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by life - Interview with writer Beaven Tapureta
March 07, 2012
Inside/Out with Beaven Tapureta
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is the Founder-Director of Writers International Network Zimbabwe.
He is a writer, journalist and poet. He has written articles short
stories and poems which have been published in, amongst others,
the Herald and African Roar 2011. In 2009 Tapureta was nominated
for a NAMA award.
did you begin writing?
It was at secondary school in Epworth. I remember that I had some
friends who were interested in art I was the only writer. I started
writing poems, and later on when I went to church I had a friend
who would ask me to write poems for his girlfriend. I enjoyed the
response that I got from the little writing I did which encouraged
themes do you explore in your work?
Every part of life. I am most touched by the social aspect of our
lives. Relationships, social conditions and also what affects the
writer what inspires you?
I have been strongly inspired by what I call the University of My
Life. I've learnt so much from my life experiences and those
of the people around me. I learn from their joys and happiness.
It's something that I think I capture in poems and stories.
I'm inspired by Zimbabwean life.
Inside/Out you mentioned that Dambudzo Marechera is one of your
literary influences. What is it about his writing that inspires
Someone asked me if Dambudzo Marechera was my role model. If Dambudzo
were alive he would not want to be someone's role model. What
I like about Dambudzo is the complex character that he had. I like
the way he expressed himself and the way he embraced his life as
his life. His lifestyle wouldn't be good to follow, but nobody
had authority over him. He posed a very exciting challenge to me,
which I embraced. I couldn't always understand his text, but
there was something behind them that indicated his genius to me.
did WIN come about?
WIN came into being in January 2012. It was an idea that came from
me, though of course before that I had discussions with a few writers
in Harare. We thought that this could be a way of promoting budding
writers. In Zimbabwe we have few writers organisations, especially
young writers organisations. We wanted to capture local and international
Zimbabwean writers. Some organisations were too localised. They
only catered for the local budding writers. But there are Zimbabwean
writers who are scattered all over the world and we don't
know about them. We come to know that there are Zimbabwean writers
who are publishing books though it's on the Internet, and
many Zimbabweans cannot access their work.
you tell me about the Epworth Community Outreach?
It's a programme designed for young writers, actors, playwrights
and poets. We have plans for them like workshop competitions and
get-togethers where we hope to identify talent and then promote
and develop it through our training programmes. We took advantage
of the fact that I come from Epworth in deciding to establish an
outreach programme there. It is considered a poor community. There
is no electricity and houses are not yet developed and there is
a sort of inferiority complex in the youth, which hinders them from
expressing their talents, so we are trying to bridge that gap. We
are also trying to encourage the community to think about literature
and the arts as an avenue to express themselves and their culture.
do you think it's important for your project to be in Epworth?
It's one of those communities where the artists are far removed
from the mainstream arts in Zimbabwe, even though we know that Epworth
bred great actors like Kapfupi and others. We think that it's
very important to help those who have no resources, the basic resources
from which they can launch themselves. We don't have much
but we think we can do something for the community of Epworth.
is your opinion of Zimbabwean literature?
I think Zimbabwe has been able to produce a legacy. This has to
be understood by upcoming writers. We have created a space for ourselves
but there is also a need for us to occupy it as Zimbabwean writers.
We should make use of the legacy that we have created. I think there
is so much to learn and emulate from the departed writers and also
invent new ways of writing.
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