PROLIFIC author and Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) chairperson for Southern Africa, David Mungoshi, yesterday said local authors had not benefited significantly from PAWA because the country had never paid its allotted sum as an affiliate.
BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
Mungoshi — who was last week awarded the PAWA Patron of the Arts Award and the PAWA Honorary Membership Award — said Zimbabwe’s defaulting in its subscriptions was embarrassing. PAWA is an African Union affiliate.
“To my knowledge, Zimbabwe has never paid its allotted sum and that is a source of great embarrassment for me personally and for the country as a whole,” he said.
Mungoshi said their appeals to government over the years fell on deaf ears and that had left him with no moral ground to request a budget allocation to fund PAWA activities in Zimbabwe.
“Nevertheless and despite such constraints, I can safely say that due to my efforts PAWA’s International Day of the African Writer (celebrated on November 7 each year) has become well-known in Zimbabwe and there are writers from here and from South Africa who have been hosted by PAWA in Accra,” Mungoshi said.
He said the local chapter has had its own celebrations and during one of those, the Zimbabwe Writers Union publicly appreciated all local writers who scooped international awards. These included Yvonne Vera, Chenjerai Hove and Charles Mungoshi.
The author said the honour he received in Ghana evoked a mixture of emotions.
“I was as excited as I was humbled. Naturally I was happy and grateful too. It’s always elevating when people who matter notice what one is doing,” he said.
He said although up-and-coming authors were now receiving more support compared to the older generation of writers, it was important for them to perfect their skills.
Mungoshi — who earlier this year released a poetry anthology, Live Like an Artist — said he would be releasing new work on a yearly basis for the next few years.
“I have in excess of 500 poems waiting in the wings and the next anthology has already been coordinated and awaits its turn,” he said.