got home from a show at around 3am and like I did every-time I came in late, I removed my high heels before walking up the stairs and through the passage of my apartment building.

No matter what the rest of society says I know that nappies and microphones can coexist After carefully unlocking my gate and front door, I quietly sneaked into my apartment and then went to bed. The next morning I got up and lay in bed for a while. For some reason or other, my late-night arrival ritual had bothered me and I was not happy with the fact that a grown woman like myself had to sneak into the house, the same way a teenage girl would sneak in from a night of unsolicited clubbing. As I lay in my bed that Saturday morning I couldn’t understand why I had always removed my heels and subjected myself to the cold floors when I came home late. I couldn’t understand why I snuck into my home like a high school kid. I tried hard to reason why I didn’t want my neighbours to know the times I entered my home, but no matter how hard I tried, I really couldn’t understand my desire to get their approval.

So what if I worked until 3am? Women who are nurses, security guards and other professions also work odd hours and every now and then they arrive home in the early hours of the next day. I knew that the women who stayed on my block were a bunch of gossip-mongers, so I guess I was sneaking around to avoid any talk about my movements. This however, was a futile attempt as I was already the topic of discussion for many a tea-party so my sneaking about achieved nothing really. After about half an hour of lying in bed and thinking about my dilemma, I came to the conclusion that it was time to liberate myself of the chains society had put on me. I realized that as a grown woman, earning a respectable living, I had nothing to be ashamed of. Rapping is my job, but both my children remain healthy, happy little girls who everyone adores and admires. My choice of career certainly doesn’t mean that I am incapable of being a loving and responsible mother. So I will continue to pursue my goal to take women in Afrikan hip-hop to a new level, beginning with myself. I strive to break down all the barriers that stand in the way of an Afrikan woman’s ability to realize her dreams. Being a woman should not stop me from using the gift that God has entrusted me with. Commercial American hip-hop has made the genre become associated with crudity, vulgar language and the sexual exploitation of women. This makes breaking into the mainstream with morally acceptable Afrikan hip-hop an even more exciting challenge. Perhaps our Afrikan mothers and fathers will start to support Afrikans in hip-hop when they see more rappers making music that uplifts and empowers the

Afrikan youth. Maybe then will they consider it a viable career option for both Afrikan men and women alike.

POVOAfrika Youtube channel documenting of interviews, live shows and discussions.

Until then, the Afrikan hiphop artist continues to swim upstream against all opposition, to create a distinct style of hiphop that can only be found on this continent. The few women who have chosen to make hiphop their profession now have to deal with numerous challenges thrown at them and find a way of making motherhood, marriage and hip-hop work for themselves and their families.

Elizabeth Muchemwa Artists and Self Censorship

In as much as Afrikan women in hip-hop may try to please the community, there’s always someone who will disapprove. As long as that person isn’t your children or your spouse, then I say to the female Afrikan rapper “Trod on sister!”. Just like Angola’s Queen Nzinga broke centuries of tradition to become a powerful military general when it was unheard of for a woman to be on the battlefield, Afrikan female rappers have the world at their doorstep and its time that more of them realize the power that they have. The time to break out of their cocoons and follow their passion for hip-hop is now. No matter what the rest of society says I know that nappies and microphones can co-exist. If I am doing it and living the reality right here in Zimbabwe, then I believe tomorrow can only get better for the female hip-hop artist in Afrika.

WATCH HERE http:/ /bit.ly/1zp8hgv

Clare Nyakujara Ndirindega WATCH HERE http:/ /bit.ly/1cCV0fh

Wadzani Chiuriri Women and Sexmatics WATCH HERE http:/ /bit.ly/1ONT5lY

Queen Mashie Ndodzungaira WATCH HERE http:/ /bit.ly/1DeA6c5

Vera Uchachema Nani WATCH HERE http:/ /bit.ly/1G3YTq8

Women’s Edition Issue 06

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WOMANHOOD

peGGinAh GoreDeMA MOTHER

B

eing a housewife – a fact I am proud of and grateful for– the death of a husband is a traumatic affair, the loss of a provider, protector, companion, lover. You are left with many questions of how you are going to cope, how to sustain yourself, whose shoulder will you lean on, how will I pay rent. Being a widow is no different than any other woman, only you don’t have an earthly husband, your husband is now God. God assures widows in the book of Isaiah 54:4-5 ‘For your Maker is your husband’, and he is very protective of them (Exodus 22:21-22). I decided from the word go I would be a widow with a difference. I would follow Jesus as my guide, telling Him everything happening in my life. I have learnt to stay in the word of God, listening, obeying and doing what it says.

