Table of Contents
Letters from the Editors…………………………………………...………….3
Mosi oa Tunya - A History…………………………………………...…….....7
Shona Children’s Story…………………………………………………..…..43
Call for Submissions - Issue #2…………………………………...………..52
Letters from the Editors
It is with great joy that I present the inaugural issue of Mosi oa Tunya Literary Review. It has
been an honor curating the magazine with my mum, Ellen Machingaidze, and we look forward
to many more editions to come.
Mosi oa Tunya Literary Review is a passion project born out of my experience as an aspiring
writer from Zimbabwe. Beginning in 2013, my short stories have been published by Weaver
Press Zimbabwe, Africa Book Club, The Kalahari Review, Lawino, African Roar, Munyori
Literary Journal, Open Road Review, Brittle Paper, and Down River Road. My debut novel,
"Acacia" was published by African Perspectives Publishing in 2014.
Over the years, I have reviewed countless calls for submissions from literary magazines from
around the world. Through the struggle to publish my writing, I have become acutely aware
of the paucity of platforms and opportunities available for voices from Africa, and especially
from Zimbabwe. Becoming a published author is a grueling task for anyone, but the lack of
publications that focus on, and value, writing from African perspectives, makes it that much
harder for budding storytellers from Africa to have their voices heard, even within their own
In recent years, there has been a rise in online literary platforms in Africa which is
encouraging, but there is still much work to be done. I have partnered with my mum, Ellen
Machingaidze, who is also a writer and an editor, to bring Mosi oa Tunya Review to life, in an
effort to fill the gap. We believe that African voices should tell their stories to the world, not
only in English, but in indigenous languages as well. Our unique vision is for Mosi oa Tunya
Review to be a multi-lingual, pan-African magazine that publishes writing in all of Zimbabwe's
16 official languages. Our hope is that this will inspire a renewed and sustainable effort to
develop modern Zimbabwean and African writing.
Mosi oa Tunya means "The Smoke That Thunders." It is one of the many wonderfully
descriptive local names for Victoria Falls. Why? Because you hear the falls long before you
ever see them:
A thundering roar heard from kilometers away
Mist rising high in the sky like a great cloud of smoke
Powerful. Pounding. Penetrating.
An undeniable force of nature
The mighty Zambezi and The Great Batoka Gorge
I stand in awe
Consumed and yet complete
It is this indescribable feeling I get whenever I visit Vic Falls that inspired the name of our
literary review. It is the same breathless contentment that comes from reading a perfectly
crafted story or poem. It is the feeling that we want to share with the world.
Thank you for embarking on this new adventure with us!
FOUNDER & EDITOR
Let me introduce myself as the co-founder and editor of Mosi oa Tunya Literary Review. My
name is Ellen Chipo Machingaidze, a retired linguist who continues to be fueled and enriched
by great storytelling. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed reviewing literature of all genres in
my different capacities as a high school English teacher, Principal Writer at the Curriculum
Development Unit, Examinations Subject Specialist, and Educational Assessment Director for
Test Development, Research and Evaluation at the national examinations council.
I served as a reviewer for the Annual Literary Awards for a number of years, during which I
felt the need for grassroots writers to be encouraged because there were few submissions in
some of the categories of writing. English, Shona, and Ndebele were the only official
languages in Zimbabwe then, but now there are sixteen. As such, the previously so-called
'minority languages' (many of which are also spoken by our neighbors in the countries that
surround Zimbabwe) now urgently require literature for adults and children to study and
A growing concern to do my part to fill this gap is what led to this new partnership with my
daughter, Tendai, to create a pan-African platform for Zimbabweans and other writers from
Africa. Tendai is a medical doctor who from an early age had a passion for books and writing.
She has now published a novel and several short stories in literary journals in Zimbabwe,
Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, India, and the United States of America. Her struggles and
successes trying to get published as a fiction writer from Zimbabwe formed the seed that has
now blossomed into Mosi oa Tunya Literary Review.
My writing energies have led me to publish English Today, a comprehensive English
Language course that includes Forms 1-4 student and teacher's books; co-publishing a
poetry anthology titled Many People, Many Voices; co-publishing a Grade 6 textbook English
in Action; and publishing Time Revision books for Grade 7 and Form 4. I have also been
privileged to work as one of the Educational Advisers for CAMFED (Campaign for Female
Education), an NGO that has uplifted the lives of many disadvantaged girls in Zimbabwe.
Travelling is one of my joys. I have experienced unity in the cultural diversity of the many
regional and international countries that I have visited with my family, as a member of the
Association for Educational Assessment in Africa, and as part of the International Association
for Educational Assessment. Our beautiful country Zimbabwe has many places of interest.
Out of all those I have visited, Mosi oa Tunya stands out as the 'melting pot' for local,
regional, and international ideas and cultural traits, due to the thousands of tourists from
around the globe who come to see this natural wonder. It is true that culture is embedded in
a people's language. We are excited by the prospect of having the full spectrum of
Zimbabwean culture represented in our magazine as we embark on this journey to publish
and promote storytelling in the rich diversity of all our languages.
Tendai and I are excited to curate a fresh fusion of ideas and cultures through the power of
the written word and art in the Mosi oa Tunya Literary Review. Join us as we share Africa’s
voices with the world.
CO-FOUNDER & EDITOR
Mosi oa Tunya - A History
“What is in a name?”
In Africa, names - whether of people or of places - carry culture and soul, history and hope.
My mother is Ellen, born in Rhodesia, given an English name as was common practice in
colonial times. I am Tendai, given a Shona name, as were most children born
post-independence into a brand new Zimbabwe.
What of Mosi oa Tunya? Where does this vividly descriptive name for the famous falls come
At the eastern end of the Caprivi Strip, lies the “Four Corners of Africa.” It is the only
international quadripoint on earth, where four countries meet - Namibia, Botswana, Zambia,
and Zimbabwe. This region is home to the Lozi people, with the largest population today
living in southern Zambia.
Lozi is a Bantu language that developed from a mixture of two languages: Luyana and
The Luyana people migrated south from the Congo River basin, in the late 17th century-early
18th century and settled in the region of the Zambezi River near the falls. The Kololo people
used to live in what is now Lesotho. After fleeing from Shaka Zulu in the 1830s, they
conquered the Luyana. Consequently, a new hybrid language called Lozi emerged, and from
it the name Mosi oa Tunya - “The Smoke That Thunders.”
It is interesting to note that the Tonga people, who inhabit the area from Kariba to Victoria
Falls in Zimbabwe, as well as parts of southern Zambia, call the falls Shungu Namutitima
(“Boiling Water”), a name that evokes similar imagery to the Lozi name Mosi oa Tunya. Other
traditions refer to the falls as “The Place of the Rainbow” because of the many single and
double rainbows frequently seen during the day, and lunar rainbows that can be seen at
What of Victoria Falls? Why is this the name by which the falls are known around the globe?
Enter David Livingstone on 16 November 1855, on his way to Quelimane on the coast of
Traveling along the mighty Zambezi in a fleet of canoes, guided by none other than the
Kololo people, the Scottish missionary wrote of his experience (David Livingstone,
Missionary Travels and Researches In South Africa, 1858):
“After twenty minutes’ sail from Kalai, we came in sight, for the first time, of the columns of
vapor appropriately called ‘smoke,’ rising at a distance of five or six miles, exactly as when
large tracts of grass are burned in Africa….no one can imagine the beauty of the view from
anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes
so lovely must have been gazed upon by angles in their flight.”
It was Livingstone who named the falls after his British queen, Victoria.
Mosi oa Tunya/Victoria Falls is the world’s greatest sheet of falling water with a width of
1700m (height of 108m). The falls actually consist of five different “falls.” Four are seen from
the Zimbabwean side: Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. One
is seen from the Zambian side: the Eastern Cataract. As the Zambezi River plunges into a
series of basalt gorges, a veil of mist rises into the sky and can be seen from more than 20
Mosi oa Tunya/Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World - together
with Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights), the Grand Canyon (USA), Paricutin (Mexico),
Mount Everest (Nepal & Tibet), Harbor of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and the Great Barrier Reef
In 1989, the majestic falls were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site under two official
names - Mosi oa Tunya and Victoria Falls.
This issue of Mosi oa Tunya Literary Review features Mosi oa Tunya-themed artwork by
Zimbabwean artist Lin Barrie on the opening page of each of the following sections of the
magazine. Lin writes of herself:
In the south east of Zimbabwe,
lies the Save Valley Conservancy,
(SVC), a wildlife reserve of nearly
one million acres. A semi-arid
wilderness, this tantalizing
territory is home to endangered
Black and White rhinos, African
hunting dogs, elephants, buffalo,
lion, and a host of other species.
As an annex to the Greater
Conservation Area (GLTFCA)
which comprises Kruger National
Park, Limpopo Park, and
Gonarezhou National Park, this
lowveld area is also home to artist Lin Barrie and her life partner, Clive Stockil. Lin and Clive
are committed to the conservation of ecosystems, endangered wildlife, and cultures.
Expressing herself with found objects, palette knife, and paintbrush, Lin Barrie believes that
the abstract essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct
observation. She immerses herself in her subjects, whether observing African night skies,
sketching rhinos drinking at a favourite waterhole, watching African wild dogs and their pups,
or capturing the mood of an abstract landscape or traditional dance.
She is fascinated by the synergies between elements of landscape, people, and animals,
such as the flow of water which becomes fish, the texture of baobab skin which so closely
resembles that of elephants' limbs, the shapes of monumental rock outcrops which take
human or animal forms, plants which echo human parts, animal totems and people.
Lin says, "Whether we are humans living in sprawling cities or traditional villages, or dung
beetles rolling our food stores; whether we are monumental baobab trees thousands of
years old, or whales birthing our young in cold currents; each of us has a vital role to play as
strands of the greater web of life. Diversity and linkages between people, plants, animals and
their environment are insurance for the future of our earth."
She states: “I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and I love travelling to the
wilderness outposts of our world. From my field sketches I create works on canvas, using
oils and acrylics. I enjoy the immediacy and abstract quality of my preferred too, a treasured
old palette knife inherited from my father, to create expressive strokes. In the field, pencil, oil
pastel or charcoal sketches, are my first step. I love the intense colour, the smell and the
sumptuous texture of oil paint, but I often use acrylic, oil bar and mixed media, as I find
these are perfect mediums to do quick sketches in situ, in the field. When I have to travel
with my paintings, between bush camps, acrylic is practical as it dries fast."
Biology was a passion for Lin during her school years. Plans to enter the world of science
were superseded only by the radical decision to pursue the lonely path of an artistic career.
After completing a Fine Art Diploma in Printmaking at Durban Technikon in 1980, she gained
experience as a textile designer, travelling extensively to Europe and East Asia for business
and pleasure. In 1991, Lin returned to Zimbabwe from Singapore, having completed courses
in Chinese brushstroke painting and Indonesian batik.
Lin Barrie’s work appears in various collections around the world. Lin collaborates with her
daughter Kelli Barker, a professional Makeup Artist, to create exhibitions combining her
canvas artworks and Kelli's body paintings.
Lin Barrie - “The Smoke That Thunders” - Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
Song of Home
by Jennifer Mariani
Take my ashes to Africa.
Take them home for me.
Fling them joyously across the savannah
with upraised hands
as if in praise
to the fire-blue skies.
Toss me into the whispering, red-gold grass.
Sprinkle me amongst dusty jasmine
on an August afternoon.
Lay me beneath the old baobab
standing sentry, sun-spun,
as I am falling
Spread me languidly in the shadow
of spring-burnished msasa trees
and when jacaranda days are come
throw me aloft
to rest in their bright branches.
