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The Light behind the Shadow

Tatenda Hanyani

There is a light behind the shadow

It leaves its footprints on the wall

The closer the light the smaller the shadow

If the shadow lies the light knows not

For it differs greatly from a footprint

The shadow does not last for ever

Neither does the footprint last

Yet the shadow always returns with the light

This wind has blown for a short while

Yet it has blown the footprints away

No one will get lost again

Fresh footprints in the mud now

Where they will stay forever

The wind will come and fail

Will you walk with me in the mud

Whilst our shadows tell of who we are

Shadows remain even though they change

They give hope and interpretation

What do I say when I see you

What do you see on my shadow

I wish you could see the footprints

The wind blew them away


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Poem: Shambles

by Moses Tatenda Hanyani

Motions of this world blow to and fro

The dust rises up in unanimity with the stillness that has been broken

All voices notice not the ears that hunger to hear

For the light has not found the spooky darkness

None chooses to go forth and start a proposition

The mighty have fallen and tumbled again

The waters unwearyingly wait for the storm to die away

As the wind rises it does not leave the earth unclothed

We have been bathed by this earth that we despise

Its pillars remain resilient day and night

Peace has reigned outside it 

Yet the disarray within it is at times unbearable

It’s amazing it does not crumble upon its very own

Wonders cannot cease to appear

For we are all part of them always

Will the mighty rise again to the dare?

Where is the unlimited friend that coasts and wanes?

The sun still burns and never tires

May aid appear as a force swifter than the wind itself

The weak have been furnished yet still too wretched

Who will revitalize the sword for them?

Will the mighty wind speak for them?

Time is life and life is time

These shambles that we see will be mend

Shambles are not part of the equation

Shambles are fiascoes

They will not rise up again

The shallow story with a deep meaning

One day Chicken was sitting under the apple tree. A slight breeze whistled, shaking the boughs of the young apple plant.
Plop! One apple fell with a thud!
“Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!” went Chicken, wings flapping, feathers flying, “the sky has fallen! The sky has fallen! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!”
As chicken ran, she passed by Goat who was busy foraging the tender leaves of a thorn-tree.
“What’s the problem my friend?” asked Goat.
“The sky has fallen! I’m going to the king to report this incident. Cluck! Cluck! Cluuuuuck!”
“Well, don’t leave me behind, let’s go together!” And along the two went, running down the road leaving a tail of dust. Down the hill was Sheep, suckling her twins.
“Hello, you seem to be in a hurry. Where to?”
“To the king, to tell him the sky has fallen!”
Sheep stopped suckling her lambs and joined. After crossing the river they saw Pig who was busy mud-bathing with his entire clan.
“Hi there.”
“Oh? You are mud-bathing? Haven’t you heard?!”
“What?” retorted Pig
“The sky has fallen!” said Sheep.
“So?” questioned Pig.
“We have to report to the chief,” Sheep said.
“Well I want to go too”, and so Pig joined the entourage.
Up the hill the entourage huffed and puffed. About to reach the peak they saw Cow.
“Moooooo! Where are all of you going?”
“Grunt, Grunt!” replied pig, “to the king to tell him that the sky has fallen.”
“Let’s go together then! Let’s hurry!” Cow joined in.
As they went down the other side of the hill Fox saw them.
“Hello!” No one answered, they ran.
“Hey, where are you going?”
“To the King,” said Cow.
“To do what, when you are empty-handed like this?”
“To tell him that the sky has fallen”
“What!” exclaimed Fox.
“To tell him that the sky has fallen. Are you deaf?” said Cow angrily.
“Everyone stop! Stop now!”, said Fox. They stopped
“Cow, did you see the sky fall?”
No, but Pig saw it.”
“Pig, did you see the sky fall?”
“No,” said Pig, “but sheep and his family saw it with their two own eyes”
“Sheep?”, questioned Fox.
“I didn’t, my close relative Goat did.”
Fox questioned further; “Goat, did you really see the sky fall?”
“No but Chicken saw it and told me first.”
At that moment Chicken replied;
“I didn’t see it fall. I was sitting under the apple tree. The wind came. The sky fell. I heard it fall!”
“That’s terrible. That’s serious news!,” said Fox. “We have to tell the King immediately and this road you are using is far. I know of a shorter route that leads through the bushes.”
So the cunning fox led all these credulous and obsequious animals to his den, where together with his clan, had a feast for weeks.
And the King never got his message that the sky fell.

Q&A with Tari Mtetwa

Who is Tari Mtetwa?

Tari Mtetwa is a Zimbabwean artist working on various media. A visual artist, poet and filmmaker. Studied Film and Television and also English and Communication. I currently live in Harare and apart from personal film productions I lecture Film Studies at the Film and Television School of Southern Africa. I’m passionate about all things art.

What kind of work do you produce?  

