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Inside/Out with writer Tinashe Mushakavanhu
March 23, 2010

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Describe yourself in five words?
Ambitious, enthusiastic and always determined.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Be realistic. Always demand the impossible. Pray.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
Too many. Ask my ex-girlfriends. Ask my former bosses. Ask my former teachers. Ask my friends. Ask my siblings. I have done a bit of outrageous to everyone.

What is your most treasured possession?
(a) My bible - it reminds me of who I am everyday. (b) My ever-growing personal library is worth more than Bill Gate's fortune; every book on my shelf is a treasured part of me.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being forced to eat onion soup. I am allergic to onion.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
I find my most productive hours between midnight and the early hours of morning with a pot of coffee on the side and a chunk of chocolate cake.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I have never really thought about it. I look in the mirror and see a guy who seems decent enough and the good thing is I can put up with him every day of my waking life.

What is your greatest extravagance?
This one has to be my MacBook, my companion, my personal assistant.

What have you got in your fridge?
Milk always and leftovers from yesterday.

What is your greatest fear?

What have you got in your pockets right now?
Keys, mobile phone, and my ID in case I get lost.

What is your favourite journey?
Sitting on a bus or train, and letting my imagination jump out of the window, and pretending I am someone else somewhere.

Who are your heroes in real life?
It has to be mdara wangu nemudzimai wake - amazing couple. They are my never-ending source of love and strength and comfort and inspiration.

When and where were you happiest?
When I'm around family and friends.

What's your biggest vice?
The Internet and its many distracting features.

What were you like at school?
Quiet, but often unpredictably temperamental. Nicknames ranged from ‘Prof' to Dickens.

What are you doing next?
Finalising copy of my small poetry pamphlet, Harare's Lonely Eyes, coming out this April to be published with a small grant from the Canterbury Arts Council. As a young Zimbabwean academic, I am also working very hard to promote other writers through my website, and various book projects I am putting together. I am co-editing Emerging Perspectives on Chenjerai Hove, together with Dr Caroline Rooney for Africa World Press and also editing a volume of autobiographical essays by various Zimbabwean writers to be published by Adonis and Abbey Publishers. So much to do, so little time.

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