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Poet Zulu pens Watchman of Africa anthology

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By TENDAI SAUTA
POET Romeo Zulu feels Africans need to unite in order to transform the continent into an economic powerhouse whose foundations are in true values of togetherness or ubuntu.

Zulu’s insight and advocacy envisions prosperous and globally-respected African people who nurture and take pride in their values.

“Africans need to unite. As long as we are not a world power, we will never be respected in this world. Therefore, we need to support local businesses, develop the continent and embrace ourselves as Africans.

“My book Watchman of Africa pushes for deep thinking on the part of politicians on the inability of African leaders to fully develop the continent despite the external forces that push back the development of Africa. It also asks questions on injustices. It gives Africans a wake-up call from somnambulism of distorted history while interrogating the role Africans have to play in helping out in sustainable development,” Zulu told NewsDay Life & Style.

Zulu, a University of Zimbabwe first year student in innovation social science and community development also said: “my book seeks to give Africans a wake-up call from mental enslavement, self-hatred and equip them with ideas that will improve society. I want my African brothers and sisters to be aware of what is happening on the continent and I want them to be proud of themselves. That is why some poems in the book talk about history. History of Moors (Africans who ruled some parts of Europe), Yasuke (African Samurai), Timbuktu University (it is considered as the first university in the world), King Mansa Musa of Mali (the richest man that ever lived). I included such information in my book to uplift the self-esteem of Africans.”

Zulu was born and raised in Manama in Gwanda where he did his Advanced Level. In the process, several role models including Poland-based Zimbabwean poet Methulisi Ndlovu inspired him.

“The people I look up to are Pan Africans. The likes of Patrice Loch Otieno Lumumba, Arikana Chihombori Quao and the works of the late Malcom X, Fred Hampton and Marcus Garvey. The people I have listed are revolutionaries who inspired me to write poems. Most of them are authors.

“I started writing at an early age (13 years). I was writing songs back then . . . I wanted to be a song writer but because I don’t have a gift in singing and it took me years to accept the fact that I can’t sing, so being a songwriter was a bit comforting. When I was 16 years old, I realised that remaining a songwriter would make me live in the shadows and I decided to be a poet. When I turned 17, I became serious about writing poems, that’s how the idea of writing an anthology was born,” Zulu added.

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