Sail me down the Zambezi.
Scatter me along the Savé
in secret places only we have stood.
Bury me beneath the Doma hills
as the sun sets on my soul;
for here with you I am home, I am home!
Leave me there for the rest of time,
dead as dead can be
but alive again,
(at long last)
Jennifer was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She currently resides in Canada with her 2
daughters, and teaches at the Alberta Ballet School.
by Katy Lanas
I dive into the pool and a mélange of sensations kiss my skin.
Relief from the oppressive heat,
a coolness in the deep.
Like a mermaid I plough through the depths
to surface and catch my breath,
sharp gasp of air and clinging to life.
Katy grew up and lives in Zimbabwe. She studied in Cape Town, South Africa, and Lausanne,
Switzerland. Training as a zoologist and ecologist, she now teaches in a school for learning
difficulties. Writing is something she pursues in her spare time. She tends to write poetry or
blogs about mental illness and teaching.
Lin Barrie - “White Water” - Acrylic on Canvas Board
by Hosea Tokwe
The green and white commuter bus passed the roundabout with ease heading
towards the city centre with its load of passengers. Dumisani once again felt for his receipt
in his trouser pocket. Momentarily, a slight panic gripped him as he thought the worst, but
then a broad smile spread on his face. Yes, his fingers felt it. This was his third time checking
to make sure he had everything he needed for his trip to town. It was there.
“Aaaah we are crossing the railway line. We are there,” a bearded elderly man
Dumisani tried to get a better look of the elderly man. He wanted to see his face, but
with passengers already leaving their seats preparing to disembark at the next bus stop, his
view was obstructed. The bus came to an abrupt stop sending passengers jerking in their
seats. Attempting to retrieve a cardboard box from beneath his seat, he hit his forehead and
cursed angrily to himself.
“Letters, letters, letters everybody hold your letter in hand,” a policewoman shouted
as she stood in the aisle of the bus.
It was so shocking to see the police suddenly emerge on the bus. They had not
bothered to man the roadblocks all along the road, only to stop them now, Dumisani thought
bitterly. He imagined smiling at the policewoman politely and telling her that he was going to
collect his babies.
The ancient buses subcontracted by the Zimbabwe Omnibus Passenger Company to
ply urban routes from distant locations groaned and belched thick black soot as the
commuters disembarked. It was from one of these buses that Dumisani alighted. He
frantically felt for his smartphone in his satchel, searching all the pockets. His heart
momentarily sank until he felt it. There had been a scuffle as they boarded the bus. He
recalled instantly thrusting the phone deep into the inside pocket of his satchel. Feeling
relaxed now, his eyes wandered to the people of all ages streaming into the city, moving in
different directions, with different errands to accomplish. Accomplish? What could one really
accomplish these days?
“Sekuru, produce your letter. Don’t waste my time,” the policewoman fumed at the
old man on the bus.
“This small book shows my booking for a medical check-up today,” the old man
explained to her.
The policewoman did not believe his story. “Stand aside! I am not here to be fooled by
you” she barked angrily. “You need an official letter that gives you permission to be in town
The queue to disembark moved slowly. A few metres from the bus, a young soldier
leaning against a tree with his arms covering the barrel of an AK 47 rifle, watched the
proceedings with a look of disinterest. Dumisani, upon observing the armed soldier, felt
warm sweat sliding down his back. They were meant to maintain order but so often created
chaos. To the left of the soldier, stood the old colonial prison with its rusty barbwire and
walls covered in soot and dust. The building appeared haunted. Surprisingly, it had been
turned into government offices and archives. Streams of civil servants were heading into the
dilapidated building. Forty years of independence and our government had resorted to
turning an old prison into offices. It was just unimaginable to see well-dressed employees
walking from good cars into such dismal buildings. It really bordered on the ridiculous
considering Zimbabwe used to be the “bread basket” of Africa.
“And you, young man! Your letter?” The policewoman stretched out her arm to
"I, um, have this receipt to collect my chicks,” he stammered.
“Iwe! I don't want jokes here, do you hear me? Show me your letter now!” she
“Officer, I know there is a lockdown and I am not allowed to travel around town. I only
left my house to collect my chicks and return home,” responded Dumisani bravely.
After convincing the policewoman, Dumisani, with his cardboard box under his armpit,
was now heading towards Highgrow. The cool early morning wind swept tiny sand particles
across the dirty streets, carrying with it scraps of paper. Who cared for the beauty of the
city? Noone. The days of clean streets were gone.
It had taken Dumisani two weeks to finally succeed in making a booking to get Sasso
chicks. While he waited, he had managed to build a small fowl run. For a week, he moved
around his neighbourhood scavenging for used mesh wire, asbestos sheets, and old door
frames. With the help of Uncle Pirato, the fowl run now stood ready for the arrival of his first
batch of chicks.
At Highgrow, a mass of people had already gathered. People of all ages - old men
and women, the middle-aged, and even youths - stood in groups chatting with each other.
Times were hard and everybody was anxious to collect their chicks. With most of the
populace having lost their means of earning a living due to the downtrending economy, and
vending banned in the city due to the lockdown, rearing chickens was now widespread as
“corona farmers” desperately tried to feed their families. A few metres away, a group of
people shoved and pulled each other, struggling to have their names written on the list of
those who would receive their orders. Dumisani felt a nudge on his shoulder.
“You are here today,” Nimrod chuckled.
Dumisani had met Nimrod once before. The last time they met, they had brainstormed
on the economic and political challenges the country was facing and how to potentially fix
various issues, as they stood together in a queue to buy mealie meal. What luck that they
should bump into each other again near the same bus stop.
Three months ago, word had got around that municipal authorities were going to pull
down all the shacks that had sprouted at the popular Kudzanayi Bus Terminus. This terminus
had been built before Independence for rural bus operators to pick up and drop off
passengers. With the economy worsening from 2005 to 2008, vendors had erected many
make-shift stalls, selling merchandise ranging from nails, hoes, shovels, and even yokes and
fencing wire. At the opposite end of the terminus, where the omnibuses picked up
passengers commuting from high density suburbs, the area where the majority of low
income earners lived, vegetable, fruit and tomato stalls sprouted at an alarming rate. Not to
mention the mini grocery shops that had mushroomed everywhere. The “poor man’s shops”
- selling basic commodities such as cooking oil, sugar, soap, and salt, in the hated
Zimbabwe “bond notes.” With the sudden surge of the Coronavirus in Zimbabwe, city
officials could no longer allow such public gatherings. The mayor of the City of Gweru had
been in the news announcing that all shacks would be destroyed in order to bring back
sanity to the city. This was rather ironic, considering that municipal officers owned many of
the stalls and used middlemen to run their illegal businesses.
With vendors’ stalls demolished in the city, and travels to neighbouring countries to
purchase cheaper goods banned because of the pandemic, the populace was suffering. In
high offices and political corridors, corruption and shady deals had become the order of the
day. Yet these people trying to buy chicks had chosen a clean path. People from different
walks of life were gathered here, all driven by the need to fend for their families and survive.
In twos and threes, they engaged each other in conversation, possibly advising each other
on how they would rear their chicks, where to find customers, or how to secure material to
build their fowl runs.
Close to the entrance of the building where they queued, a huge vehicle stood, from
which two heavily built young men could be seen offloading sacks of chicken feed. They
balanced the heavy loads on their shoulders. Clenching their teeth, they made a tremendous
effort, urged by the need to beat the other in a private game between the two of them. Those
in the queue watched them, waiting to see if their trembling legs would give way under the
weight of the sacks, but they did not. Soon however, my attention was caught by two men in
conversation, or was it a debate?
“What I call poverty is when people are not able to secure for themselves all the
benefits of civilisation - the comforts, pleasures and refinements of life, leisure, books,
theatres, pictures, music, holidays, travel, good and beautiful homes, good clothes, and
The man who was talking was about twenty-six years of age, tall and slender built. His
clean-cut, intellectual face, with its lofty forehead, and his air of refinement and culture, were
in striking contrast to the coarse appearance of the struggling peasants who had come to
the city to overcome their poverty. From his appearance, he seemed like a man who took
himself very seriously. There was an air of pomposity and arrogant importance about him.
Women with tired faces and weaved baskets balanced under their armpits, could not take
their eyes off the man. They were motionless and dumb with admiration. They watched him
with flushed faces, shining eyes, and palpitating hearts, looking hungrily at the dear man as
“...As they say in our custom – If you don’t work you don’t eat...”
To Dumisani this man was just out to show off. Life was not as simple as that. It was
very possible to work very hard and still not manage to eat. Take for example, the
destruction of the vending stalls. It had been announced that an alternative temporary
trading place would be made available so that vendors could continue with their trade. But,
that never happened. In high density suburbs, vendors now desperately lined main roads
selling their wares to the few motorists who stopped for them.
Zimbabweans are known to be resilient people. Now they had been reduced to fowl
rearers. Would their resilience hold?
“Dear customers, we should not crowd here for too long,” a voice was heard from
near the entrance.
These words were greeted by murmuring from the crowd. “You said today is the
collecting day, yet you stand there to lecture us,” a huge man with a distended belly
“We are not your kids, and mind you, we have been here since dawn,” a middle-aged
woman with a baby strapped to her back chimed in.
“I understand. I understand you vabereki,” the man from the shop replied in a
restrained voice. “But, we have to be quick before the police come and intervene.”
Following this exchange, the weary customers followed the orderly queue to receive
their chicks. The early rumour of riot police moving around the Central Business District that
day, had at first been greeted with a sense of dread, but was soon forgotten as the
collections progressed without interruptions. Boxes of chicks were distributed among the
customers according to their various purchases.
Dumisani - felt his heartbeat pump faster as he slowly moved up in the queue. When
he received his box, a flood of tears rolled down his cheeks. He had done it at last. Squatting
by the gate, he began to count his new babies one by one. Tenderly, he felt each of the
chicks, innocent looking birds that would occupy him for the next few weeks. A rare smile
spread on his face as he imagined feeding them and watching them grow. Yes, this was his
new project and he would see it through to the end. Momentarily, he thought of his fellow
university students. What were they doing with their lives during these trying times of
lockdown? He yearned to see them and tell them about his project. Perhaps one or two of
them would help him with ideas about how to market his chickens. He had heard success
stories of others like himself scaling up to dizzying heights. Yes, perhaps he would have a
breakthrough, and end up supplying chain stores and supermarkets. Perhaps, he would sit
down and write a project proposal and submit it to different potential funders. He had at one
time watched a presentation of how to write a business plan. Surely, it was achievable. He
had heard it said that success was a matter of determination, taking and seizing
Dumisani checked again that he had received all the chicks he ordered. That process
“Hey! Is this an essential service?” an angry voice bellowed.
Dumisani had barely lifted his head when a baton stick struck his forehead and an arm
gripped his Corduroy jacket. He was dragged for two metres before he untangled himself.
The mass of people were stunned. Women with African print cloth wrapped around their
waists fell awkwardly to the ground as they attempted to flee. Others howled and cried as
they blocked the swinging baton sticks with their arms.
“Catch that old man! He will have to pay a fine at the Central Police Station.”
“How many times huh? How many times must we warn you not to enter the city
without letters of permission,” another policeman yelled.
Dumisani, now safe from the violence, lifted his head to see if he could find his friend
Nimrod. Perhaps he had been arrested.There was no sign of him now. Dumisani felt his
temple with his right hand. Blood! It was on his shoes too. He walked to the side of the road
and pulled up dry grass to wipe away the blood. Dumisani knew that he should run away
quickly. He did not have a letter permitting him to be in town, and he dreaded being fined.
