TSITSI DANGAREMBGA IS THE MOTHER ICON OF ZIMBABWEAN LITERATURE AND CREATIVITY by Mbizo Chirasha,
POI- Ms Dangarembga is a filmmaker of great acclaim , a creatives internationalist, an award winning author .Her international acclaimed novel NERVOUS CONDITIONS won the Commonwealth Prize for writing in Africa. Tsitsi is the originator and founder of many film , creative and literary arts projects including ICAPA (Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa) and IIFF ( International Images Film Festival) as well as NYERAI FILMS . Dangarembga has presented and gave lectures at prestigious platforms around the globe among them Universities, Cultural Centre’s, Writers and Arts Institutes. She is profiled and featured in both radio , newspapers , sites and journals around the globe . She is the mother ICON of the Zimbabwean Arts and Creative Industry. POI is greatly humbled to blog this creatives luminary and filmmaker of global acclaim Tsitsi Dangarembga .
As a novelist, Dangarembga made her debut with Nervous Conditions, a partially autobiographical work which appeared in Great Britain in 1988 and the next year in the United States. A sequel, The Book of Not, was published in 2006.Dangarembga wrote the story for the film Neria (1993), which became the highest-grossing film in Zimbabwean history. The protagonist is a widowed woman, whose brother-in-law abuses traditional customs to control her assets for his own benefit. Neria loses her material possessions and her child, but gets then help from her female friend (played by Kubi Indi) against her late husband’s family. The title song is by Oliver Mtukudzi, who also appears in the film. In 1996, she directed the film Everyone’s. It was the first feature film directed by a black Zimbabwean woman. The story followed the tragic fates of four siblings, after their parents die of AIDS. The soundtrack featured songs by Zimbabwe’s most popular musicians, including Thomas Maputo, Leonard Zhakata and Brown. In 2011, she orated a TEDx talk at Harare called “The question posed by my cat”.
- The Letter, 1985.
- She No Longer Weeps, 1987.
- Nervous Conditions, 1988; Ayebia Clarke, 2004.
- The Book of Not: A Sequel to Nervous Conditions, Ayebia Clarke, 2006.
- This Mournable Body, Graywolf Press, 2018.
Tsitsi Dangarembga was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), on 4 February 1959 but spent part of her childhood in England. She began her education there, but concluded her A-levels at Hartzell High school, a missionary school in the Rhodesian town of Umtali (now Mutare). She later studied medicine at Cambridge University but, unable to put up with the racism and isolation she experienced in England, returned to Zimbabwe a few months before the country officially founded their independence. She took up psychology at the University of Zimbabwe while holding down a two-year job as a copywriter at a marketing agency. This early writing experience gave her an avenue for expression: she wrote numerous plays, including The Lost of the Soil, and then joined the theatre group Zambuko. She participated in the production of two plays, Katshaa and Mavambo.In 1985, Dangarembga published a short story in Sweden called “The Letter”. In 1987, she published the play She Does Not Weep in Harare. At the age of 25, she had her first taste of success with her novel Nervous Conditions, which won the African section of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1989 and is considered one of the twelve best African novels ever written. Asked about her subsequent prose drought, she explained: “There have been two major reasons for my not having worked on prose since Nervous Conditions: firstly, the novel was published only after I had turned to film as a medium; secondly, Virginia Woolf‘s shrewd observation that a woman needs £500 and a room of her own in order to write is entirely valid. Incidentally, I am moving and hope that, for the first time since Nervous Conditions, I shall have a room of my own. I’ll try to ignore the bit about £500.” Dangarembga continued her education later in Berlin at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie, where she studied film direction and produced several film productions, including a documentary for German television. She also made the film everyone’s Child, shown worldwide including at the Festival. She founded the International Images Film Festival in 2002 in response to the proliferation of beauty contests at that time, to provide diverse narratives by and about women. In May 2016, she was selected by the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center for their 2015 Artists in Residency Program.
Compiled by MBIZO CHIRASHA is an internationally anthologized poet , literary arts project curator , creative humanist , arts activism catalyst , blogs publisher and a Writer in Residence . He is the Solidarity member of GAPA( Global Arts and Political Alliance),the African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival, the Resident Coordinator of 100 Thousand Poets for Change- Global, the Founder of Girl Child Creativity Project( 2010 to present) , founder/Creative Director of the Young Writers Caravan( 2003-2007), Facilitator/Curator of the Creative Leadership and Artistic Training Project for Africa( 2018- 2023) .He is the Word Press Publisher of thePersonalitiesofinspiration(www.personalitiesofinspiration.wordpress.com) and Miombo Publishing (www.miombopublishing.wordpress.com ).Chirasha is the Editor of the Brave Voices Poetry journal (Journal for political poetry and creative resistance), he is the Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. He writes for the Tuck Magazine- (the International magazine on Arts Human Rights and Politics.).Mbizo Chirasha is the editor of the E-Poetry Anthology on Zimbabwean political instability “INSIDE DISGRACELAND”.He Co-edited , edited , compiled, contributed and written several books , collections and anthologies across the globe,