Zimbabwe is yet to lose potential writers to foreign counties as young writers have resorted to publishing their works to foreign countries.
Our reporter had an opportunity to speak to a young writer Mr Taipanei Kamwendo 21 who was a winner of a South African poetry competition held in Harare in 2013 when he was only 13 years old and filed this report.
Tell us when did you discover your talent for writing?
“I never took writing serious till I encountered FUNDZA Literacy Trust from SA at Harare Bookcafare, that was 2013, I was thirteen, and I ventured into their poetry competition and I came out the best. I got some of my poems published by the company, and some of them have a 5 star rating though I penned then at such a young age.”
Can you tell us the challenges you once faced that had you shift to getting your work published abroad?
“Its hard to publish here when you are a virgin name. Publishers may take your work and just plagiarise it and it once happened to me but I will not tell who. Publishers give you peanuts percentage. And artists can not survive the rampant piracy here.”
Can you please tell us the challenges you are facing as a young writer in Zimbabwe.
“The book industry is now just a ghost in Zimbabwe. Poverty has reduced the industry to a joke. Piracy is indirectly legal here and no one seems to respect intellectual property in Zimbabwe. That’s why I wish to publish across borders where it is marketable and rewarding.”
What do you think should be done to improve literature in Zimbabwe?
“Piracy is a crime and the perpetrators should receive their penalties, for it is it which is killing our Literature.”
With the current economic situation, how are you managing?
“Rough. Most young writers are stillborn because of lack of finances. The other thing is they don’t know where to take and publish their works so they end up in doldrums.”