SA-based author dares local counterparts

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

AWARD-WINNING South Africa-based Zimbabwean author Panashe Chigumadzi has urged local authors to be the primary advocates of their work.

The These Bones Will Rise Again author, who has been hosting creative non-fiction workshops in the country since July 4, said writers had to be aware of the barriers in theirs and audiences’ paths.

“You have to be the greatest advocate of your work. Know that there are a lot of barriers that come in your efforts to get it out there. Sometimes we write and forget about people (audience). Think of who the people are from who you get feedback,” she told participants at a workshop held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare this week.

Chigumadzi told NewsDay Weekender Life & Style on the sidelines of the workshop attended by seasoned and upcoming authors that the workshops were a way of investing the knowledge she had acquired during several residency programmes into the Zimbabwean literary community.

“My first workshop was on July 4, in collaboration with LitFest-Harare, at Theatre in the Park and the second was on July 10, in partnership with NGZ-Bulawayo.

All the workshops, including today’s, went on extremely well, and I am happy about that. The feedback has been great,” she said.

“The purpose of the workshops is to share what I have learnt over a couple of years through different kinds of residencies and workshops I have been able to attend. It’s a way of reinvesting what was invested in me in the local writing community, because creative non-fiction is not well-appreciated. Not so many people understand it.”

“I look forward to hosting more workshops. If I have more partners to work with, it will be much easier to do this. It’s something that I have been doing from my own resources and that’s not sustainable.”

Participants who spoke to NewsDay Life & Style testified that they had benefited a lot from Wednesday’s workshop.

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