Mazwi Edu Writer’s Project
Stanley Makuwe, a Zimbabwean writer living in Auckland, New Zealand together with Tinashe Mushakavanhu a writer living in Zimbabwe have organised a writing competition titled Mazwi Edu (Our Voices) to try and assist disadvantaged unpublished writers living in Zimbabwe.
There is little new coming out of Zimbabwe and one way to encourage people to write is by introducing a competition. The ethos of the competition is less about winning but more about creating space for a new generation of Zimbabwean writers. Mazwi Edu Writers Competition is committed to supporting the development of Zimbabwean Literature.
The name Mazwi Edu, which translates to Our Voices in English, was specifically chosen to highlight the power of many voices in expressing a uniquely authentic creative Zimbabwean culture.
The prize money is 50 million Zimbabwe dollars (New Zealand $400). The organisers hope to make this an annual event and increase the prize money to a respectable figure. Individuals and organisations who can donate books (new and second hand), pens, papers, any material that can be of use to writers please this is a call for you to support some of the disadvantaged writers from Africa.
Some of the books donated will go to selected schools in throughout Zimbabwe. The best writers are very often good readers too.
Stanley Makuwe and Tinashe Mushakavanhu hope the competition grows to become a national institution with a vision to change the way Zimbabweans not only value the art of creative writing but books and reading in general.
Encourage Emerging Writers from Zimbabwe to produce creative works that are rich in quality of ideas and presentation, in the process promoting high levels of creative enterprise, originality and innovation.
Herald the production of accomplished new Zimbabwean writers from the across the country whose works are of high standard and world class.
Brief biographies of the project directors
Stanley Makuwe was born in Masvingo in 1972. He has published a collection of short stories, Under this Tree and Other Stories (2005). The collection was voted Book of the Week in September 2005 by Talkback ZB. He also has a short story published in Amazing Anecdotes. Stanley was one of ten runners up in the 2005 BBC World Short Story Competition. He is currently working on a novel.
Tinashe Mushakavanhu holds a first class degree in English Literature from the Midlands State University and is currently National Secretary of the Budding Writers Association of Zimbabwe (BWAZ). He has had short stories published in three significant anthologies and was the youngest writer to participate in the Crossing Borders Creative Writing Project, a mentoring scheme that was supported by the British Council and Lancaster University (UK). He is currently finishing work on his book, The Harare Hermit.
Anyone willing to support the initiative in any way is welcome and can contact Tinashe through his e-mail address:firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively send their material clearly marked: Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Mazwi Edu Writer’s Project, PO Box 11117, Harare, Zimbabwe.
NB. Receipt of any material or support will be acknowledged by email.