HomeLife & StylePoet to launch book at Chimanimani Arts Festival

Poet to launch book at Chimanimani Arts Festival


Renowned poet Ishmael Penyai will launch his latest Ndau and Manyika poetry book titled Nhekwe Dziri Kanyi at the upcoming Chimanimani Arts Festival.

The annual arts showcase will run from August 12 to 14.

Penyai’s poetry collection will help readers of all ages discover words, accents, tones and nuggets of ethnic expression currently alienated by the Shona language’s so-called “standard Shona”.

“I have composed joint poems of Ndau and Manyika genres with an idea of reviving and finding a way forward for the less-publicised languages,” said Penyai.

He said he had composed about 57 poems which touched on day-to-day aspects of people’s lives like death, politics, age and many more themes.
Penyai said the book was only one of many which he would be writing in form of short stories and folktales to promote the two languages.

“I have been a writer for 25 years and publishing such poems for the past four years because I strongly feel the need to revive the dying languages before it is too late,” said Penyai.

He said his poems were targeted at both children and adults and also meant to inspire people of all ages to write as well so libraries could be beefed up with diverse literature.

Penyai said he was also working on a film which would also be in Ndau and Manyika as it was his way of reaching out to as many people as possible.

“During the festival, together with two other writers, Nyaradzo Charama and Tinashe Muchuri, I will be doing storytelling and poetry performances with young children,” he said.

Penyai said they were set to identify talent, revisit and develop it after the festival, taking necessary steps to eventually have the works published.

“I also wrote an English book titled Scarlet Memories which is an anthology of poems,” he said.

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