The return of Linda Gabriel

Making a grand ingress into the local poetry scene at a tender age of 18, not many would have expected her break to stand the test of time in the face of the spoken word art.


Till this day, she has travelled most of Africa, some places in Europe and the Americas yet her heart yearns to get to every corner of the world.

While in South Africa in 2009, she introduced the “House of Hunger Poetry Slam” concept in Johannesburg.

Linda Gabriel’s ability to use words in an expressive manner dates back to her high school days at assemblies, prize giving days and the days she did a consoling piece on the death of the late Vice President, Dr Simon Muzenda in 2003.

Gabriel insists conversely that the initial year of the local “House of Hunger Poetry Slam” (2005) marked her significant entry in the world spoken word.

This year therefore marks a decade for the 29 year old whose life “revolves around the art.”

In an interview with NewsDay, the poet who is back from South Africa where she had been learning photography since 2008 said her life revolves around the arts where she was initiated into the industry by veteran poet, Oscar Gwiriri.

“My life revolves around art, so I work in the arts despite being an artist. If I am not performing, I might be the one who would have organised or done the curatorship of artistes to perform at a festival or event.

“It all professionally started in 2005 when I met Oscar Gwiriri who became more of a guide and first mentor in my career as a poet,” she said.
Most of her work entails juxtapositions between reports on untold stories and publicising anomalies done in society.

“I take it as my responsibility to tell the stories of some people who do not have the liberty and courage to be heard as poets do, that is why I sometimes wash dirty linen in public regardless of gender divides,” added Gabriel, who is set tour the Americas in September this year.

In celebrating the decade, she has a book set to be published in Germany later this year as she works on a similar compilation of her Shona pieces back home in addition to an event she will host in August. She vaunts an inherent ability to twist negative energy into poetry:

“I turn negative energy into positive stuff in poetry hence when I get angry at someone I might not say anything to them but eventually it will result into two or more poems.”

Gabriel has already performed at different events since her arrival, announcing her return.

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