HomeLife & StyleZim creatives in Germany for book fest

Zim creatives in Germany for book fest



SOME renowned local artists, among them celebrated authors and filmmakers, Tsitsi Dangarembga and seasoned poet Chirikure Chirikure, are in Germany for this year’s second edition of the three-day African Book Festival that roared to life yesterday and will run until tomorrow in Berlin.

Dangarembga will be a curator at this year’s edition of the festival, running under the theme Transitioning from Migration, is an Initiative for More Diversity, Both in Literature and Politics, which will also feature Bulawayo poet John Eppel.

Chirikure told NewsDay Life & Style before his departure that there would be a special commemoration of the late prolific writer Charles Mungoshi today, where five local writers would read their favourite Mungoshi poems.

“It is a great honour to get this opportunity to share the Zimbabwean experience and culture with the rest of the world, as we have many tales to share with the world,” he said.

“I will perform my poetry as the festival’s closing act on Saturday. I will be backed by mbira by Glasgow-based Zimbabweans, Tawona and Ernest Sithole. I will perform my usual old poems, with a sprinkling of new ones.”

The seasoned poet said there was need for local artists to continuously contribute to international dialogue through their artistic prowess.

“Our circumstances are continuously and rapidly changing, and most of the times we are not on the global radar. Our voices need to continue contributing to the international dialogue, particularly now when our nation is saddled with so many challenges,” he said.

He, however, bemoaned lack of corporate support for the poetry sector.

“We have tried to engage a couple of corporates in the past, but it looks like they prefer working with activities that draw bigger crowds,” Chirikure said.

“It is, of course, logical from a business point of view, but they need to seriously consider the long-term reach of the spoken word, and how it feeds into other sections of the arts. More dialogue with corporates would benefit both parties.”

Chirikure said although the local poetry scene was not well supported, poetry would never die as there were a lot of activities going on as regards to performances, like LitFest that has been running outreach initiatives in Masvingo and Bulawayo.

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