Chiundura Moyo away from novels

Chiundura Moyo also wrote dramas such as Tiriparwendo and Kuridza Ngoma, among others

THE prolific writer of such popular novels as Uchandifungawo, Kereke Inofa, Wakandicheka Nerakagomara, Nguwo Dzouswa. Aaron Chiundura Moyo, says he still has more to offer because he does not get tired of writing novels.

Chiundura Moyo also wrote dramas such as Tiriparwendo and Kuridza Ngoma, among others

NewsDay Weekender caught up with the award-winning writer, who is currently compiling notes for his own biography, at his home in Glen View, Harare, where he spoke about growing up in a polygamous family, life on a whiteman’s farm, a father who saw no value in education, his struggles to get an education and how he fought his way through it. He took us down memory lane.

Extended family

I belong to a very large family as my father was a polygamist; he had many wives. My father had married my mother, her sister, niece and many other women. So if you ask me how many we are, many times I might be lost to mention siblings from my biological mother’s side alone which other siblings may find very uncomfortable and dividing.

His own family

I have three children, two boys Shepherd, Tatenda and a girl Farai. She studied Business Studies at Midlands State University and is a very good writer, but has taken a more business side. Tatenda is an actor, producer and director. I have eight grandchildren.

Perception of polygamy

Polygamy will always be the same whether long ago or nowadays. Sharing the same man will never be a good thing among women. It might be nice for some who marry wives who are related by blood. However, it is not easy for the woman who witnesses her husband marrying someone else to take her place. This is when jealousy and envy comes into being because the husband would never love all his wives the same. There is no way I can say polygamy is flawless, it only feels nice to the man.

Farm life

I grew up at a white owner’s farm out of Gweru town where people called the place “Shoe Shine”. There were a lot of activities that were carried out at the farm ranging from football games and musical concerts. The white men did not like us blacks going to school because they wanted to have workers at their farms.

Our lives revolved around one place and we were not free enough to live our own lives. There were certain boundaries we were not allowed to cross. For example, we were not allowed to learn past something like grade three nowadays, so we could be able to just read and write, then proceed to working at the farm with our parents; repeating the cycle.

This was blindfold manipulation that seemed like a good life. Workers were given basic commodity groceries every week and farm produce such as milk and meat. The salary was very low to make workers vulnerable. There was also a grocery shop at the farm where workers could purchase items on credit. So you find that sometimes employees would work all year round paying back for the groceries. There was no thinking about the future, but those who disobeyed and pursued education further gained exposure that stretched beyond farm life.

It does not matter where people are staying, there will always be groups and divisions. At the farm there was the upper class with managerial roles and the lower class responsible for manual labour.


We were not afforded any opportunities in a way because my father deprived his whole family of education. It was one’s decision to make, we created them (opportunities). My father had no pleasure in sending us to school. He said when children are educated they get into politics.

However, my father taught us self-help projects such as building, plumbing and bicycle repair. Now, my brothers were capable of doing all those things. I ran away when others were taught, I was lazy.

My father was a builder and by that time we had a nice life. He was clever, but hated education. I think he looked at his surroundings and the teachers at the farm were not admirable. They would borrow things and even money from him. So, I guess he wondered if those who are educated look for things from him then there was no point sending us to school. My father wanted to live with his family altogether at the farm, but we ran away to gain exposure.

Down memory lane

There was a moment when I was not able to read or write, mind you I started going to school when I was 13 years old. There was a girl who I liked, I then asked another boy to write a letter to her telling him what to write. I was hesitant to deliver the letter. When I finally gathered courage, I called another boy while we were at a concert. I gave him five cents to deliver my letter to the girl. Surprisingly, when I met her coincidentally another day she lashed at me that I had called her names in the letter. I felt bad about myself and I wanted to learn to read and write.

The journey was not a smooth ride as I was rejected at many schools for being too old, but I persevered. There was a time I was told to go home to get married at a school in Gweru when I wanted to secure a secondary school place. I went home crying before trying one last time and was accepted at another school.

I used to be very stubborn at school and stole things.

At some point, I was a gardener and I also worked as a miller (mugaisi).

Education system, then and now

There was a limit on the number of students who would make it to secondary school. Therefore, there was tight marking of examinations to reduce the pass rate. Birth certificates were not mandatory in school, although we were the first to be affected by that system in 1969. I was deprived of the right to education because of my age in some schools, but now people can have access to education regardless of their age. Learning has become easier.


I used to have many hobbies, but things change as you age. I liked watching football, jogging and music.

Other talents

I am a trained welder, but I never had the chance to do it anyway. I am also a sculptor. I used to carve objects out of wood. Some of the sculptures helped me to earn money. I also lived on photography.


At this age I do not need awards as they do not help me with anything. I am passing on my knowledge and I still have a lot to offer.

Partnership is all I need. Some people have ideas and others have money, but do not have ideas. If people come together to discuss what we can do, we might be able to create better films.

Community development

I am working with other people in this community to teach young people theatre and identifying talent regardless of age.

The major purpose is to keep young people away from drugs and to create employment. We have a drama club called Mafuro Manyoro.

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