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Inside/Out with Mirirai Moyo, writer
Kubatana.net
February 01, 2011

Full interview with Mirirai Moyo - Read and listen

Describe yourself in five words?
Who can describe themselves? I always leave the describing to neutral parties because I'm biased!

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
That art is not a competition. It's all about interpretation. I've remembered that over the years. Sometimes you get writing competitions and you have a tendency to think my work is not good enough. It's not about who's best, but about who tells their story in a way that the reader appreciates.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
I tried canvassing Oprah about making my animated feature film. She didn't reply. I just thought it would help. You see the thing is getting the idea out there. It's the same with my blog. It's not necessarily that you think it will be done there and then but at least you're putting the idea out there, and then maybe someone who knows someone might tell that someone that, hey there's this brilliant idea that needs to be made into a feature film.

What is your most treasured possession?
I have two treasured possessions right now. Jerry's brain, when it died my brother took everything on its memory and put it onto a hard drive. So I call it Jerry's brain because my laptop was called Jerry. I take it with me everywhere I go. The second one is my saga bag of notes; I've got all these notes in a saga bag . . . I'm a bit of a bag lady.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being in a space where I can't create. The moment I can't create it's like I'm not living, I'm not breathing, I'm not sharing ideas with people. It's an outlet for everything that I've got.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
Not really. But my siblings think knitting at 31 is weird. They also think gardening at my age is weird. Just the idea of things sprouting at my fingertips, the green, for me it's magic. And I need it, between projects, to refresh.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
If you had asked me that question when I was younger I would have had a whole list of things. But now that I'm older I've learnt to embrace myself. I mean; the bottom line is you have to appreciate yourself because it's never going to change.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I'm an accountant's daughter so I'm very careful with money. But last year I wanted a phone that could connect to the Internet, so I bought it when Econet started with the whole Internet thing. I bought it with all the money that I had on me at the time, but I was thinking this is an investment for my work; I'll be able to connect to the Internet. But Econet kept postponing rolling out the service and it only started late last year, that's when I finally got the Internet on my phone. And I keep thinking of all the things I could have done with that money before I got the phone.

What have you got in your fridge?
I don't have a fridge. I intend to buy one.

What is your greatest fear?
Not being able to finish my work. There are so many stories that I haven't told yet. You just never know with life, you are here today but anything can happen and you haven't told all the stories you want to tell.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
My rent.

What is your favourite journey?
I don't think about journeys in the physical sense. Reading a book is a journey, writing a story is a journey. I'd say going from my first word in a story to that final punctuation mark. I think that for me is an incredible journey. It beats everything, that sense of satisfaction, knowing that I've started and finished this, its remarkable.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Oprah. I don't know a black girl who does not admire Oprah. She has done so much, to have that much influence as a black woman that is a great achievement.

When and where were you happiest?
In my childhood. I was carefree.

What's your biggest vice?
Chocolate, despite years and years of dental problems.

What were you like at school?
I was a geek. A lot of people think being the coolest kid is wonderful, but I think it's too much pressure that you don't need. You need to focus on why you're there. It's got nothing to do with having the latest hairdo or the nicest clothes on civvies day, and everything to do with paying attention to your books. I won't pretend I was an ‘A' student or anything, but at least I paid attention to the reason I was in school.

What are you doing next?
I'm hoping to retreat from everyone for three months so I can focus on my writing. I don't want to regret not having finished my work. We think we'll live forever. We have a tendency to make plans for tomorrow, next year. But all we've got is this moment now and you have to use it the best way you can and for me that's focussing on the backlog of my work.

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