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from Kadoma Writers Association
July 17, 2003
We are very
pleased to announce that our plans to establish a Zimbabwean-based
international literary organization have reached an advanced stage,
as we are finalizing our preparations for an International Writers
Conference to be held concurrently with the Zimbabwe International
Book Fair (ZIBF) on July 29-30 2003.
of setting up an international literary organization in Zimbabwe
comes as a result of the identified need to network writers and
artists internationally with other professionals in like fields
and create a global community of writers, artists and other professionals
cooperating together for the fulfillment of their dreams.
The name of
the new organization is yet to be confirmed by the Writers Conference
forthcoming but so far, names like The Writers Link, The Writers
Institute, Zim Write Link and others have cropped up in previous
On 27 February
2001, our Association launched a Research Project, "Coalitions
for Change – Partnerships between Writers and Multi-stakeholders".
The project was launched with support from the Zimbabwe Writers
Union (ZIWU)(Chairman David Mungoshi Cell: 091 356 848), Zimbabwe
Academic and Non Fiction Authors Association (ZANA), Zimbabwe Women
Writers (ZWW), National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), Mashonaland
West Province, the Media Institute of Southern Africa, the National
Association of Non Governmental Organizations (NANGO) and other
multi-stakeholders in the community, arts, cultural, media, publishing,
business, government, literary and other sectors.
Research Objectives & Methodology
principal objective of the Research Project was to articulate the
nature and extent to which partnerships can be merged between writers
and other multi-stakeholders in performing different roles in literary,
cultural, artist, social and economic development and both an urban
and rural setting in Zimbabwe and other countries and identify emerging
policy implications, strategic coalitions for developing short-term
and long term projects for writers particularly establishing writers
in Zimbabwe and beyond.
project was been carried in seven (7) phases, which included a study
of the state of the arts and writing industries in Kadoma, Mashonaland
West Province (Zimbabwe), the Southern Africa region, ands close
studies of pilot literary projects worldwide. The project reaches
its climax now as writers, artists; representatives of local, regional
and international literary and arts organizations converge in Harare
to establish in international literary institute to be based in
Research findings and conclusions
exists a gap; a void between the establishing writer or artist and
those who have made it so referred to as the veteran writers.
We have realized
the need for close collaboration between writers who are upcoming
and the established, though for many in Zimbabwe this scenario is
still a dream come true. But for the thousands of young writers
sprout in the country there is not yet any sight of harbor. It is
the negation of the negation and we as young writers are very much
concerned because there is need to incorporate new ideas, new writings
but new writers are not getting the chance.
We have seen
the need for coalitions between writers and educational institutions
in promoting literature and art among themselves, pupils and the
society. We have learnt that educational institutions can perform
a catalyst role in cultivating a reading and writing culture in
our children - the need for the youth to be brought at the centre
stage, the need for writers to merge coalitions with educational
institutions and facilitate the appreciation of literature and art.
institutions can perform an active role in marketing the writer
and artist while writers can promote industrialists, business, culture
We have seen
the need for government to be involved in promoting literature and
art, not only when the scenario suits its interests, but for the
common good of our society and for the good of the writers. The
need for government to promote an enabling environment, where government
respects the right of the people to know, where government respects
the role of the writer through the mediate to keep it accountable.
The need for a free, uncensored press and media that keeps government
and public authorities are sufficiently scrutinized and government
accountability is guaranteed. Unfortunately, the prevailing environment
in our country has provided our government with an opportunity to
muzzle the press through the draconian Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security
Act (POSA). We have witnessed cases of intimidation and persecution
of writers in Zimbabwe by the government, but this cannot be let
to continue. In actual fact, there is need for the Constitution
of the country to be revised and all sections that inhibit freedom
of expression repealed while the a clause must be incorporated to
prevent the enactment of any laws that hinder freedom of expression,
association and democracy.
The need for
the media to promote writers and the writer to promote the products
of the media is a challenge which we believe the new organization
will seek to address.
There is a despairing
gap between establishing writers and the established elite few.
Particularly in Zimbabwe, established writers and artists are selfish,
mainly concentrating on their own interests and not realizing the
need to promote the establishing writer. Thus, we have realized
the need for local young writers to extricate themselves through
networking on a global setting.
We have invited
local, national and international writers and artists to attend
the conference. So far we have received overwhelming response as
more than 700 delegates from different parts of the world have confirmed
We are still
receiving confirmations and we are most encouraged by the fact that
450 locals have registered while 350 delegates are representatives
coming from USA, Britain, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia,
Australia, Sweden, Norway, Ghana, Japan, Swaziland, Botswana and
other African, Asian and European countries.
We shall also
have delegates representing NGOs, the media, governmental agencies,
funding agencies, publishers, producers, book development councils,
business and other stakeholders.
are being made for the purchase of an exhibition stand at the Book
Fair and more information will be in circulation at the Book Fair.
together writers and artists from all over the world, we expect
the writers conference to foster linkages and networking, adapt
a draft constitution for the new writers link, set up interim structures
and also schedule and adopt an Action Plan to be implemented after
We are very
much aware of the challenges of this very ambitious project, but
we are encouraged by the fact that the organization is member driven
should assure delegates that they will enjoy the Writers Conference.
Meanwhile, our Association is sending a twenty-five 25-member delegation
to attend the Zimbabwe International Book Fair. Our members will
participate in the Indaba Conference, Writers Workshop, the Live
Literature Centre and other activities during the Book Fair.
We would like
to thank our members, Zimbabwean Writers who have supplied us, NGOs,
CBOs, the media and all organizations who have helped us on our
projects and are very positive this year’s Book Fair will be a milestone
in our bid to promote writers and artists, locally, nationally and
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