Plus, the blood stains on his face and shoes marked him as a suspect. of illegal dealings As
he glanced back to where the orderly queue had been, he saw people running in different
directions. Those who had just arrived instinctively turned back to where they were coming
A huge woman limping along the tarmac, heavily perspiring lamented, “I lost all my
chicks. I will have to book again.” -
“You are lucky. I lost my phone and all my cash,” another woman hissed.
Time and again Dumisani would look back at the chaos. The riot police had taken all
the customers by surprise. They arrived in fury, with a singular goal of causing mayhem. The
policeman who had beaten him up did not deserve to be counted among civilised humans.
Didn’t they know about human rights? No, these were not enforcers of law and order, but
thugs. At least he was safe, he thought to himself. Who would have paid his fine had he been
nabbed? He would have to try to come back after the lockdown was over. What other choice
did he have?
The sun was high in the sky now and soon it would be very hot. Dumisani looked back
one last time. A fat worm of despair and a sense of irredeemable loss wriggled into the very
marrow of his bones, slowly eating him away as he prepared to board the bus that would
take him home to his empty fowl run.
Gweru-based writer, Hosea Tokwe, has worked in various libraries since 1991. At Mkoba
Teachers College, he was an Assistant Librarian from 1991 to 1996, then College Librarian from
1997. He earned a Higher National Diploma in Library Science in 2002. In 2005, he was
appointed Senior Library Assistant at Midlands State University. Then in 2009, he was elevated
to Chief Library Assistant, a post he has held to this date. Hosea is married and has four
children. As a writer, his first short story appeared in Munyori Literary Journal. In 2012, he
performed at Poetry Slam in Harare, organized by Pamberi Trust. Hosea Tokwe is one of the
poetry contributors in the Best New African Poets 2015 Anthology, and Zimbolicious Poetry
Anthology. Currently, he is working on a collection of short stories.
by Kudzai Mhangwa
The evening was beautiful at the Meikles Hotel. One of their private rooms was
elegantly decorated for the Marufu’s cocktail party. It was just past seven o’clock when
Mufaro arrived at the hotel. She made her way down the sea of carpet in the reception to ask
the middle-aged receptionist where the party was being held. He searched on the slow
desktop in front of him, his eyes lighting up when he found the information Mufaro had
requested. She was directed to a room on the first floor.
Mufaro thought of using the elevator but decided not to. She never engaged in lazy
behavior, even while wearing sharply pointed stilettos. The shoes matched the red of her
shirt which was tucked into an African print pencil skirt. She had not got a chance to go
home after work to change, so she had freshened up in the bathroom at work. She rinsed
out her mouth, ran water through her afro and combed out the small particles that had clung
to it. She used a wet wipe to remove her makeup before refreshing it and dabbing Vaseline
on her lips. She had arrived a little after the expected start time.
When she reached the last step of the staircase, she walked quickly, driven by her
paralysing fear of being late. As she walked through the door she was surprised to find the
hall already filled with people. Zimbabweans were usually notoriously late. She was
welcomed by jazzy melodies from across the room. Through the smartly dressed people that
were walking around like motiveless ants, she spotted the band. She walked through the
room slowly, surveying the scene - the kaleidoscopic table filled with food, the large glasses
of bubbling champagne, the colourful dresses and suites that the guests wore. It all seemed
so wasteful to her when just outside the hotel there were people that could not afford a
single meal for themselves or their families. She circled the room looking for her parents, but
with each step, she felt herself getting hungry so she decided to get some food.
She was spoiled for choice. Swedish meatballs, cheese puff tarts, asparagus,
tantalising rosemary ranch chicken skewers, spring rolls and samosas, and deviled eggs.
Mufaro picked up two deviled eggs, placing them on a crisp napkin. Sighting her mother and
father across the room close to the stage where the jazz band was playing, she walked over
and greeted them warmly.
“Hello, Mufaro when did you get here?” asked her mother.
“I arrived a few minutes ago. I got caught up at the office.”
Her father was holding a half empty glass of beer. “The office can wait! We need you
here,” he slurred. He had never been able to hold his liquor.
Mufaro ate one of the deviled eggs, chewing it slowly, trying to taste each spice that
was in the filling.
“Don’t you want a drink?” Mrs Marufu asked.
“No. I will get one later.”
“You will choke on that. You should have a drink. All of this was paid for. All of it!” Mr
Marufu announced boastfully. He was often mocked for being “new money,” but it was a
disgrace that he learned to live with.
To stop her parents from nagging her, she ordered a lemon and lime mocktail. Mrs
Marufu suggested that they interact with the other guests. Mufaro was not in the mood to
play host. She had to be back in the office early the next morning if she wanted to finish her
work. The room was filled with people who had frequented her house for years. She did not
know where to start, so she went to one corner of the room sipping her mocktail slowly.
Mufaro should have been used to these kinds of events, her home was always the centre of
parties and functions for her parents’ business. She and her sister Ndapiwa were expected
to put on nice dresses and play the part of well groomed ladies.
She saw someone approaching her. She recognised his face but his name took a bit
of time to register in her mind. It was Fadzai, an old acquaintance of hers from her teenage
“Mufaro Marufu! What a surprise to see you here!” Fadzai exclaimed. He was a tall
scrawny person, wearing a black suit and a black turtleneck jersey that made him look even
“I’m surprised to see you too. How are you?”
“I’m doing okay. You look very different.”
“Different how?” Mufaro asked.
“I don’t know. You look older, I suppose.”
You look older too Fadzai. So, tell me, how was your time in America?”
“It went well, I suppose,” he sipped from a glass of champagne. “But I couldn’t stand
it there. You can barely find any intellectuals there, so I decided to come back and you know
‘help rebuild our country.’” Fadzai had gone to the United States to study criminal law. His
American accent was forced which irritated Mufaro.
“What about you? What happened to you after high school?”
She was caught off guard by the tone of his question. “Well, I went to the Warwick
Business School of Business, then I came back here. I finished about two years ago.”
“Came to help out our country too?”
“You can say that. My father had already secured a position for me at his construction
company, but business was struggling, so I decided to find another territory to explore.”
Mufaro left out the part about her unwillingness to have everything handed to her on a silver
platter by her father.
“So, what are you doing now?”
“I’m trying to open a consulting firm to help female entrepreneurs.”
“That’s very noble of you.” Fadzai took another sip of his champagne and looked
away. He bit his lower lip. Mufaro could see the yellow-stained teeth from cigarettes. His hair
looked like it was slowly dying on his head.
“It’s so hard to get funding, particularly for women. That’s one thing I will try and solve
when the company is up and running.” She did not want to tell him too much of her
business, but she wanted to drive the conversation forward instead of standing in awkward
“Funding? Can’t your father help you?”
“I refused to let him help me. I wanted to do it alone. Can’t be spoon-fed till I die, can
“Wow! You should appreciate what you have. I bet your life is like Christmas
everyday,” he retorted bitterly. Fadzai started to back away from her. “You know what, I
think I’ll get some more food. It was nice catching up with you.” He was now a few steps
away from her.
“That is a good idea. It was nice talking to you too. We should speak again before
you leave,” she said politely, even though she was put off by his tone.
“Sure,” he replied, not convincing anyone.
The jazz band finished playing a song. A few people who were paying attention
applauded, as the saxophone play took the lead into the next song. Mufaro smiled in
approval and moved towards the stage, drawn towards the music. She heard her mother
calling her from across the room and could not avoid returning to her parents. They were
speaking to a chubby, charcoal-skinned man with a thick beard. He had a layered neck that
sat heavily on his chest.
“You remember the Minister, don’t you?” Mrs Marufu asked.
“Of course I do,” Mufaro lied. “How are you sir?” She stretched her hand to greet him.
His hand felt sweaty.
“You’ve changed from when I last saw you,” the Minister said.
“My girls have grown since you last saw them. Sometimes I can’t recognise them
myself,” Mr Marufu chimed in, his breath a mist of alcohol.
“The Minister was eager to meet you when he arrived,” Mrs Marufu said. Mufaro was
handed a glass of red wine by her mother. “No thank you mama,” she pushed the glass
away. She did not like the taste of alcoholic beverages.
“My dear, we are here to party! Have a glass of wine or two. It won’t kill you.” Mr
Mufaro accepted the glass and took a small sip. Her father was drawing unwanted attention
so she yielded to keep him quiet.
“How has the office been?” Mrs Marufu asked the Minister.
“It has been going well. Though, you know what it's like in an economy like this.
Everything moves slowly. We need more people like your daughter here to rebuild their
“People my age aren’t interested in coming back to Zimbabwe. They want things to
improve before they can decide if it’s worth moving back,” Mufaro retorted.
“It’s you young people who should be leading the change. You can’t wait for us
vadharas to make change for you, can you?” the Minister chuckled.
“That is true. But the problems are too enormous.They can’t be solved in a day,” Mrs
Marufu said. She pretended to wave at a guest in the corner, took hold of her husband’s
shoulder and nudged him in the most obvious way. “I think I see an old friend over there. We
should go and see her. Minister, we will catch up later.”
“That’s okay Mrs Marufu, I’ll be here with this beautiful gift you brought into this
“You are too kind,” Mrs Marufu laughed.
The Minister moved closer to Mufaro. This was the moment she had been dreading.
The band finished playing another song, and once again, only a few people applauded their
performance. The next song was led by the pianist. Mufaro was surprised how easily his
fingers moved over the piano keys. She was looking everywhere except at the Minister.
“The band plays very well ,don’t they?” Mufaro finally broke the silence, knowing she
could only push being rude to this man so far.
“Yes. I remember they played for us at a business lunch we had a few weeks ago. I
was finishing a deal to bring in miners from China.”
“China? They are willing to invest in the country at this time when we don’t even have
our own currency and a cash shortage?” Mufaro asked.
“More than willing. I was there myself when the deal was sealed. I can see a great
future ahead,” the Minister replied rather pompously.
“That’s wonderful,” she murmured, not at all impressed.
The Minister looked at her over for a few seconds. Mufaro could see him from her
“Is there something wrong on my face?” Mufaro asked, annoyed by his surveillance.
“No. I am just admiring you.”
Mufaro bit her lips together in anger. “How are your wife and kids?” she asked
“We are not here to talk about them. That’s a conversation for another day. I am more
interested in you. I’m told that you are starting your own business.”
“Yes I am. It’s still in the initial stages, but I’m sure that it will be on its feet in no time.”
“With brains like yours, how can it not?” the Minister flattered.
“Thank you Minister. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get some more food.”
Mufaro had almost managed to ditch him politely, but then he grabbed her
wrist. “Allow me to get it for you…” he started to walk towards the buffet.
“Don’t bother yourself. I’ll manage.” She walked across the room quickly, abandoned
her unwanted glass of wine on the edge of the table, and picked up a napkin. This time she
went for some samosas. Just as she took her first bite, Mrs Marufu approached her.
“You and the Minister seemed to have a lovely conversation,” she said as she picked
up a meatball.
“Yes, he told me of a new deal that he signed with the Chinese. It’s shocking how
many deals he can get just because of his position.”
“Well, you can get anything you want in this town if you are willing to pay the right
price,” her mother insinuated. “Your father has been trying to get a contract. Were you
“No, I haven’t been very interested in baba’s endeavours of late.”
“It’s such a shame. We really looked forward to your participation in the business.
Your intelligence is priceless.”
“My brain or my body?” Mufaro quipped. Something shifted between them. The air
lost its lightness, and the music seemed to get slower.
“Just help your father out this once. Please!” Mrs Marufu pleaded with her daughter.
“He thinks of himself as such a powerful businessman, so why can’t he seal the deal
with his own efforts?”
