Rising poet Sympathy Sibanda is currently finalising her second collection of faith-inspired poems titled On His Bosom while consolidating her other artistic endeavours that include artistic designs and engravings.
The counsellor-cum-poet’s debut collection of poems, Matters of Life, was published by Veriest Solutions last year.
A graduate sociologist, Sibanda, who describes herself as “a jack of all trades” currently works for an organisation that specialises in relief and development while she also runs a poetry consultancy for performance art and graphic poetry.
“I’m so excited at how dynamic poetry can get. I am currently working on my second anthology, which is meant to fight the misconception that poetry is hard to comprehend and only meant for English elitists,” she says.
She says her other project involves designing cards and posters with personalised poems and any other gifts like mugs and T-shirts with special messages.
“It is an interesting venture that brings uniqueness to whatever one does. I am also currently organising poetry competitions for those of school-going age so as to tap talent when it’s still fresh and encourage creativity,” she says.
Her creative journey started in early childhood when her inquisitiveness about how people wrote books instilled in her the desire to try her hand at it. She says her parents’ support also spurred her on.
“My upbringing influenced me to start writing. I was raised to be a bookworm so I decided I don’t only have to be a passive recipient of other people’s ideas, but I should create mine and make an impact in other people’s lives,” she says.
She has found writing a fulfilling exercise and describes it as her “catharsis” which gives her an outlet for pent-up frustrations “without hurting the next person”.
She however says there is still a lot that needs to be done with regards to the local publishing industry, but thanked her publisher, Noah Mangwarara, for believing in her.
“I’m happy with my publisher because we can converse until we reach a consensus and he believes in raising new voices. However, the economic doldrums do not make it better because at times one ends up publishing on their own,” she says.
The poet says she believes in herself and in the potential to change the world that every woman has. She believes in “propagating love, hope and peace to the human race”.
Sibanda, who is currently studying journalism at a Harare college, lists the Bible as her favourite book and prominent writer Memory Chirere as her best author.