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Zim poet gets global nomination

Life & Style
LOCAL award-winning creative Shaznay Woods

LOCAL award-winning creative Shaznay Woods has been nominated for the Best Female Achiever at the Africa Young Talent Achievers Awards set for Ghana later this month.

The 22-year-old is a multi-talented artist who wears many jackets, among them poet, actress, model and video vixen.

“It feels great to be nominated among great Africans. This is my first international nomination and it has motivated me to work harder in my upcoming gender-based body of work as I gain that recognition in international spaces,” Woods told NewsDay Life & Style.

“It feels awesome to be appreciated from Zimbabwe and Africa at large. I was nominated together with other talented females from this country, Ghana, and Malawi. This clearly reveals that the messagein my poetry is being well received by people who probably don’t understand the Shona language.”

Woods, who owes her achievements and fast growth in the showbiz industry to her authenticity, diversity and transparency, encouraged fellow poets to vocalise their beliefs and ideologies in their work.

“I believe that my work is broad, clear and authentic. I try as much as possible to tell my stories in a way that everyone can relate to.  Unlike other forms of art, poetry is more of words than anything else. I believe that is the superpower within the art,” she said.

“I sometimes mix my vernacular poems with a bit of English. I think also adding visuals to my poetry has given the art a double impact in passing the intended message as the motive behind the story will be easily understood by many.”

She added: “It is the power to give life to words in a poetic manner, be it spoken word or page poetry. Other poets out there should realise what they stand for and stick to it. Some get carried away when they get recognition, but I wish my fellow poets would not let popularity distract them from their purpose.”

Woods, who launched her career in 2005 with the poem The Scientiest, said apart from her several projects, she has partnered the Netherlands embassy in the fight for gender balance in Africa.

“The ideas that are raised in the gender balance projects include advocating for young women, creation of opportunities for girls and impacting communities through the 16 gender champions who will be implementing projects for women and girls including boys too,” she noted.

“I will use my superpower which is spoken word, poetry, to advocate for women and girls with boys included. I am advocating for women and girls, against any form of violence be it rape, early marriages, molesting of female students in schools and verbal abuse from touts. We need to create a safe place for girls throughout the country.”

As a video vixen, Woods has featured in videos by Jah Prayzah (Porovhoka), Baba Harare (Ruva), Qonfuzed (Life Yangu) and Probeatz (Banga). She has also featured in a movie called Hadassah.

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