“You know this is how the world works. We need this deal and you could be very
helpful,” her mother continued to dig.
Helpful? Is that what you call it? She wanted to escape before her mother resorted to
guilting her about how her father had grown up with a single pair of shoes.
Her mother was distracted by a woman in a bright yellow dress. Mufaro made her
escape and went over to the bar to get some water. She walked around the room speaking
to various guests, quickly deciding it was time to go home before the Minister found her
again. As Mufaro walked towards the exit, her sister Ndapiwa entered.
Ndapiwa walked slowly greeting each person she passed with her dazzling smile. She
was wearing a royal blue evening gown featuring sleeves that were eager to slip off of her
pebble smooth shoulders. Around her neck was a cascading diamond necklace that
sparkled every time it caught the light. She wanted to make sure that her presence was felt
by everyone in the room. Ndapiwa moved towards her parents who were speaking to the
Minister. She greeted her parents with a kiss and the Minister with a handshake. Mufaro,
abandoning her plans to leave, walked over to greet her sister.
“I thought you weren’t coming?” Mufaro asked her sister.
“Why wouldn't I come to a party?” Ndapiwa’s voice was filled with ice.
“Mr Marufu, you are so blessed to be surrounded by such beauty. From your wife to
your daughters,” the Minister leered.
Ndapiwa laughed coyly while Mr Marufu let out a hearty laugh and a spray of saliva.
Some of the warm saliva landed on Mufaro’s cheek. She wiped it away as she looked at her
“You are far too kind, Minister. Are you enjoying yourself?” Ndapiwa asked.
“Of course. And with you here, the party can only get better.” This time around it was
only Ndapiwa who giggled. Mr Marufu was now completely drunk and clearly could not keep
up with the conversation.
“If you’ll excuse us,” Mrs Marufu said, “we have to speak to some work mates over
there.” She dragged her husband away by his shoulder.
“Minister, I read about the Chinese coming to invest in the country. You never seize to
amaze me,” Ndapiwa said, tossing back her braids away from her face playfully.
“It’s all in a day’s work. But, the way you are running your father’s empire,” he waged
a finger at her. “I still can’t put my finger on how you do it.”
Ndapiwa let out a girlish laugh. “Well…..it’s all in a day’s work.”
“But seriously, we could use someone like you in politics.”
“Oh no! I’ve already found my place here. That’s not an arena that I think would like to
“Think about it my girl.”
Mufaro had heard enough. She walked away quickly, not caring if she was being rude.
Mufaro glanced back at her sister. Ndapiwa’s smile was electrifying. What was she doing?
Why was she behaving this way?
Ndapiwa excused herself from the Minister and followed Mufaro.
“Are you alright?” asked Ndapiwa.
“Did you do it?”
“Do what exactly?”
“Really Mufaro? Have you helped our dear father secure his precious contract?”
Mufaro looked sharply at her sister. Her eyes spoke volumes.
“It’s clear you haven’t. If you had, that poor man would not be chatting me up like
that” Ndapiwa teased.
“I’m sorry, but you have to face reality. You know it’s the only way we can get
anything done in this world?’
“What do you mean by we?” Mufaro hissed at her sister.
“We women! Look at you, how many people are willing to help you with your new
company? If it was a man doing the same, he wouldn’t struggle this much.”
“If that’s true, why hasn’t your beloved father gotten the contract yet?” Mufaro
“Because it’s not that simple. You act as if you don’t know how things work around
“I know how it works Ndapiwa, but it shouldn’t have to be that way.”
Ndapiwa looked directly at her sister, studying each feature of her face carefully trying
to decipher how two sisters could be so different. Fadzai came out of nowhere and greeted
Ndapiwa. Mufaro tried hopelessly to ignore Fadzai’s forced American accent and her sister’s
girlish laughter. Fed up, she headed for the exit where she bumped into none other than the
“Leaving so soon?” he asked.
“Yes, I have a busy day tomorrow.”
“I was hoping we could have some time to ourselves before you left.”
“Minister, I don’t think this is appropriate.”
“What a man feels for a woman is inappropriate? Come, you are such a beautiful girl
and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you the whole night. It’s like you were growing more
beautiful the more I saw you.”
“I’ve booked a room upstairs. We can have some wine. It will be fun. Now let’s go,
Mufaro was uncertain what to say to this man who clearly expected her to follow him.
She was about to burst into tears knowing what she was being thrust into by her own family.
She ran to the bathroom unable to hold back her tears. She allowed herself to cry. She cried
for power. The kind of power that still eluded so many women around the world.
Drying her tears, Mufaro left the bathroom and walked down the stairs to the lobby.
On her way, she spotted Ndapiwa heading towards the hotel suites with the Minister. She
wanted to reach out and grab her sister as they disappeared into the shadow of the hallway.
How could she? Their parents had managed to suck her into their world of corruption and
immorality. Brokenhearted at what her parents and her sister had resorted to in order to get
ahead in the world, Mufaro left the hotel, fully resolved to be a different kind of woman, and
to build a different kind of business for herself and her children.
Kudzai Mhangwa was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. He writes poetry, plays, short
stories and essays. He is also an amateur actor. His work has been featured in Thinking Out
Loud, House of Mutapa, Poetry Soup, All Poetry and Love, and Love Poets.
Lin Barrie - “Devil’s Cataract at Dawn” - Acrylic on Loose Canvas
Regai Dzive Shiri
by Memory Munenura
Izvo zvimbishi zvakambodyiwa nani
Akambomhanyira maganga achisiya maibve
Akambokama mhuru achisiya mai vayo
Gotora kumemedzera shere
Jongwe kugugudzira nhiyo
Bhuru kuomba pamhuru
Nana bhoki kuteera handa
Ndosaka ndareva dzenyu pfungwa
Yenyu mifungo yakatsveyama
Inga zviripo zviratidzo
Kutaridza izvi zvaibva
Kukundwa nemhuka inoziva kuti uyu mwana
Kuona ikaka kangaite mudzimai
Kutorwa moyo nechanana chinobuda masiriri
Nendumure inorembuka dzihwa iyi
Waona tunyanga padundu
Ukati ndidhimba kushaya besu
Chero zvakanzi rudo ibofu
Matadza kuona kuti mwana uyu
Regai vana vakure varegei
Madirei kuuraya dzinza
Madirei kuparadza rudzi
Kutadza kuona chanana ichi
Regai vana ava
Regai vana vakure
Matadza nei kuona
Chiremba ari mumwana
Mwana achava mudzidzisi
Mukoti ari mumwana
Kuuraya chishuwo chemwana
Chekuva mutekenyi wendege
Regai vana ava
Regai vashare zvavanoda
Regai dzive shiri
Mazai haana muto
Memory Munemura anogara kuMount Darwin muZimbabwe. Mukadzi wake ndiMartha Nganga.
Vane vana vashanu. Memory akadzidzira kuita mudzidzisi kuMorgan Zintec. Akadzidzisa
kuzvikoro zvakawanda kuBindura nekuMount Darwin. Iye zvino, anodzidzisa paDitito Primary
School. Morgan munyori wenhetembo anodzidetemba kuvanhu kubvira gore ra2002.
Akadetemba kuZimbabwe National Silver Jubilee Celebrations muna 2005. Morgan akanyora
nhetembo dzinopfuura makumi mashanu muChirungu neShona dzisati dzatsikiswa.
Lin Barrie - “Devil’s Cataract at Dusk” - Acrylic on Loose Canvas
Imba yaSekuru Brown
na Masimba Musodza
Ndakatanga kunzwa nezvemba yaSekuru Browne apo vakandirovera runhare,
vachindiyeurirawo kuti kuChinhoyi kwakange kwamuka masitendi nemutengo unenge kupa
mahara, zvikurusa kuneusu vaigara kuBhuriteni nedzimwe nyika dzinemari inesimba
rekutenga kudarika yekuZimbabwe. Kupera simba kwemari yeZimbabwe, nezvimwe
zviratidzo zvekuti ramangwana renyika iyi rakange ranyangara zvachose ndiko kwakange
kwatitinha kunoshava kunedzimwe nyika kudai.
Asi, mukupotera uku, tose taivenetarisiro yekuti taizodzoka hedu kuZimbabwe,
kuzogara zvakanaka tiripamudyandigere zvedu. Ndosaka vazhinji vakange vatanga kuvakisa
dzimba kuZimbabwe. Panguva iyi, kwakange kusati kwave neWhatsapp, Facebook,
nedzimwe nzira dzekufambisa mashoko kune vanhu vakawanda panguva imwe dziri nyore,
asi vanhu vairumana nzeve nekupanana mazano nezvekunenge kwaita masitendi
nemakambani anovaka nemuripo urinyore.
Sekuru Browne, mwana wehanzvadzi yaamai vangu, vakange vawana sitendi
kunzvimbo yainzi Mickens, iyo yaimbove purazi rakatorerwa murungu pasi pechirongwa
chekugovewa kweminda. Ini hangu ndakatya kuderera kwemari yaidiwa yacho yekutenga
masitendi aya. “Taku, mwana waTete, ndipo paunonetsa chete. Unoda kuongorora
zvakadzamisisa nepasina,” Sekuru Browne vakanyunyuta.
“Sekuru, nyaya dzinogarobuda asi hadzisikusvika kuBristol kwamuri, kani?”
ndakavapindura. “Vanhu, zvikuru isu tirimhiri kudai, varikutengeserwa dzimba kana
pekuvakira nevasina mvumo yekutengesa nzvimbo idzi, mari ichitorova. Nekurwadza
kwainoita kushandira, zvinoda kuziva kuti mumwena mamurikuda kuikanda makamira sei
“Idi, muzukuru, asi ini naambuya vako takanyatsopenengura zvepaMickens apa
zvizere. Raive purazi remurungu, rikazotorwa pasi pechirongwa chekare, kusati kwatanga
zvatirikuona mazuva ano zvinezvematongerwo enyika mukati. Rakabva ratorwa nerimwe
gurukota reHurumende, asi rakazodzoswa mumaoko eHurumende gore rapfuura,
Hurumende ndokuripa kuKanzuru yeChinhoyi, inova iyo yavekuda kukwezva zvizvarwa
zveZimbabwe zviri mhiri nemitengo yakaderera kudai. Kanzuru iri kutarisira kusimudzira
vagari vemuguta umu vanoita mabasa anechekuita nekuvakwa kwedzimba.”
Hongu, zvaitaridzika sezvitsvene hazvo, asi ini hangu ndakange ndisina pfungwa
yekuvaka kuZimbabwe. Ini naSekuru Browne takange takaenzana hedu pazera, asi ivo
vakange vatove samusha anevana vatatu, ini ndichirikutamba hangu ujaya.
Pandakavaudza kuti ini ndakange ndisingade kutengawo sitendi, handina
kuzombonzwa nezvenyaya yemba kuChinhoyi kwemakore gumi neshanu. Sekuru Browne
nemudzimai wavo, Mbuya Mai Charmaine, vakange vavaka kana kutenga dzimwe dzimba
kuZimbabwe kwakare. Pazvakatanga kubvumidzwa nemutemo kuti vanhu vemuZimbabwe
vashandise mari dzekunze, vaviri ava vakaita mari kwazvo, izvo zvakaita kuti vakwanise
kutenga dzimwe dzimba muno muBhuriteni, ndokurega basa rekuchengeta harawa
nechembere. Ini hangu ndakaita mari nemasheya mumakambani akasiyana, nokutangawo
kutenga dzimba munyika dzirikumabvazuva kweYuropu. Ndakawana mudzimai aibva
kunyika yeKuroweshiya, Ljuba, zvakandipawo mukana wekuwana magwaro ekunyika iyi.
