Thewas held for the first time in 1983 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Since then it has been one of the biggest literary events on the continent and this year it was no different as many flocked to Harare for the event. This year’s theme was “Indigenous Languages, Literature, Art and Knowledge Systems of Africa” and it happened from 28 July-2 August 2014. The festival included workshops and readings over a period of four days.
Some of the highlights include an event at the Book Cafe which had many writers in a literary evening emceed by writer David Mungoshi. The evening followed the theme of the festival with writers concentrating on their works in the Shona language. They included Ketina Muringaniza reading from her book ‘Zviuya Hazviwanani’ which at some point was made a school set-book. The story in ‘Zviuya Hazviwanani’ reveals the contradictions between a mother-in-law and her two daughters-in-law.
Also speaking was Colette Choto Mutangadura, author of newly released ‘Kusara Kunze Huona’ (ZWW) who hit the indigenous language issue on the head. Mutangadura demanded that indigenous languages be used in every sphere of Zimbabwean people’s lives. On the stage was also Lexta Mafumhe Mutasa, son of the late celebrated master of the Shona historical novel Nobert Mafumhe Mutasa, reading gripping passages from his father’s novel ‘Mapatya’. ‘The Whistling Poet ‘Tinashe’ Mutumwapavi’ Muchuri spiced the readings with some Shona poetry.
Writer Memory Chirere also gave a well-polished reading of some poems from his new anthology ‘Bhuku Risina Basa (Nokuti Rakanyorwa Masikati)’.
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