Mbizo Chirasha

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Mbizo Chirasha ( born 1978)[1] is a Zimbabwean poet. In Diogen magazine, he is described as an "acclaimed wordsmith, performances poet, widely published poet and writer",[1] and according to the Stellenbosch Literary Project, he is "an internationally acclaimed Performance poet, Writer, Creative/Literary Projects Specialist, an Advocate of Girl Child Voices and Literacy Development."[2]

Career[edit]

The anthology Zimbolicious Poetry: Anthology of Zimbabwean Poets features Mbizo Chirasha's poetry, revealing his poetic connection to Matabeleland.[3] In the introduction to his volume of poetry Nest of Stones, Kenyan poet Wanjohi wa Makohha (born 1979) names him as one of the seven African poets that inspired him greatly.[4]

Projects[edit]

Mbizo Chirasha has not only been a catalyst with regard to literary projects such as the Girl Child Creativity Project, the Girl Child Voices Fiesta, and the Young Writers Caravan, as well as creation of the Urban Colleges Writers Prize. He is also committed to a number of socially relevant projects in Zimbabwe. Thus, Susan Pietrzyk noted that Mbizo Chirasha was actively involved as a poet in the campaign that seeks to make the population more aware of ways to protect themselves against AIDS.[5]

According to the Stellenbosch Literary Project, Mbizo Chirasha has been published in more than 60 journals, various anthologies, newspapers, blogs and poetry collections. Thus he was among the poets selected by Diké Okoro when Okoro edited the notable anthology We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry From Africa.[6] His poetry has also been featured in such renowned literary journals as Moto magazine.

Outreach activities[edit]

Apart from many other activities as a committed Zimbabwean poet, such as his activity as Outreach Agent for the Zimbabwe Book Development Council, and as Delegate of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair dispatched to the Goteborg International Book Fair in Sweden (in 2003), Mbizo Chirasha was a writer in residence in Egypt (in 2006), he was invited to participate in the UNESCO Photo Novel Writing Project in Tanzania (in 2009) and took part in the International Conference of African Culture Development in Ghana as a poet in residence (in 2009). He was also Producer/Coordinator of the I am the Artist project, an Artist-in-Residence program of the Zimbabwe Germany Society in collaboration with the Goethe Zentrum.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b See N.N., "Mbizo Chirasha: Introduction and Background", in: Diogen, pro culture magazine, ISSN 2296-0937; see also Diogen ISSN 2296-0910.
  2. ^ See the website of SLIP Stellenbosch Literary Project. Susan Pietrzyk also refers to him as a "performance poet": see Susan Pietrzyk, "Artistic activities and cultural activism as responses to HIV/AIDS in Harare, Zimbabwe," in: African Journal of AIDS Research, Volume 8, Issue 4; April 2009, pp. 481–490. Issue 4 of the journal focuses on Anthropological Perspectives.
  3. ^ See Tendai R. Mwanaka and Edward Dzonze (eds), Zimbolicious Poetry: Anthology of Zimbabwean Poets, n.p. : Royalty Publishing USA, 2016.
  4. ^ He writes, "I, personally, find contemporary German poets like Huchel, Lisel Mueller and Sarah Kirsch inspirational in many ways. The list is longer inside Africa, including among many notables Okot of Uganda, Anyidoho of Ghana, Okigbo of Nigeria, Serote of South Africa, Mapanje of Malawi, Mbizo Chirasha from Zimbabwe, Sitawa Namwalie of Kenya and various Swahili poets. The second source is a popular proverb among the Fulfude communities of Central and West Africa. These two regions of our beloved continent are home to witnesses who have demonstrated to the world human resilience in the face of strife. I believe that even eggs of stone can hatch and bring ro life a new hope in a land where people do not give up in their struggle for social justice and democracy...." - Wanjohi wa Makohha, Nest of Stones: Kenyan Narratives in Verse. Mankon, Bamenda, Cameroon: Langaa Research & Publishing CIG, 2010, p. xxvi.
  5. ^ See: Susan Pietrzyk, "Artistic activities and cultural activism as responses to HIV/AIDS in Harare, Zimbabwe," in: African Journal of AIDS Research, Vol. 8, Issue 4; April 2009, pp. 481-490. - Issue 4 of the Journal is focused on Anthropological Perspectives. As the Stellenbosch Literary Project website notes, Mbizo Chirasha was actively involved in "a number of official, NGO creative interventions and consultancy programmes", thus "with Social Family Health (Namibia 2009-2010)" in the framework of "a HIV/Aids Documentary Project" and also with the Catholic Relief Services Zimbabwe 2006 initiative that was focused on a "HIV/Aids Nutrition Project"; in addition, his involvement, as a poet, in the Swedish Cooperative Centre 2006 project "Arts against Drought (Zimbabwe)" is mentioned here. See SLIP Stellenbosch Literary Project website.
  6. ^ See Diké Okoro (ed.), We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry From Africa. Suffolk, UK/Lagos, Nigeria: Malthouse Press, 2012. 346 pp. ISBN 978-978-8244-32-5. This anthology is held by university libraries in many countries, both in Europe and North America.
  7. ^ See SLIP Stellenbosch Literary Project website.

External links[edit]