Coping with widowhood The window with a difference

PHOTO SOURCE

»

POVOAFRIkA

Now after 12 years as a widow, I have things I have learnt which have sustained and comfort me, and have continued life in happiness. Let me share and encourage you with what has worked for me.

Crying Some have been taught not to express their feelings in public, I say cry, as long as you don’t lose hope. It is normal to cry, it relieves the pain inside you and the emotions that can affect you later. Jesus wept (John 11:35), King David also wept for his murdered son Annon.

Grief King David grieved at the loss of his treacherous son Absalom who had tried to usurp the

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kingship. Let yourself grieve, why? Because grieving is a necessary emotional release. Releasing your feelings can relieve the pressure you are under. Some take longer grieving than others, grieving should not go on forever, learn to let go and accept death. It is God’s law that everyone should die (Job 14 1-5). God has set a boundary which no person can pass, put your trust in God.

Don’t feel guilty Over what happened, saying if we had gone to the hospital earlier he would have not died. No! Death is God’s law, it only worsens the situation and prolongs healing. Some in looking for closure saying zvinoda kufambirwa. This does not bring closure, only opens up more wounds leading to more hurt and finger pointing resulting divided families.

Live a life of prayer Don’t fall apart when tragedy strikes, I asked God for strength to withstand the situation, “the lord is near to those of a broken heart” (Psalms 34:18). King David went to the temple after the death of his child, seek God’s counsel and comfort first. Pray for the family that they live a godly life and for strength to continue with daily pressure. Pray for patience to deal with different kinds of people in their thinking, action, and speech, some may say hurtful words. Trusting Him in times of sadness and in times of joy has been my pillar. Asking for help, strength and wisdom to overcome. Consult god in all your decisions.

Give Thanks What can a widow be thankful for? Thanksgiving has been on my lips always, thanking for what He has done for me in the past, for what He is doing for me now, and for what he has planned for me in the future.

A writer once said losing a loved one is the most intensely painful experience any human being can suffer and not only is it a painful experience, but painful to witness too.

Thanking him instead of complaining, being content in every situation of life has been my shield. If you have food shelter and clothing, give thanks. Be honest to yourself and deal honestly with all people and God will be honest with you. Understanding that nothing is impossible with God and that all things work for the good to them that love God (Romans 8:28).

Get Out More! Expose yourself to life outside your home eg. go to church, join clubs, start a hobby and don’t hesitate to let others help you if they offer to, maybe its their way of showing sympathy and may not find the right words to say. You will find yourself helping others in their times of distress too so it will be an opportunity to minister others in similar situations as you but have lost hope. As a widow God has opened doors of service that may have not been open for married women. Be prepared to serve in his kingdom in a different way.

Keep Good Company It is always easier to cope with a good support structure of children, family friends and the community. For young wives and families, now is the time to ‘Train your children in the way they should go, so when they grow up they will not leave it’ (Proverbs 22:6). The prosperity of your children will be a source of comfort if they have been raised well. Keeping good relations with neighbours and family as they will be the ones who will stand with you in times of need. That said, being faithful to God, he will constantly send people you would not expect in times of need to meet your needs.

Stay Healthy Don’t neglect your health, you need to eat because you get worn out especially in the beginning, even though you may lose your appetite, its important to continue eating healthy.

Now after 12 years as a widow, I have things I have learnt which have sustained and comfort me, and have continued life in happiness Postpone Major Decisions Do not make any major decisions during your time of mourning and grieving as you may not be in the right frame of mind to make sound judgements. eg selling house, changing job or town, familiar surroundings help you heal faster.

Avoid Drug Dependency Do not resort to alcohol to help you cope as this creates a cycle of dependance and a temporary false sense of comfort. Refrain from resorting to tablets especially where they have not been prescribed.

(Phillipians 4:19). Take one day at a time, don’t worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:33), forgive and you have peace of mind (Psalm 51:10-12). I encourage you to be consistent in the word and you will enjoy the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). Love all people, being merciful coupled with living by faith has filled my life with grace. Giving generously of my time and resources (Proverbs 11:25) and working hard all the time. Therefore I encourage you to dwell in the word trusting, believing, obeying, and doing what it says, always praying. Let god show you His way and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Accepting death and making a conscious decision to continue life without your partner are important steps in setting off on the journey through widowhood, it is not the end of your life, but the beginning of a different chapter of your life. My perspective has been from that of an over 60 year old housewife and may differ from that of younger widows, who may need to remarry as sexual desire may still be high. Or from women who are fully employed outside of the home. But these are foundational principles which may help you keep your life together after the death of a partner.