Taive nekasikana kedu, Shongedzo.
Rimwe gore, kwakauya shoko kubva kuZimbabwe richiti Mainini Shorai, gotwe
mumba maamai vangu, vakange vashaya. Ndipo pandakatonzwa kuti vakange vave
nemakore mashanu vachirwara nepfungwa, uku vachipera muviri. Pandakapedzisira kunzwa
nezvaMainini Shorai, vainge vaenda kuSasafurika, uko vaidzidzisa panechimwe chikoro.
Amai vangu vakandiudza kuti munin’ina wavo uyu akange adzoka achitiza bongozozo
remuna2015, apo zvizvarwa zveSasafurika zvakamukira vabvakure vechitema vese. Sekuru
Browne ndokuti vagare zvavo kumba yekuMickens, vachiichengeta.
Ini naLjuba takazosvika kuZimbabwe Mainini vatovigwa, nekuti takamirira kuti kuuye
hanzvadzi yake kubva kuKuroweshiya kuzosara naShongedzo. Takasvika Mainini vavigwa,
ndokunoisa maruva paguva ravo. Takatenderera neZimbabwe, tichibata maoko kunehama
dzedu. Pane zvaingotaurwa pano neapa, mashoko ekunenera uroyi pamusoro perufu
rwaMainini Shorai. Zvainzi Sekuru Browne ndivo vakange vachekeresa hama yababa vavo iyi
nekuda kusimudzira mabhizinesi avo. Zvainzi Mbuya Mai Charmaine vaive munyaya yacho,
sezvo vaivewo nehama yakange yasangana neurwere usinganzwisisike payaigara mumba
umu. Kufa kwakaita hama iyi ndiko kwakasiya imba isina munhu, dzamara Mainini Shorai
Ndakakatyamadzwa nemutauro wakadai. Shuwa, vanhu vakange vachinepfungwa
dzakasarira kudai, dzekupomera hama inenge yazvishandira yowana pfumwa uroyi? Hapana
akange asingazive makuriro akaita Sekuru Browne, dzamara vawana basa rakazovapawo
mari yekutenga tiketi rendege. Inga kuchechi vaienda wani?
Kana iko kurwara kwaMainini Shorai, inga wani zvainzi vanhu vakange vave kuziva
zvikonzero zvezvirwerezvepfungwa? Zvaisataurwa hazvo, asi hapana akange asingazive kuti
kuSasafurika kwakare, Mainini Shorai vanonzi vakapindirwa nevarume vaidarika gumi,
ndokubatwa chibharo navo vese, ndokutorerwa pfuma yavo yose. Chiitiko chakadai
chinozivikanwa kuti chinogona kukanganisa njere dzemunhu. Zvekupera muvuri, vaigona
kunge vakatapurirwa utachiwana unokonzera Shuramatongo. Murume wavaigara naye
pamba apa ainzi aiperawo muviri, uye aitaura ega nechirudzi chisinganzwisike.
Tariro Mathema, munin’ina waMbuya Mai Charmaine ndiye weukama akatanga
kugara pamba apa, mugore ra2010. Mbuya Tariro vakange vachangoroorwawo, murume
wavo aityaira gonyeti raienda kuZambiya richibva Sasafurika. Vakapihwa mupanda mumwe
pamba apa, mimwe yaive nemaroja. Zvainzi maroja akatanga kuunza n’anga nemapositori,
ndokutama vachiti zvepamba apa vakange vazvitadzawo. Vamwe vemaroja aya vakanoita
kafiramberi, vachiratidza kupera muviri kuya, uye vachivhumuka nechirudzi chaita kunge
chiBhunu, asi vamwe vaiti chaita kunge chiFurenchi.
Zvekuti Sekuru Browne vangaite zvekuchekeresa munhu ndakazviramba. Ini ndaive
mumwe wevashoma vemuchita chedu vasingatende zvachose kuti kune chinonzi uroyi kana
kuchekeresa munhu. Zvekuenda kuchechi ndakange ndisina hangu shungu nazvo.
Handingati ndaive mutendi akasimba. Ljuba ndiye aive muKristu, uye mwana wedu akange
abhabhatidzwa muKereke yeOtodhokisi. Asi, taive pamwechete mukusatenda kuti kuneuroyi
kana aya anonzi masimba erima. Taive vanhu vechizvino.
Sekuru Browne nemhuri yavo havana kuzoita mazuva akawanda kuZimbabwe, zvekuti
isu patakazouya, ivo vakange vatodzoka kuBhuriteni. Hama dzose dzakange dzisisade
kuvaona. Ini naLjuba takamboita masvondo maviri tichitenderera tichiona hama neshamwari.
Asi, mudzimba dzose dzataishanyira, nyaya yekunzi Sekuru Browne vainge vapedza hama
nekuda kupfuma yaive pamuromo pevanhu. Pese pandaiinzwa, ndaibva ndaipikisa
zvakasimba. Asi, ndainzwikwawo nani? Ini ndainzi ndakange ndafuratira chivanhu zvachose
nekuroora murungu anobva kunyika isina akambonzwa nezvayo.
Ndakatumirwa vhidhiyo paWhatsapp nemumwe mukoma wangu, Kennedy, mwana
wemukoma wamai vangu. Aiti vhidhiyo iyi akaitora mumazuva ekupedzisira aMainini Shorai.
Yakange isina kunyanyoreba zvayo, nyangwe mineti hayaisvika. Yairatidza munhu arere
pamubhedha, akaita kunyura mumachira, sezvo akange asara ganda nemapfupa chete.
Meso akange akati tuzu, murumo chete ndiwo wairatidza kuti akange achiri mupenyu.
Wairutsa mazwi nechirudzi chaita kunge Furenchi. Ndakairatidza mudzimai wangu,
ChiFurenchi aichisvisvina kunge chizvarwa chenyika dzinotaurwa chirudzi ichi.
Akanyatsoteerera, musoro wakatsveyama kurutivi. Ndakazoona ozunguza musoro, ndokuti,
“Hmm, hameno kuti chirudzii, shamwari. Chinenge ChiFurenchi, pane mamwe mazwi
andabata, asi hachisi ChiFurenchi.”
“Pamwe Mainini Shorai vakange voteedzera mitsara yavakanzwa vari kuSasafurika.
Zvinonzi vakambomhanya nemuchinda wekuD.R.C.,” ndakadaro. “Unongoziva kuti kana
usinganyatsoziva kuti zvirikunzii, unongoteedzera rungava rwiyo rwawanzwa rwakunakidza.”
“Ehe, ndizvo zvinowanzoitika,” Ljuba akadaro. “Inga kunekambo kaya kanonzi
Wimbaweh nesu varungu. Ukakanzwa ungazocherechedza kuti munhu ari kuedza kuti
Sekuru Browne vakanditumira shoko paWhatsapp vachindikumbira kuti nditore
mifananidzo yepamba pavo, sezvo vakange vafunga kuitengesa uye vakange vawana vanhu
vaida kuiona. Vaida kuti nditorwe mifananidzo ndakamira pamba apa, ndakabata bepanhau
remusi wacho, izvi zvaizova umbowo unogutsa kuti mifananidzo yacho yakange isiri yekare,
asi kuti yairatidza imba iyi sezvayaive.
Imba yaSekuru Browne yaive kumucheto kwemusha weMickens. Mhiri kweruvanze
rwepamba paSekuru Browne kwaive nesango. Nepakati pemiti neuswa hwesango iri, waiona
midhuri yemba yamuzvinapurazi. Ndichiona, ndakanzwa kuda kuziva nezvenhoroondo
yepurazi iri. Zvishoma zvandaiziva ndezvekuti purazi iri rakange ratove dongo Hondo
yeChimurenga Chepiri isati yatanga. Ndaive neshamwari yangu, Gladys Mtombeni, uyo
wandakadzidza naye, aishanda kubazi rinochengeta magwaro akasiyana enyika ino.
Ljuba akanditora mifananidzo yakawanda, ndimire panze uye mukati. Sekuru vakange
vapfiga imba yavo, vatora matanho ekudzivirira kusakadzwa kwayo nezvipuka zvakasiyana
uye uori, zvekuti yainhuwa mishonga yakasiyana. Yaive imba inoyevedza kumema, kunge
muzinda washe kana mutambi wemafirimu anemukurumbira.
Mumusha meMickens maive nedzimba dzaikatyamadza, asi iyi yaSekuru Browne
yaidzikandisa mapfumo pasi. Mavakirwo ayo ainge akasiyana needzimwe. Izvi zvakandituma
kuti ndide kuziva kuti nyakuvaka imba iyi aive ani. Tapedza kutora mifananidzo yaidiwa
naSekuru Browne, takapinda mutaundi, ndokutsvaga kambani inoita zvekuvaka. Pasina
nguva ipi, takange tigere muhofisi yaVaDenford Masauso, muridzi weMasauso Construction
& Repairs. Chiso chavo chakashanduka pandakavaudza kuti taida kuziva munhu akavaka
imba yaive pa49 Dream Street.
“Imba yamuri kubvunza nezvayo yakavakwa natsano vangu, Oliver Juru, avo
vakaroora tete vangu,” VaMasauso vakadaro. “Ndivo vakandidzidzisa basa rekuvaka iri.
Imba yacho mangoiona mega, VaJuru inyanzvi chaiyo! Dai vakange vachiri kubata basa, haa,
kana isu anaMasauso hapana aizombotitsvagawo kuti atipe basa.”
“Imba taiona, changamire,” ndakadaro. “Asi, handina kunyatsopabata; mati VaJuru
“Havasi kunzwa zvakanaka ava,” vakadaro VaMasauso. “Vave nemakore anodarika
gumi vasinganzwe zvakanaka. Takaedza kuvarapisa, asi zvakona. Zvinorwadza chose, nekuti
havachakwanise kupangurira vechidiki ruzivo rwavo. Vanorwara nepfungwa, tsano vangu
ava. Vanoswera vachitaura nechirudzi chisina anogona kududzira, asi chinenge chiFurenchi.”
Ini naLjuba takatarisana. VaMasauso ndokuti, “Gara zviya, mati imi ndimi anaani?”
“Ini ndinonzi Kushinga Sambiri,” ndakadaro. “Ava ndivo mudzimai wangu. Tiri
vazukuru vemuridzi wemba yakavakwa natsano venyu.”
VaMasauso vakambotitarisa vanyerere, ndokuzoti, “Zvirikunzi pane amai vaigarapo,
hama yemuridzi wemba, vakashaya mwedzi wapfuura?”
Ndakagutsurira musoro zvishoma.
“Baba naMai Sambiri, munenge vanhu vakadzidza, saka ndinoda kutaura nemi
ndakasununguka. Ini hangu kuchechi ndinoenda, asi ndinemafungiro anoramba zvakawanda
zvinotendwa neruzhinji. Pane zvinotaurwa nevanhu mumaraini maererano nezveurwere
hwatsano vangu, uye vanhu vakambogara pamba paya. Kune vanoti sekuru venyu ndivo
“Asi imi hamutendi kudaro?” ndakabvunza.
VaMasauso ndokuti, “Kwete. Muchindiona kudai, handinganzi hangu musharukwa, asi
ndiri zera rekuva mubereki wenyu. Pandakazvarwa ini, nzvimbo iyi yakazovakwa dzimba
yakange yatove dongo. Madzisekuru angu akabve Malawi, ichanzi Nyasaland, ndokushanda
vanamuzvinapurazi vechirungu mudunhu rino. Sekuziva kwangu, varungu vakasiya purazi iri
panguva yeHondo yaHitila.”
