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Inspired by life - Interview with writer Beaven Tapureta
Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa, Kubatana.net
March 07, 2012

Read Inside/Out with Beaven Tapureta

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Beaven Tapureta 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.

When 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 me.

What 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 individual.

As a 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. Listen

In your Inside/Out you mentioned that Dambudzo Marechera is one of your literary influences. What is it about his writing that inspires you?
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. Listen

How 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.

Can 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. Listen

Why 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.

What 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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