Follow God’s Way Find comfort in scripture, during mourning its a time to reflect on the word which you have kept in your heart. It maybe difficult to read during mourning but after that go back to reading scripture again. Recall God’s promises “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) then believe it. He is the supplier of my needs

TAKE NOTE *I have no medical experience and this is spoken simply from my own personal experience.

Women’s Edition Issue 06

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ADVERTORIAL

Combating dyslexia in Kenya EDUCATION

Nancy M. Munyi Special education Teacher KENYA

Amazing discovery

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PHOTO SOURCE

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Nancy M. Munyi

n 2000, my five year old son joined pre-unit, his teacher happened to be his mother. He was a fine and brilliant looking boy who could not meet the academic expectation. Something was not right, he couldn’t spell words like his age mates, he showed no interest with kids’ songs or rhymes. Things started getting out of hand when he started spelling words with mirror reflection and reading them right, like yodboy, toad-boat. His spelling was always phonetically done. Skull for school, buk for book etc no matter how much effort you put to correct him. Identifying colours was a night mare. I tried one on one and I started seeing some progress.

Rare gem talent school

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I felt like I could stand on a roof top and shout that my son is not stupid but he is a different learner. I discovered that not only did the teachers not know anything about the condition but the parents hadn’t heard about it either.

One on one session This prompted many questions which had no answers. In the same class I had several other kids who had the same characteristic. In search for an answer, I joined Kenya institute

her bright child couldn’t read well. They could easily blame the teacher for not teaching their son well but I had no one to blame. I was the teacher and his mother. I was the best teacher in reading but I failed

How a learner could look so clever and yet not be able to read, spell, write and comprehend printed materials is amazing of special education and at the same time my nephew who was in pre-unit started showing the same characteristic. My sister was equally worried of how

to teach my son. My sister and I embarked on looking for solutions. I turned to training and my sister turned to Internet; she came across the word dyslexia at the same time I learned about the specific learning difficulty called dyslexia. The characteristic fitted my son and my nephew as they were being screened. After learning about the conditions, characteristics and the presentation, I started identifying many children with the condition. I felt like I could stand on a roof top and shout that my son is not stupid but he is a different learner. I discovered that not only did the teachers not know anything about the condition but the parents hadn’t heard about it either. With the help of the internet and the training, my sister and I focused

ourselves on helping our sons. With a positive attitude and the knowledge, I started seeing my son as a different learner. I started helping him discover himself and encouraging him to work hard on mathematics, the subject he had no problem with. I started recording progress in his work. We thought of how we could help the children with dyslexia, parents and teachers of children with the same condition. In 2009, we registered a dyslexia organization with the NGO. We wanted to have a platform where we could reach as many teachers and parents to talk about dyslexia. We started holding workshops and seminars on identifying and intervention for learners with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. By 2010 the number of audiences had grown. Through the media, television, radio and word of mouth we were able to reach many parents. The parents were very much interested. It was the first time someone talked about dyslexia in Kenya. Learners with difficulties are often marginalised in schools. They are not seen as hard workers even though their unique personality makes them orally bright, which unsettles their teachers. How a learner could look so clever and yet not be able to read, spell, write and comprehend printed materials is amazing.

Seminar at Ukunda After holding seminars, parents came forward with learners who were already pushed out


Rare-gem in three bed roomed house The Rare-gem means a gem you do not get anywhere. We confidently took the challenge since we had an appreciation for the children and the skills

Searching for talents

children are not normal since they could not read even at grade 4. Financial problems dogged us whilst trained teachers came asking for high salaries. We weren’t able to pay them as we didn’t have any support apart from the fees paid by parents. The fees had to be divided to pay the rent, teachers and buy food and other expenses.