Ini ndakangofunga kuti VaMasauso vaireva kuti muzvinapurazi wacho akaenda
kuhondo, ndokunofirako, purazi rikashaya mudyi wenhaka. “Saka imi, VaMasauso,
munofunga kuti chii chirikukonzera urwere hwatsano venyu, uye chinenechekuita here
nezveurwere hwevamwe vanhu vakambogara pamba apa?”
“Ini handina chandinoziva kunze kwekuti vanhu vanotaura zvakawanda pamusoro
penzvimbo iyi,” VaMasauso vakapindura. “Kutaura ikoko, sekuona kwangu, ndiko
kunoviringa nyaya yacho, zvekuti chokwadi chaicho chinonetsa kuferefeta pakadai.
Chandinokumbira ndechekuti vanhu vamborega kutaura zvavasingazive. Musha weMickens
wakasimudzira mabhizinesi anoita nezvekuvaka muno muChinhoyi, hazvibviri kuti toonekwa
tichifambisa zvisina maturo pamusoro pechinhu chakanaka kudai.”
Ini ndaibvumirana naVaMasauso. Asi, ndakange ndonetsekana nezvakawanda
pamusoro penyaya iyi. Ndakazvipira kunyatsoongorora nyaya yacho, ndibate chokwadi.
Patasvika kuHarare, ndakatumira shamwari yangu Gladys imeiri, ndichibvunza
nezvenhoroondo yeMickens. Mhinduro ndakazoitumirwa tadzokera hedu kuU.K.:
Kuvhaira here, Kushinga? Kutadza kana kumbotidongorerawo musati madzokera kuchando?
Hazvina mhosva. Mwari ndiye anoziva. Handisikuda hangu kutaura zvakawanda.
Nyaya yawandibvunza nezvayo ininji chairo. Nzvimbo inonzi Mickens iri mhiri kwekakova,
tichipinda munzvimbo yavekucherwa matombo. Iyi yatavekuti Mickens yainzi Roulet.
Muzvinapurazi wacho anonzi aibva kuFuransi, uye ainzi Eitenne Roulet. Mugore ra1937,
akadzingwa nevamwe varungu, achipomerwa mhosva yekuvanechekuitika nekutsakatika
kwakaita vana vashanu mudunhu iri. Paakadzingwa, vakasara vachiwana mabhuku
ezvekushopera nezvekudana mweya inotyisa. Zvakare, pakawanika dare rakavakwa
nematombo, rairatidza kunge pakabayirwa mhuka, asi vamwe vanofungidzira kuti Roulet uyu
aibayira vana vevavakadzani semupiro kune zvimwari zvake. Mabhuku aya akapiwha Fata
Seamus Kennolly, weChechi yeRoma, uyo akaraira kuti apiswe.
NezvaRoulet asati auya munyika muno, hatina zvakawanda, asi anonzi akauya mugore
ra1905, achibva Berijiyamu. Matsamba andarava anoratidza kuti Roulet aishorwa
nevavakidzani vake vechirungu, asi aityiwa chose nevatema vemudunhu iri. Izvi zvakange
zvisiri hazvo zvega; ruzhinji rwevarungu vakabvaBhuriteni vaitarisira pasi nekuzvidza vamwe
vachena vakange vabva kunedzimwe nyika. Vakawanda vechiGiriki, Arimeniya nemamwe
marudzi aionekwa naanamudzviti nevamwe veHurumende sevanhu venhando. Pane imwe
memorandamu yemapurisa, yemuna 1936, Roulet anonzi aita “mafambidziro nevatema asina
kufanira.” Ndatsvaga, asi handina kuwana umbowo ungaratidze kuti Roulet akadanana
Ndingati, zvakare, magwaro andarava anonyenyeredza chainyanyoshorwa pamusoro
paRoulet uyu, zvekuti chokwadi chaicho hapana anoziva. Asi, pane mhinduro kubva
kunaBhishopu weChechi YeRoma, achiraira Fata Kennolly, kuti vanopa Roulet mukana
wekuramba zvachose “mabhuku ake nezvidzidziso zviri makare.” Zvimwe, Roulet akange
ahedhuka, ndokusiyana neChechi YeRoma. Asi, ndawana zvakare tsamba yaVaJefferson
Wilbury, veYunaitedhi, vachinyorera vakuru vavo kuAmerika, vachiti vakange vaona vega
Hapana zvimwe zvinonyorwa pamusoro paVaRoulet, kunze kwebvunzurudzo nemapurisa
yemuna 1937, apo akasungwa nemhosva yekutapa vana vemuvakidzani wake, Robert
Grierson. Mapurisa aive nefungidziro yekuti Roulet aive nechekuita nezvekutsakatika kwevana
vakawanda mudunhu iri, kubvira gore ra1909. Mukufeya-feya kwavo, vakange vanyorerwa
tsamba nemumwe mabharani wehurumende yekuBerijiyamu achiti iye Roulet aive nhererera,
uye akazvarwa kuFuransi. Zvedzinza rake, hapana aiziva zvakawanda. Asi, faira redzinza
rekwaRoulet kuFuransi raive nenyaya yaJacques Roulet, uyo akamiswa pamberi pedare
muna1598 achipomerwa mhosva yekuzvipindutsa kuva chikara chiya chinonzi nevarungu
Werewolf. Zvinonzi vamwe varume vakachifamba musango vakaona mutumbi wemukomana,
wairatidza kunge uchangobva kuurawa, uye makava maviri akaonekwa achitiza. Varume vaya
vakaadzingirira, ndokuwana mumwe mukomana ainzi Jacques Roulet. Maoko ake nemuromo
wake zvakange zvakanuna neropa, uye munzwara dzake maive nenyama yemunhu. Kuti
Jacques Roulet uyu angave tateguru raÉmilien, uye yaive mhuri yaibata zveuroyi nezvemweya
Zvisinei, Muneneri weMhosva akatadza kugutsa dare neumbowo, Roulet ndokusungurwa
zvake. Asi, pakatsakatika Jane Mickens, mwanasikana wemumwe wevavakidzani vake, Roulet
akadzingwa mudunhu iri nevanhu vakapaka zvombo, imba yake ndokupazwa. Kwaakaenda,
hapana anoziva, asi, muna1958, kwakauya tsamba kubva kumapurisa emuJohanesibhegi
kuSasafurika, vachibvunza maererano nemumwe murume ainzi ‘Rulley’. Rugwaro
rwekupedzisira rwenhoroondo yaRoulet rwunocherechedza rufu rwake muna1967, mushure
mekugara kwemakore akawanda muchipatara chevanorwa pfungwa.
Purazi rake rakava dongo. Kwapfuura makore akawanda, vanhu vakakanganwa nezvaro,
zvekuti raitorwa sechikamu chepurazi raMickens. Asi, hapana akada kuririma. Vanhu vairitya,
zvikuru usiku. Kune nyaya dzinotaurwa dzeruzha rwekukwama nekuhwiwhidza nekupapama
kwemapapiro nekutsika kwezvisikwa zvisina akambonzwa zvainzwikwa pakati peusiku,
nekuvaima kwemavara anoshamisa nekupfungaira kwemukute waiumba zvinenge zviso,
nemimvuri yaigona kungove miti zvayo kana kuti waitove munhu akasimudza kamwana
mudenga semupiro kune rima raikomba matombo edare, nemazwi aideketera nechirudzi
Munguva yeHondo yeChimurenga, pane magamba akashandisa purazi raRoulet iri sebhesi.
Havana kuita mazuva akawanda varipo. Pakapera hondo, mumwe wavo, VaCuthbert
Mapfumo, avo vakavamuteedzeri wagurukota muhurumende, vakatora purazi iri. Ivo havana
kupagara dzamara vamiswa basa muna 1995. Asi, hama dzavo dzakapagara papurazi apa
dzakapera kufa nechirwere chakakonesa anamazvikokota, asi ini hangu ndinoti ndivo vamwe
vevanhu vemuZimbabwe vakatanga kuwara neShuramatongo. Ivo VaMapfumo vakatisiya
muna2006. Mudzimaiai wavo, Justina, arikuchipatara chevanorwara nepfungwa. Vana vavo
vakapera kufa, kunze kwaDenford. Munaye kuUK kwenyu.
Zvakazotevera, ndofunga unozviziva. Hurumende yakapapurazi iri kuKanzuru yeChinhoyi, iyo
ndokuiganhura kuita masitendi.
Ndakarohwa nehana ndichiverenga izvi. Zvekuti kungava nemurungu aita zveuroyi
kuZimbabwe zvakange zvisiri zvitsva kwandiri. Nyika iya inevanhu vakasiyana, uye
zvitendero zvinosiyana. Asi, semunhu anenjere dzakarodzeka, handaitenda kuti zvedi Émilien
Roulet aive nemasimba ekudana masimba anotyisa. Sekuona kwangu, munhu aingovengwa
nevavakidzani vake nekuti akange asina rudzi navo. Chikuru pane nyaya iyi ndechekuti
yairatidza zviripachena kuti nzvimbo yainzi Mickens yaive nemakore anodarika zana
ichifungidzirwa nevanotenda mazviri kuti kwaitirwa zvinamato zvinotyisa, kana kuti, kunesu
vakadzidza, yaive neutachiwana hwaikonzera kupera muviri nekurasika kwenjere. Izvi
zvaireva kuti Sekuru Browne vakange vasinawo mhosva yekuchekeresa vanhu.
Ndakavarovera runhare, ndikavarondedzera zvizere, ndokuvanhurira imeiri yandainge
ndakumirwa naGladys. “Waita hako, muzukuru,” Sekuru Browne vakadaro. “Asi, vanhu
vekwedu unovaziva. Iyi haisi nyaya yekuti ndirimunhu akaipa kana kuti kwete. Inyaya yegodo.
Tinehama dzirikurwadziwa nebudiriro yangu.”
Sekuona kwaSekuru Browne, zvehama dzekuZimbabwe zvakange zvavanetsa.
Vakange vafunga zvekusiyana nadzo, vongoita zvemuno muBhuriteni. Vanhu vangafambise
havo mbiri kuti vakachekeresa vanhu kuti vapfume, asi zvekutumira mari kumusha kana
zvekuti asina pekugara avachengetere imba vakange vazvipfidza.
Kwapfuura svondo mushure mekuita hurukuro iyi, Sekuru Browne vakandirovera
runhare. Vakange vasangana nemumwe murume wekuZimbabwe, Leonard Ndlovu, uyo aiti
akamboshanda pachipatara chaichengetwa Denford Mapfumo, mwana waCuthbert, uyo
wekutora purazi raRoulet. Paakatanga kushanda paHartworth Hall, Denford Mapfumo
akange ave nemakore maviri achirapirwapo. Denford aingovhumuka, achitaura chirudzi
chakazoonekwa nevanoziva nezvazvo kuti chaisanganisa chiFurenchi chekare, uye
chiFuriziyeni nechiRatini. ChiFuriziyeni ndicho chataifungidzira kuti chibhunu sezvo ndimi
dzacho dzakada kufanana. Chainetsa ndechekuti Denford aishandisa ndimi idzi
semataurirwo adzaitwa makare-kare, zvekuti kune anamazvikokota mashoma pasi rose
angadudzire ndimi idzi. ChiRatini chaitaurwa naDenford kana twakwidza chaita sechaitaurwa
ndimi iyi isati yatanga kushandiswa muzvinyorwa. Izvi zvairatidzwa, semuyenzaniso,
nekushandisa kwake vara ra “W” apo Ratini yakanyorwa yakatanga kushandisa “V.” Raitove
ninji kuti chizvarwa cheZimbabwe, uyo akazouya kuYorupu atove murume mukuru,
angaratidze ruzivo rwakadzama wendimi dzepasichigare kudaro, ruzivo rwaive
naanamuzvinaruzivo gumi neshanu pasi rose.
