Gwabanayi calls for unity among poets

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Rumbidzai Gwabanayi

BY CHIEDZA MAZHANGARA
POET and author Rumbidzayi Pasirayi Gwabanayi has urged poets to work together for the growth of the industry which she said lacked recognition.

Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style, Gwabanayi said there was more of competition than collaboration among creatives to share ideas and skills.

“In order to grow the industry and provide lasting solutions to challenges faced by poets, there is the need to work together. This might be helpful considering that COVID-19 has also brought some changes in the way we do business,” she said.

“There is need for unity, if a family is divided, there is not much progress that can be achieved. If we join hands and work together, we can build an industry that we can all be proud of for generations to come.”

She added: “Working together as poets can help us break stereotypes that are associated with poetry and the whole arts industry.”

In her efforts to boost the poetry industry, Gwabanayi has organised and conducted mentorship programmes.

“I run Poetic Minds, a platform   which carries out workshops, mentorship programmes and sessions for poetry writing as well as publishing. For this to be fruitful, we however, need resources and affordable venues to host poetry programmes,” she said.

“I believe we need more funding opportunities apart from the British Council, Hivos and local clubs. There is also the need to collaborate with corporates to learn more on business-oriented approach.”

Gwabanayi said poets had a long way to go in their respective careers.

“With poetry, it’s either you appreciate it or  you don’t. We have a lot of talent that needs to be nurtured on different aspects such as business and etiquette training,” she said.

“Since 2019, I have been helping and inspiring young poets through cultural exchange programmes with poets in countries like the United Kingdom and Nigeria through both Zoom and physical workshops.”

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