At Rare-gem we teach the children the best way they can learn. We allow them to learn at their own pace as well as encouraging them to work hard on the talents that we discover. We know that despite being faced with learning difficulties, each student has a talent that needs to be discovered and nurtured. At Rare-gem we make sure that every child’s talent is exploited and guided to be of future benefit to the learner. Three years later, we have a total of 62 students. The school is an inclusive institution where student have different type of difficulties and others without any difficulties. We develop individual education program (IEP) especially for student with learning difficulties. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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Nancy M. Munyi

they needed. Unfortunately, we did not have land, furniture and all that a school requires. We started the school in a rented three bed roomed house in a very hostile environment. The neighbours didn’t want school or any business in their neighbourhood. Worse still, they kept on saying that our

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of school for poor performance. In December 2011, our office was giving remedial lessons to 12 children whose enrolment the following year at school hung in the balance. They were chased out of school and their parents did not know what to do. I was challenged to help them get another school. The main challenge was in each and every school, they were required to pass interviews which were in the form of a written exam. These learners could not pass a written exam. It was not easy for us to shoulder the responsibility by parents who trusted us to know what to do. We were left with no choice but to start a school. This is how Rare-gem Talent school was born in 2012.

PHOTO SOURCE

Children in the computer room

The parents had already negotiated with the school management board for their children to be allowed to repeat classes. Therefore, they did not join us immediately and some did not have enough faith in Rare- gem. We started the school with learners who came from far away countries; most of whom had been committed to mental institutions. At the end of our first year in 2012, we had 10 students and had moved from the hostile neighbourhood. It required a tough skin to be able to stand these financial challenges, doubt and pressure from the parents who wanted miracles to happen on their children. The parents hoped that their children’s condition would be eradicated after being taken care of by the experts, but Dyslexia is a lifelong condition. It is managed by positive teaching and understanding. Encouraging the learners to bring out the best in them.


One time under the sun CULTURE

Gertrude T. Bvindi Researcher / Writer / Poet @GettingRude

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remember vividly the very day which led me to my first consultation with a spirit medium. I was in love. Like all girls my age, nothing makes sense, particularly when a man who has your eye, seems to start looking at another in the way that you would like him to look at you. My friend and I tagged along, when her sister drove to Murehwa, for a prearranged talk and visit to a famous medium. I was rather stunned to find a very amiable young woman, living in a stately house in the village, to be the object of our visit. Naturally I needed to be convinced that such a young person could have any knowledge and power to shift people’s lives around, in ways she had been deemed to. We took off our shoes and got into the house and we were sooner led to a room were the consultations took place. I was awed at the grandeur of such a house in the middle of a rural setting. What I expected however, I got, the very moment we kneeled and found our way on our knees into what I assumed the holy of holies, ‘mudare’ 1. The place has all the traditional artefacts and regalia, known to belong to mediums all over. That fact however, hardly settled me. 62

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Born in the year 1995, I am young in the eyes of those who see me, yet the very wealth of my experiences, in very many things, is quite beyond my age. The struggles I faced when I came of age, 18 to be specific have a lot to do with where I am today. I regret nothing. Yet I feel a strong urge to write about, one aspect in particular, a day I am yet to forget. I have from the day in question begun a debate in my mind as to what exactly we call the Zimbabwean culture. I have questions I have never had answered, triggered by that experience I had, one time under the sun?

The medium welcomed us and sure enough, with the conversation that followed, I realised she was very familiar with our elder sister. They went on with their business by way of a question and answer session “saka achadzoka here mbuya? ”2 being continuously uttered by our eldest companion, in the snippets of the dialogue I dared listen. My mind was preoccupied in taking in my surroundings. I was taking in every clay pot, every piece of silk cloth, hung on the walls, I wondered at the texture of the animal skins on the one corner and even the very reed mat we sat on. The room was pristinely clean, and the medium wore nothing but white linen, from head to toe. As I ventured to assess her more, our eyes met, she fell silent and held my gaze for what seemed like eternity. My heart leapt right into my mouth, unsure of what was to happen next. She looked away and continued her chat, much of which I was again excluded. At the end of the few minutes we were there, our much-loved

older sister knelt in from of the medium and placed a 100 dollar bill in the wooden plate that was before her. She then urged us to ask any questions about what we wished to know. My friend decided on a safe topic and she asked about our results, which got the satisfactory answer that we would both do well. We did get extra unexpected details that pointed to our near separation, owing to career choices. This statement made us to frowningly look at each other, wondering what the future held. As I recovered from this slight digression, I turned to open my mouth to speak and I was caught mid lip when the medium said “wauya kuzobvunza zvekakomana kasina kana maturo” 3 , “but I will tell you this for free, ziva kwawakabva zvinhu zvinokuitira nyore”. 4 With that cryptic message we were soon ushered out of her presence to make way for the other clients. Preoccupied with my thoughts, I barely took in the scenery we passed on our way back to the