Mumwe wevanamuzvinaruzivo ava, Purofesa Guiseppa Torregrossa, vakauya kubva
kuYunivehisti yeSadhiniya, kuti vazvionere vega nemeso avo. Sekuona kwavo, Denford
aidzokorora mitsara, zvimwe ainge akamboiverenga, kunge munhu ari kuita mutambo.
Purofesa Torregrossa vakatadza kuturikira zvizere mashoko aDenford, sezvo kaitove kutanga
kunzwa mamwe mazwi acho achitaurwa, vaingoaziva akanyorwa chete. Asi, aivhumuka
pamusoro pe “Honye,” iyo yaaiti yaive pasi. Zvimwe zvacho zvaitoda nguva kuti pave
neanokwanisa kuzvidudzira. Asi, Denford ainge ave nemakore maviri atisiya.
Pasina nguva ipi, ndakange ndawana Purofesa Torregrossa paindaneti, ndikavatumira
imeiri, ndichivarondedzera nezvehama dzangu dzakarwarawo dzichivhumuka nendimi
dzepasichigare. Mhinduro yakauya manheru acho. Purofesa Torregrossa vakange vaudzwa
naPurofessa Randalp Wilmarth, sachigaro wepaYunivhesiti yeMiskatonic kuAmerika, kuti
mashoko aya aive mitsara erimwe bhuku rinonzi De Vermis Mysterii.
De Vermis Mysterii rakanyorwa neusiku umwe nemurume ainzi Ludwig Prinn, ari
muchitirongo muguta reBhuraserisi, kuBerijiyamu, mugore ra1542. Mangwana acho, Prinn
akasungirirwa pahuni ndokupiswa nedare, awanikwa nedare nemhosva yekubata-bata
zveuroyi. Mubhuku iri, Prinn anorondedzera nezveupenyu hwake, nezvose zvaakadzidza
maererano nezvekudana mweya yakaipa nemasimba erima. Mukubvunzurudzwa nevatongi,
aiti iye akange ararama kwemakore anodarika mazana maviri. Paakazosungwa muna1542,
aigara ega musango, kumarinda evaRoma. Vemunharaunda vaimutya. Zvinonzi musi
waakasungwa, padare raive pedyo nemba yake musango umu paive nemadonwe eropa.
Hurumende dzemuYuropu dzakaedza nepadzaikwanisa kuti bhuku iri risafambiswe
nenyika. Asi, zvinonzi VaEdward Kelly, chizvarwa cheBhuriteni chaive nembiri yekuda
kutsvaga ruzivo rwezvakaipa izvi, vakariturikira, rikambowanikwa muBhuriteni richinzi The
Mysteries of The Worm. Mugore ra1789, kwaive nemakopi mashanu muAmerika chete.
Sekutaura kwaiita Purofesa Torregrossa, Purofesa Wilmarth vakange vaine mapepa
airatidza kuti munyika yeZimbabwe maive nekopi yebhuku iri. Asi, kuti munhu wacho angave
Émilien Roulet, hapana aiziva. Nyakunyora tsamba achibva kuZimbabwe airatidza kuve
murume aiziva ChiFurenchi neKiSwahili. Aiti iye aimbove jinda raTippu Tip, uya wekutapa
zviuru zvevanhu kuKongo nedzimwe nyika, achivatengesa kumaArabhu. Purofessa
Torregossa vaiti vaizonyorera Purofesa Wilmarth vachivaudza nezvenyaya yangu.
Sekuru Browne havana kuratidza hanya nezvese izvi. “Muzukuru, unofunga kuti hama
dzedu dzinebasa nazvo zvanaTippu Tip izvi? Pavabata ndipapo, pekundipomera uroyi.”
Purofesa Torregossa vakandinyorera vachindizivisa kuti Purofesa Wilmarth vakange
vave negore vatisiya. Ndiko kumbopera kwakaita nyaya yemba yaSekuru Browne. Haina
kuzowana akatenga, kana aida kugara makare. Papfuura makore maviri, dzimwe hama
dzakatanga tsika yekukumbira mari kunaSekuru Browne. Hapana akavakumbira ruregerero
nekufambisa mbiri yekuti vaichekeresa vanhu. Sekuru Browne vakange vasiri zvavo munhu
anorera chigumbu, saka vatanga kubatsira vanhu kuZimbabwe zvakare.
Mumakore maviri aya, bhizinesi rangu rekutsvagira vanoshandira muzvipatara
nekunochengeterwa vakwegura nevanorwara nepfungwa mabasa rakaita rombo rakashata.
Takawanikidzwa tiine vashandi vakatiwandei vasina mvumo yekushanda munyika muno,
ndokuripiswa mari yaidarika £600000. Takavhara kambani iyi, ndokutamira kuKuroweshiya.
Taive nedzimba dzedu dzaitipa mari, saka zvakange zvisina hazvo kutiomera. Asi, shungu
dzekuvharisirwa kambani yangu dzakatanga kukonzera kusawirirana kwangu naLjuba.
Ndakafunga zvekumbotura mafemo, ndokuenda hangu kuZimbabwe.
Ndakaita masvondo maviri muHarare, ndichionana nehama neshamwari. Asi, pfungwa
dzakaramba kutsveta nezvemba yaSekuru Browne. Yaiuya muhope dzangu. Ndaiona iri
muchadima, mahwindo akasviba kunge ingi. Ndaicheuka, ndichiona midhuri yemba
yaÉmilien Roulet. Muchadima umu, zvaita sekunge paive nemunhu aifamba makare,
achimema madziro akaparara. Pose paicherechedza kuti panemunhu arikumuona,
achisimudza musoro, ndaibva ndapepuka tisati tasangana meso.
Ndakaerekana ndirimubhazi, ndakananga kuChinhoyi. Chandaifungidzira kuti
ndichachiona iko handizive hangu. Zvimwe ndaifunga kuti kuenda kumba kwaSekuru
Browne ndiko kwaigona kudzikamisa hana yangu, kuporesa shungu dzangu. Ndaida chose
kufamba nemipanda yayo inerunyararo rwekumarinda.
Ndakasvika kumazuvarodoka. Zuva rakange rovira, raive kuseri kwemba yacho zvino.
Pakange papfura makore matatu, uye panguva iyi, imba yacho haina kuzopinda munhu. Asi,
yakange isingaratidze kusakara kwekufamba kwenguva. Yaiyevedza, kunge ichangopera
Ndakacheuka, ndokuona mukomana aive nengoro izere nezvirimwa zvakasiyana
“Ndinozviziva kuti hapagare vanhu, shamwari,” ndakadaro.
Mukomana uya akanditarisa kubvira kushangu. Ndaiziva zvaaicherechedza.
Mapfekero angu aishambadza kuti ndaive munhu aigara mhiri kwamakungwa. Semunhu aive
pabasa kudai, zvimwe akange aita rombo rakanaka. “Asi ndimi muridzi wemba yacho here?”
“Aiwa, ndiri hama yacho.”
“Ndezveshuwa here kuti akachekeresa munhu kuti aivake imba iyoyi?”
“Kwete. Akazvishandira kuUK.”
“Asi vanhu vanongotaura,” mukomana uya akadaro. “Ko, mukoma, pano paita
mbatato, tsunga, usavi hwese unovaka muviri!”
Ndakatenga zvechirango, asi ndakamupa US$20, ndikamuti achengete hake chenji.
Ndasara ndega mumugwagwa muya, pfungwa dzangu dzakadzoka panemba yaSekuru
Browne iya. Kiyi yepagedhi, neyepamusuwo ndaive nazvo.
Ndakaifuratira, ndokuita zvekumhanya chaizvo, ndichidzokera kwandainge ndabva.
Ndisati ndapota nebandiko, ndakacheuka, ndikaitarisa kekupedzisira. Imba yaSekuru
Browne yaive nezvakavanzika makare. Hapana aiziva kuti zvaive zvii chaizvo, asi zvaivemo.
Zvainge zvakarindira angauye kuzozvidana.
Masimba Musodza anenganopfupi dzinobata
nezveumhizha uye zvinotyisa dzakatsikiswa
mumamagazini enyika dzakasiyana dzepasi
rose, uye padandira remakomuptyuta
(Indaneti). Nganonyorwa dzake mururimi
weChiShona dzinoti MunaHacha Maive Nei?,
Shavi Rechikadzi uyeAquilina (kana kuti,
Reururo yaHatifari Maforimbo). Musodza
anoyora zvakare mitambo. Anogara muguta
www.masimbamusodza.uk @musodza ISFDb
(Internet Speculative Fiction Database)
Author 230825, IMDb 9947149.
SHONA CHILDREN’S STORY
Lin Barrie - “Water Eddies” - Acrylic on Loose Canvas
na Sophia Wekwete
Pamusha paVaMutakura paiva navanhu vakawanda vairima zvikuru. Vaibetserana
kusakura, umwe neumwe ane mhunga, mabarwe, nzungu, nenyimo.
Paiva pedo negomo maigara mhuka dzakawanda dzaidya mbewu dzavo panhambo
pokuibva kwadzo. Makudo, mhene, shuro nezvimwe zvaiuya kuzodya mbewu.
Pamucheto pomunda waVaMutakura paiva pakamera michero yemiroro
nemisambasi. Kamba dzaiuyavo kuzodya sambasi namaroro.
Rimwe zuva Kamba neShuro zvakasanganapo. Kamba yaidya sambasi, Shuro
ichidyawo nyimo dzaVaMutakura mumunda mavo.
Shuro akati, “Imi vana Kamba mune nhamo sesuvo here?”
Kamba akati, “Nhamo yei? Isu hatidyi zvokuba muminda mavanhu. Tinodya michero
yomumatondo. Kana vavhimi vandiona, ndinopinza musoro mumba mangu.”
“Inenge iripi imba yacho?” Shuro akavunza.
“Isu tinoberekwa tine imba inokwana muviri wose. Kana ndaona vanhu ndopinda,
zvose namakumbo. Vavhimi nyangwe vakagogodza handibudi.”
Shuro akati, “Saka izvozvi unayo imba yako? Pinda ndione.” Kamba ndokupinza
musoro namakumbo Shuro akatarira. Shuro akati, “Kamba, chibuda!” Kamba ndokubuda.
“Hinga imi makaitirwa zvakanaka!” Shuro akarumbidza.
“Chaizvo! Nyangwe imbwa hadzitirumi. Tinofamba nedzimba dzedu kwose
kwatinoenda. Chero vana vedu vane dzimba dzavo. Havanaiwi nemvura, uye chando
hachipindi,” Kamba akadaira.
“Ko, imi vana Shuro munoita sei?” Kamba akabvunza.
Shuro ndokuti, “Tine nhamo isingabviri. Tinongodya zvokuba muminda yavanhu
nhambo ino yezhizha. Kana varimi vouya nembwa dzawo kuzotidzinga, usingagoni kuvanga
unovirirwa ava muhadyana, vamubika, vosesevesa sadza. Varimi vakasamhanyisa,
vanowana imbwa dzatidya. Masikati hazviiti kuti tiuye pamunda pavo. Imbwa dzinopenga
zvikuru. Tinoita zvokuuya usiku vakavata. Asi, vamwe vakasosa minda yavo, vakaisa
zvidzingi kuti kana wapinda napo, haubudi, unobatwa pahuro. Masikati tinongodya
“Vanhu vanodya nyama yenyu here?” Shuro akabvunza Kamba.
