Tsitsi Dangarembga
Tsitsi Dangarembga

Zimbabwean author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga was in Nairobi for a period last week for the International Images Film Festival for Women which she founded.
Dangarembga’s biggest contribution to African literature so far has been novel Nervous Conditions, which won the African section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989 and is considered one of the twelve best African novels ever written. Her subsequent work like The Book of Not which was a sequel to Nervous Conditions that came out in 2006 was less wildly received. Maybe by then more books were being written by African peeps than in the 1980s? Who knows?
The lady moved to the film space in a big way when she wrote the story for the film Neria (1993), which became the highest-grossing film in Zimbabwean history. The protagonist is a widowed woman, whose brother-in-law abuses traditional customs to control her assets for his own benefit. Neria loses her material possessions and her child, but gets then help from her female friend (played by Kubi Indi) against her late husband’s family. The title song is by Oliver Mtukudzi, who also appears in the film.
She has also directed the film Everyone’s Child.
She was in town for the International Images Film Festival for Women, which had been screening 150 films in venues around Nairobi that ended with a gala dinner at the Alliance Francaise in Nairobi last Wednesday. She was handing out prizes to winners as well as helping coordinate matters.