city. I waved a hearty goodbye and promised to keep in touch with my friend as she and her older sister drove away. I opened the gate, and ran inside the yard, shouting for my mother’s attention, so I could tell her about my surreal experience with the young woman, wise beyond her age, from Murehwa. I had a million unanswered questions about culture that I felt she could better explain to me, and I was anxious to get to her. As I burst through the kitchen door, I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight of a man, who looked exactly like me, sitting with my mother at the kitchen table. They both turned to look at me, as if to say something to me. At the same time I realized I was slowly losing balance, shocked and unable to comprehend what either of them was saying, with my body falling to the ground, as my mother reached me. Darkness took over. Just one thought stuck out, my roots were not where I had always thought them to be. Endnotes 1 Dare is a Shona term used as a place where court was held. For spirit mediums this is the place where rituals and consultations normally take place. 2 Translated - so will he come back? Mbuya is the respectful term given to any female spirit medium. 3 Translated - You have come to ask about a useless boy. 4 Translated - Know where you come from, things will become easier for you.


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s a young woman, an angel visits a betrothed Mary and tells her she will bear the Christ child. It is almost incomprehensible for Mary to believe that God would use a peasant woman to carry the Messiah. And when it seems like a long time before Jesus can begin His ministry, she struggles with her own feelings and desires. For yes, we know that God gave His son to die for our sins, but Mary had to let go of Him as well. And by the time her son dies her husband had died too. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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PHOTOGRAPHY + WORDS

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NYARADZO DHLIWAYO

MARY


An exploration of how HIV/AIDS has moved from being a death sentence to an acceptance through empowerment and development. HEALTH

Joana Ruth Chinyoka Social Researcher

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ne seminar on contemporary health studies will always stand out during my university course, the day we discussed about HIV/AIDS, the elephant in the room. That cold October afternoon we did not just talk about the elephant we dissected it into statistics. To most of the young British students that were in that seminar the elephant was just another sexually transmitted disease that affected mainly Afrikans and gay men communities. This they knew from the statistics spread in their glossy textbooks by world renowned authors. However, this was different for me as it was a topic which brought out profound feelings of sadness. For me it was more than about the statistics of Zimbabwe or Southern Afrika. Those statistics were my friends, my relatives, my loved ones and that day I walked out of the seminar because it was simply hard to imagine my loved ones as statistics. I first began to understand about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 90’s when I was just a child. Loved ones that I knew were often left to die alone because of the myths, stigma and shame associated with the disease. No one talked about the flesh eating disease and for 64

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015

HIV/AIDS, How the Elephant in the room disappeared almost a decade it became the elephant in the room, everyone saw it but nobody talked about it. Being a curious child I often snuck to the adult section of the community library to read a big blue glossy book with the words written HIV/AIDS epidemic of Southern Afrika. I quickly learnt the meaning

I was in England or any other place I still had the same mind set. I began attending charity events and conferences aimed towards ethnic minorities. I did this because I wanted to know if the elephant in the room still existed. It was at one of these conferences that I met Thando - a curvy bubbly woman with a

No one talked about the flesh eating disease and for almost a decade it became the elephant in the room, everyone saw it but nobody talked about it. of the words abstinence, protection, faithfulness and sexual intercourse. I learnt that the flesh eating disease had no cure and the result was death. Being a sexually transmitted disease meant it carried shame, myths and stigma. The seminar reminded me that it did not matter whether

smile that could melt butter. She would tell her story to anyone willing to listen and as I got engrossed in conversation with her I realised that the elephant in the room had disappeared a long time ago as there was more to HIV/AIDS such as life, happiness, love and family. Thando rolled back tears as she

narrated how she had lost three young children in a space of five years in the early 90’s, there was no encouragement to get tested back then because no one wanted to offend anyone. Thando had been loyal and had no reason to suspect her husband of being unfaithful. Her family had blamed her mother in law for the deaths of the toddlers as prophesied by the local witch doctor. Thando’s mother in law’s crime was that she had a volatile womb only managing to conceive one child. She often had explosive temperamental episodes taking out her frustrations on Thando accusing her of being an uneducated goldigger. Unfortunately her son too succumbed to the flesh eating disease without leaving any provisions for Thando so she moved back in with her parents. Thando was however determined to change her life so she began attending night classes to attain GCSE’s. She also joined a cross border women’s group selling artistic wares in


Thando acknowledged that ignorance had probably contributed to her family dying. Instead of getting tested, their families had thought it better to consult healers and prophets. She had no doubt that her family had perished because of HIV/ AIDS. She felt sad for had they