Kamba akati, “Vashoma vanodya Kamba. Vanozeza kukwatura dzimba dzedu nokuti
tinongofamba nadzo. Vanofamba kana vationa vanongogogodza nesvimbo isu topinda
Kamba naShuro vakazonzwa imbwa kuhukura, Shuro ndokutiza achisiya Kamba anga
atopinda mumba make.
Mbuya Sophia Wekwete vanga vari mudzidzisi vemakore akawanda. Vakafundira kuita mudzidzisi
weDomestic Science KuMorgenster Mission kuMasvingo. Vakadzidzisa muzvikoro zvakawanda
mudunhu rokwaGutu. Mbuya Wekwete vanga vakadzidzira zvakare, Braille, yavakadzidzisa kwechinguva
paCopota School for the Blind. Pamusoro peizvi vanga vari munhu akabata nemadzimai amasangano
akawanda, vachivadzidzisa kubika, kuruka, kusona, nekuumba hari. Mbuya Wekwete vaifarira kuimba
vari muchoir vachitungamirira madzimai eRuwadzano nebato revarwi muReformed Church. Pamusoro
pezvese izvi, Mbuya Wekwete vaifarira kunyora. Vakanyora dzimwe ngano dzakatsikiswa nedzimwe
zvinji dzavakasiira mhuri yavo. Mbuya Wekwete vakashaika mugore ra2019, vakasiya vana navazukuru
vanoramba vachinakidzwa nengano dzavo.
Lin Barrie - “Mosi oa Tunya” - Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
Tell us about yourself - where you live,
where you studied, where you work?
I live in Bulawayo with my partner, John, and
our two children, Sian and Ellie. I am an
English teacher at Girls’ College and I am
also a proofreader and freelance writer. I
studied in the UK and then worked for a year
in Singapore before returning to Zimbabwe
in 2001. In 2008, we left to work in Zambia
and ended up staying there for 7 years. We
have been back in Bulawayo for five years
and do not regret the move.
What inspired you to become a writer?
What is your favorite book? Which
authors have influenced your writing?
I have always wanted to be a writer. Even
when I was very young, I would write little
stories and put them in a book. When I was
eleven, my dad bought me a typewriter and I
just loved it and would spend hours
producing stories about fairies and dogs and that sort of thing! I also remember reading a
biography of Enid Blyton who was quite a prolific writer and how she kept notebooks and
detailed plans of stories. This really appealed to me. I think my favourite book is The Great
Gatsby because I think Fitzgerald’s writing is just so beautiful. I remember the first time I
read it and how powerfully it affected me. There is a real strain of cynicism in a lot of modern
writing which I don’t like. Some writers delight in being vulgar or brutal; it’s a tendency that
can come across as childish, a need to shock. Writing like that of Fitzgerald’s is so beautiful,
it reminds us how fragile the world really is. It affects us on a much deeper level.
This September Sun has had much success, from being selected as a set book for ‘A’
Level Literature exams in Zimbabwe, to being translated into Arabic. Please tell us
about your writing journey with your debut novel.
It has been quite a journey and when I was sitting on many a long, lonely evening, often
without power, I didn’t think it would be as popular as it has been. I have received many
messages from people who say it struck a chord with them; it was something they could
relate to. Perhaps because it was more of an urban novel to those we are used to seeing
and maybe because it spoke for a strata of society that is ironically often overlooked in
African writing, the middle class.
It has been very popular with people who have left Zimbabwe and feel homesick, but it has
also been fairly popular with people who have never even visited Zimbabwe.
I think my greatest moment was when This September Sun got to number one on Amazon
kindle. That was wonderful. I didn’t know anything abut it until a friend of mine in the UK
messaged me to say that it had picked as the Editor’s Choice and then suddenly sales went
right up and it hit number one. I still have a screen shot of This September Sun at number
one and The Da Vinci Code at number two.
Please describe your relationship with amaBooks. What is the importance and
significance of local publishing houses to the future of writing in Zimbabwe?
I have a very good relationship with amaBooks and without them I don’t think This
September Sun would have been published at all! They have done wonders for local writers
over the years, producing various anthologies of short stories. My first short story, The
Queue was published in their first Short writings From Bulawayo anthology back in 2003 and
it gave me the confidence to finish This September Sun.
Often when people find out that I am a writer, they tell me that they have written a book, but
have not got it published. There are so many people out there who would like to write but
the chances of being picked up by a big publishing house are very slim. We need more local
publishing houses who are aware of what people here want to read. We also need people
who are prepared to give advice to writers on how to edit their work and how best to present
In 2017, you were selected as one of five recipients of the Miles Morland Foundation
writing scholarships. Please tell us about your experience with MMF and what it
means for a writer from Zimbabwe to receive such an award.
This was the third time that I had applied for the Morland and, to be honest, I was going to
give it a break in trying, but decided to give it one last chance – and I am glad I did!
Unfortunately, 2018 was not a good year for me as my mother died, but the Morland were
very generous and allowed me to take my time about coming back to writing.
I had to submit 10 000 words a month. This was often quite challenging but also very good
as it pushed me to get down to work. I think we all need that incentive!
Your second novel, All Come to Dust, will launch in Zimbabwe on November 11. Please
tell us about your latest work - What inspired it? Why a crime novel?
I have always enjoyed crime writing. I am a big Agatha Christie fan and so I thought about
writing a novel along similar lines set in Zimbabwe, but also reflecting something of our lives
here. The plot includes two mysteries: the first is the mystery concerning the death of Marcia
Pullman, a woman who was not very well liked by many people. The second mystery is one
from the policeman’s past. When Edmund was a young boy, his mother worked for a couple
called the MacDougals. Mr MacDougal was a policeman and the inspiration behind Edmund
joining the police force. One day, Edmund got home from school to find the house empty
and the MacDougals gone. The mystery concerning what happened to them has haunted
him all his life.
All Come to Dust is more than just a crime novel in the sense that it is also an exploration of
where we are today in Zimbabwe and how in so many senses we have lost our way. We
treat each other badly; we exploit the poor; we look after ourselves first.
Each of the characters has some sort of problem that they have to overcome and each of
them have a connection with the past that is holding them back. I feel that in Zimbabwe, we
constantly live in the shadow of the past. The most obvious one is the way in which the
government constantly refers to the liberation war and forces the younger generation to be
mindful of the sacrifice made, even though it means very little to them. However, there are
other ways in which we all hark back to ‘better days’.
What challenges have you faced as an author in Zimbabwe? What advice would you
give to aspiring writers in Zimbabwe who wish to publish short stories as well as
I think that one of the biggest challenges I have faced is from readers and publishers outside
of the country who have stereotypes about Africa and what life is like here. They are stuck
with a version that focuses on famine, poverty and disease and they want to see that
reflected in what they read. For anyone wanting to break that mould, it is very difficult to be
heard. I don’t think I am alone in this though as I have met many a writer who complains of
the same thing.
What aspiring writers need to do is submit their work on platforms where their work will be
easily seen, like this literary journal. Don’t start by sending work to big publishers as you can
wait a long time to hear from them, if at all. Get your work seen by as many people as
possible and build a reputation. And always keep at it. Take into account constructive
criticism, but don’t give up. There will always be somebody who doesn’t like your work, but
there will always be someone who loves it.
Excerpt From “All Come To Dust”
For three days, Craig sat in the Renault 4 across the road from Pullman’s Safaris. It
was warm in the car and the lack of room made it a rather cramped experience. As he sat
there, he found himself thinking back to his school days when they were told that Bulawayo’s
roads were so wide because they needed to be able to turn a span of oxen and a wagon.
Thinking about it now, it raised two questions in his mind. One, why turning an ox wagon was
so important that it affected the width of the roads. It seemed a rather clumsy thing to attempt
in the middle of town; you got tickets for doing U-turns nowadays. Imagine riding into town
with your cart and twenty oxen and saying, ‘Oops! Missed the turning. Let me just go back
and do a quick turn here. Whoa there! Excuse me! Excuse me! Out of the way, please!’ The
other question was why other towns in Zimbabwe didn’t have the same wide roads. Did they
not need ox wagons? Or maybe the powers that be had decided that ox wagons shouldn’t
have such sway and mastery over town planning? Such are the philosophical questions that
occupied Craig while he sat and waited.
He also people watched. He looked at clothes and fashions and faces and at shoes
and hairstyles and what someone carried in their hands. Not many people actually went into
Pullman’s Safaris. Craig was there early and saw Mr Pullman arrive in his uniform khaki. He
stepped out of his khaki Land Cruiser wearing his khaki hat at approximately a quarter to
seven every morning and he left at five every afternoon. He was the one who opened and
locked up the office every day and there he was, on time every day. He appeared to carry
some sort of miniature cooler bag, a newspaper and a large bunch of keys and he left with all
but the newspaper, which didn’t surprise Craig as there was not much reason to hang onto
the Chronicle after the five minutes it took one to read it from cover to cover. The news was
generally a couple of days late, or wrong or just plain strange: stories about giant snakes who
swallowed people whole while they slept or a man in the city of Shenzhen, who kept a
thousand cats and knew each one by name. Most of the news in the Chronicle seemed to
take place in Shenzhen for some reason, probably because news was cheaper from China
than other parts of the world.
By the end of the first morning, Craig was bored; by the end of the third day, Craig was
very bored. Spending your days watching a building is not much fun; from the comfort of a
Renault 4, it is really not much fun. The driver’s window was stuck and wouldn’t open and, as
the sun got hotter during the morning, the car turned into a small oven. Winter was in retreat.
Perhaps they may have one last cold snap before it finally beat its wings and left them in the
throes of the usual short-lived and extremely windy spring.
Hungry, Craig looked despondently at his packed lunch: processed cheese on white
bread and something euphemistically referred to as a muffin in the supermarket. It appeared
to be something between a dry roll and a fairy cake without the sugar. Across the road from
where he was parked was a takeaway. Craig felt his eyes dragged almost hypnotically
towards it. He felt in his pocket and pulled out his threadbare wallet, opening it hopefully in
case the Poverty Fairy had left money in it overnight. There were a couple of dollars and his
bank card, which he wouldn’t bother to stick in a machine for fear a hand would come out,
grab him by the neck and give him a good telling off for letting his funds get so low. Craig felt
a sudden urge of carpe diem; after all, it was Friday and wasn’t this what Sandra would have
advised him to do – grab life by the horns and live for the moment? He ignored the voice that
told him that buying the Friday Special at a greasy takeaway wasn’t quite what was meant by
seizing the day, and locked his car and crossed the road.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
MOSI OA TUNYA REVIEW is a new and innovative pan-African, multilingual
journal for seasoned and budding storytellers. Founded by Tendai and Ellen
Machingaidze, a mother-daughter team from Zimbabwe, MOSI OA TUNYA
REVIEW will be published bi-annually in January and June.
Many of Zimbabwe’s indigenous languages are not well represented in
literature. We believe that culture is embedded in language. As such, voices
from Africa should be heard not only in English, but in local languages as
well. MOSI OA TUNYA REVIEW is a unique grassroots venture in that we aim
to promote and publish writing in all 16 of Zimbabwe’s official languages.
As “the smoke that thunders” rises from the great Batoka Gorge, so too the
voices of Mama Africa’s children will rise and be heard around the globe.
● People born in Africa/born to parents from Africa/have been a resident
of an African country, who are living on the continent or in the
● Age 18 and over (except for designated competitions that will be
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES for ISSUE #2
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE ON APRIL 30, 2021
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Please note that we will only reply via email (after the submission
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You will have to enter a new submission to be considered for
publication in issues that follow.
- English or Shona or Ndebele
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