HomeNewsChimbetu inspired Mungoshi to pen poem collection

Chimbetu inspired Mungoshi to pen poem collection


ALTHOUGH dendera musician Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu is long gone, an incident in which he had a meal with his father at a Chegutu motel in 2003 touched prolific author David Mungoshi so much that it inspired him to produce a poem titled What Simon Did and I Didn’t Do.


The poem is part of a collection called The Love and Hurt Poems in which Mungoshi worked with South African producer, Constance van Niekerk, and scheduled for publication next year.

The persona in the poem draws a priceless lesson from the incident, which invokes sad memories of missed opportunities the poet could have used to have such a close relationship with his own father.

The poem is accompanied by the soundtrack of the late American crooner Luther Vandross’ song, Dance with My Father.

The MP4 begins with an introductory note to the effect that it was a chance meeting that led to the creation of the poem.

“I didn’t know Chimbetu personally, but the sight of him with his father in serious conversation at some motel aroused unavoidable feelings of loss and nostalgia in me.

You know how sometimes you feel you want to do something that you have done in your life, but differently this time. So this poem is not a contrivance,” said Mungoshi.

Mungoshi said his view was that one could indulge both types of art, all depending on the imperatives at play at any given moment in time.

“If the poem makes you a little tearful and makes you want to spend quality time with your old folks at home, I feel vindicated. The experience was genuine and challenging, I had to talk to someone in this case, willing readers,” he said.

He said dwelling on the topic of love and hurt was a desire to capture the two basic human instincts and emotions which he felt were not managed very well as there was either a denial or excess.

He said he also just wanted to humour himself and others who lamented the loss of proper courtship in present day “romances”.
“People can expect to love or be loved and to hurt or be hurt as they read the anthology. There might also be some regret, nostalgia, perhaps even anger. However, my idea is to celebrate life and love, to eulogise the two,” added Mungoshi.

The collection has poems Too Late the Little Things, which explores a multiplicity of experiences and is meant for performance with its rhythm akin to that of hip hop and Morning, Afternoon and Evening which depicts the three phases of romantic love and debunks that older people don’t engage in sex.

Mungoshi’s last individual publication was The Fading Sun, a novel that landed him a National Arts Merit Award for Outstanding Fiction in 2010.

He also has nine poems in the 2011 Zimbabwe Publishing House poetry anthology entitled Ghetto Diary and Other Poems.

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