Ceramic Designer

MARJORIE WALLACE

Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and studied at Michealis School of Fine Art in Cape Town. Taught in various schools and the Harare Polytech. Took over Mutapo pottery 1992. Have exhibited locally with Delta Gallery and the National Gallery on group shows. Exhibited internationally including last year in Platform Gallery, London, with Design Network Africa (DNA) and early this year exhibited with DNA for the Guild exhibition in Cape Town, which was the opening exhibition of Cape Town as Design Capital of the world 2014. DNA has just been awarded the grand prize at the Design Africa Awards. www.africadesignaward.org

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Thando learnt a lot about women development and empowerment through the local women’s groups that often encouraged people to get tested. She learnt about the new anti-retroviral programmes that had become popular in the millennium and that infected people could live full life expectancies. She passed her studies and went on to do a degree in social work. Thando admitted that in the past it had been difficult because there was no medication and a lot of stigma but nowadays things had changed. It was all in the mind and having a positive attitude, the minute she willed to live is when she started to get better. The advantage about being positive is that it would always stay positive but negative could change at any time.

Marjorie Wallace

DESIGN

neighbouring countries. It was during one of these trips in South Afrika that she collapsed after developing a cough that she could not shake off. When she woke up she was addressed by a doctor who lacked empathy and just asked her how long she had been positive. Thando’s world came tumbling down, it became bleak and dark. It was easy to live in denial until one day a local women’s group of people living with HIV/AIDS came to visit her. They all gave their accounts on how they had found out their statuses and how acceptance of the positive word had saved them. It was hard for Thando to accept she could live positively but if she did not then her whole family would have died in vain and the day she accepted her status is the day she got saved.

been tested perhaps they would have been alive. Thando always thought her life was meant for a purpose of sharing her story with others to encourage them that HIV/AIDS was no longer the elephant in the room. She was willing to tell her story to anyone who would listen because she wanted to make a difference to someone else’s life. She was now based in Zimbabwe working with a local charity on HIV/ AIDS awareness and prevention campaigns. Thando has learnt a lot from the time she discovered her HIV status. The HIV epidemic has turned into a tragedy for many

people in sub-Sahara Afrika where it ravaged many lives for most of the decade leading to the early 90’s. Many epidemiologists have given causes and preventative measures but some people still continue to die. This is particularly worrying given that both the social and biomedical aspects of health are supposed to ensure infection and death rates decrease. It is sad that some people infect others on purpose because they get comfort in numbers. In order to feed their denial people are willing to put other’s lives and health at risk by not getting tested.

To not get tested is selfish in this day and age of biomedicine where people can live longer lives due to anti-retroviral therapy. These days the elephant in the room can be talked about openly as this is a measure that saved many lives. It is almost as if stigma and shame has gone away because people just want to live normal lives. There will always be people with risk accumulative behaviour but, a lot of work on development and empowerment from dedicated people ensures people have full facts. Preventative measures, getting tested and acceptance is the key to a longer, healthy and happy life where there are no elephants to be seen and ignored. Women’s Edition Issue 06

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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. 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 - contribute@povo.co.zw.

Be a part of the Movement! 01 Azella Perryman

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02 Barbra “Breeze� Anderson 03 Batsirayi Chigama 04 Black Bird 05 Elizabeth Muchemwa 06 Gertrude Bvindi 07 Harriet Mupungu 08 Joana Chinyoka 09 Marjorie Wallace 10 Nayaradzo Dhliwayo 11 Nkanyeziyethu Malunga 12 Orlinda Mapa-Tsoka 13 Shonatiger 14 Sophia Chitemere 15 Veronica Makunike 16 Wincate Muthini 17 Doreen Gaura 18 Emma Thembani 19 Mavis Tauzeni 20 Nontsikelelo Mutiti 21 Sekai Machache 22 Sista Zai 23 Edith We Utonga 24 Farai Wallace 25 Nancy Mteki 26 Rudo Chakanyuka 27 Christine Brookestein 28 Medeja Dollerez 29 Lynette Manikai 30 Sibusisiwe Zilawe 31 Audrey Anderson 32 Doreen Anyijukire 33 Robin Chaibva 34 Sabina Sheldon 35 Caroline Grobelaar 36 Linda Gabriel 37 Raven 38 Pegginah Goredema 39 Zvafadza Soko 66

THE POVO JOURNAL May 2015


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POVO Journal 2015 - Womens Edition Issue 06  

The 6th Issue of the POVO Journal of alternative content. Collection of articles and artist showcases by women only. With contributors from...

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