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Weaver Press anniversary short story slam
October 09, 2008
audio file details
On 2 October,
Press hosted a Short Story Slam, to launch its latest publications
Writing Zimbabwe and Laughing
Now - and to continue marking the publishing house's 10th anniversary.
A number of authors from the two collections were invited to choose
a story from the books that they'd most like others to read.
The authors were asked to introduce the story, and then to read
from it. To heighten the competitive edge, Cde Fatso was brought
in as a time keeper, and he closely monitored that the presenters
kept to their time limits. He also measured the applause after each
reading, to select the two winners of the evening.
battled through losing his voice to read from Blessing Musariri's
story in Women Writing Zimbabwe, Tichafataona Sleeps. Tichafataona
is a wounded liberation war fighter who comes to live with his sister's
family in Mablereign, but his ghosts follow him, and in the end
he disappears with the family's children. Hoba saw the story
as representative of Zimbabwe's failure as a nation to rehabilitate
liberation war veterans, the leaders included. Similarly, the effects
that we see in Tichafataona Sleeps are similar to those
we see across the country because of the ghosts from the past which
remain unexorcised in our leaders. In the excerpt Hoba read, we
see the struggles of reintegration, and the ways in which this challenges
both the veterans and their families.
read from Chemusana, a story by Sabina Mutangadura which
appears in Women Writing Zimbabwe. This story looks at a phenomenon
increasingly common in Zimbabwe - parents who go overseas
to work for extended periods of time, leaving their children behind.
In the story, Chemusana forms a closer bond to Estelle, his caregiver,
than he has with his own father or mother.
described Daniel Mandishona's A Dirty Game as a "well
crafted, clever, subtle story about contemporary Zimbabwe."
The story, in Laughing Now, focuses on a family of siblings, one
of whom goes to the UK to study, and the rest of whom remain behind
struggling. Chinodya read an excerpt about 16-year-old Prim, who's
not the most intellectual of the siblings.
the heavy burden of Zimbabwe's future, Vivienne Ndlovu chose
a story which she hoped would show a glimpse of a possible future
for Zimbabwe. Rumbi Katedza's Snowflakes in Winter,
published in Women Writing Zimbabwe, is a story of Zimbabwe's
Diaspora. The action takes place in London, and explores the various
coping mechanisms Zimbabweans there take up to deal with the different
reality they find in that foreign environment, and the strain this
places on family relationships.
read from Annie Holmes' story Delivery in Women Writing
Zimbabwe. Mutangadura described the story as humorous, to the point
of being almost comic. But, she observed, the story uses humour
to highlight some very serious themes including relationships across
the cultures at various levels, between local Zimbabweans, between
white and black people, Zimbabweans and Nigerians, and across classes.
At the end of
the evening, when the applause was measured and the audience response
tallied, Shimmer Chinodya and Sabina Mutangadura were declared slam
winners, and each walked away with a bottle of champagne and a Weaver
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