“And The Beat Goes On…” is a 73 minute documentary that explores the life and music of Zimbabwe’s music legends late and alive with children who are also pursuing the art. It features the music of Willom and Gary Tight, Andy and Ammara Brown, Leonard Dembo and sons (Tendai and Morgan) Elijah and Safirio Madzikatire and Mechanic Manyeruke and son Guspy Warrior. In cases where the artists are late we interviewed people who worked with them for instance Sam Mataure covered for Andy Brown, Raphael Makwiramiti (L.Dembo’s manager) for Dembo and Chibhodhoro for Mukadota.

How did you come up with this idea?

The idea came after I realised the trend of so many children of artists following their parents’ trade. My question was whether they were really talented as their parents or just something they were forcing. With that background I put together a team and started working on the project.

Four of us worked on the project, Obey Marimo Cinematography and Sound, Thobekile Sibanda – Voice Artist, Kudakwashe Masoka – Editor and myself Producer/Director.

What sources did you use while researching for this work?

I got much of the information from the National Archives of Zimbabwe where I got videos of the artists in the film, their songs and footage of television programmes in which they featured. The artists themselves helped with information they had archived personally. I also interviewed some people who are experts on Zimbabwean music such as Bob Nyabinde and Musa Zimunya (a lecturer and writer)

What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge was that the National Archives did not have all the footage I would have wanted and the artists themselves at times could not help.

The project was also self-funded so there were budgetary constraints but nothing too big to stop the work from going on.

We also couldn’t secure interviews from some artists we would have loved to include in the project.

Where do we watch your work; Youtube? ZBC?

My work is coming to the small screen soon, on some pay television. I’ve just concluded that deal and that restricts me from uploading it on sites like youtube but as soon as the contract’s bond period is over I’ll upload it.

What more should we expect from you besides documentaries?

From now I’ll be working on more of Zimbabwean art luminaries. Expect to see work on Zim literature at some point.

The End.

From now I’ll be working on more of Zimbabwean art luminaries. Expect to see work on Zim literature at some point.

He said it.

“I am here for as long as I am still sane, with good memory and will power. I thank God for giving me extra strength. I still have a bright mind; I still have will. I know our history more than you do. I know the wishes of those heroes and those who lie elsewhere more than you do. I know the wishes of the chiefs, dead and alive.” – At 6th Zanu PF National People’s Congress, 2014.

Chimurenga Tales

The war was painful. Villagers suffered. Villagers died.
It is said that when the Rhodesian Army soldiers came, they beat up parents. They beat up parents for fun and for various ‘crimes’. One of the most common crimes was cooking for ‘terrorists’. Some parents were accused of encouraging their sons of becoming terrorists. A father had to account for his sons. If your son disappears, you would find yourself up to the neck in trouble.
One tale that is told is of one headman whose son ran away into exile to train as a guerrilla fighter. No one knows how the soldiers got wind of the fact but they quickly swarmed the village, rounded up the people at the headman’s house. The headman was beaten to death with a pestle. It is said the soldiers who beat him up were black. They did so under the supervision of white soldiers. Some say as the pestle pounded the head of the bound-up captive, blood and brains flew like sparks off an anvil, and scattered on to the faces of people who sat at the front. They were not allowed to wipe it off. They were not allowed to cry or wince. That, it was said, was to teach them a lesson for letting their sons go into exile to train as terrorists. Also, this would teach a lesson to those contemplating to go into exile what would happen to their parents once they disappear.
Soon as the army cars sped off and the dust barely settled, ‘vanamukoma’, as the guerillas were called, would round up the very same villagers; Who called the soldiers? Who told them what? Who is the sellout? And the beating and killing would continue. One innocent man was pointed out as a sellout. Everyone knew he was innocent. Out of fear, people kept quiet. He was burnt with drippings of burning plastic until he died. Parents were told to queue up, plastic in hand, you dip your plastic in the fire then rush to where the bound up ‘sellout’ was. Only pregnant women and those with suckling babies were spared the ordeal of torturing the bound up ‘m’tengesi’. Many people who were there say they can still detect the pungent smell of burning human flesh in the village air up until today.
This is one of the many Chimurenga tales. Tell me the one(s) you heard.

Said one man to his ego….


Said one man to his ego….

(A dramatic piece filled with irony and truth.)

Dear Ego,

I am sorry we haven’t spoken for a while and I am sure you are feeling neglected. The thing is I have a bit of a dilemma.

I have been doing amazingly well, sorry my dear Ego, I should say, ‘we’ have been doing amazingly well. Of course we both want to celebrate our achievements and encourage other people to celebrate our achievements as well. We want to post selfies, update our status about all the fabulous places we have visited, update our CV, be seen at all the new bars in town, get complimentary tickets and tweet about how fantastic we are. But, Conscience is being grumpy. Conscience says that you and I are now a little ‘out of control’. She is worried that we are putting ourselves at risk by being so…

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