The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

February 6, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Reuters photo



Mbizo Chirasha


The Beat – 37 years of destruction, 37 years of plundering, 37 years of violence, 37 years of corruption must be replaced by the next 74 years of political integrity, 74 years of economic dignity, 74 years of tolerance.

The restoration is now, the rebuilding is now, the resurrection should be tonight. Many dreams have been shattered and hopes crumbled; Zimbabwe must rise again.

The Brave Voices Poetry Journal will always demand the right to freedom of expression and the freedom after expression. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country that has been made ugly by cheap politicians who loot, steal and grab. We demand a shining Zimbabwe.

Poets shall speak and they will always voice for the reshaping of Zimbabwe. They are people in the remotest parts of the country intimidating, beating and looting in the name of ZANU-PF. Such elements must be brought to book. We can’t have zealots running our villages and townships. We need true leadership in those areas.

ALUTA CONTINUA Brave and Solidarity Voices, Let your pen reshape Zimbabwe – Mbizo Chirasha.








Is it not death do die living the living dead

To sublime into thin dust away with no traces

Of legacy protection and building, now other

Are restoring their own because you hid ours away

You left us leaping in the dark ignorant of direction

You cased our generation with cowardice, apathetic

And very indolent yet we desire to abide in the lap of luxury.

Yes war is ugly but pretty when hungry. But it only makes

Sense if we knew how to combat, who to and what for

We cannot even define what independence is and what freedom feels

Like. How can we paint the picture of our rights if the color paints?

Are hanging in the mystery world with you. Yes life is a puzzle but only if you

Know you are in amaze then you escape. Escape to complete freedom

We are dead yes ignorance is death our forefathers never left paths for us to follow

And now Tongongogarira rusununguko rwoudzanyiriri. Nehanda dzotofawo nenzara

Withought knowing who to face for our food. You only said Silundika yet the power was.



(By Collen Gaga)








Ask the manager, did he read –

‘Management’, – a politician is guided

By dreams others see for him –

Rampant priestcraft and bandit military,

Police is assassin and executive

Kakocrat, ignorance is calling shots –

Lobbys each, ‘holier than thou,’

Diplomacy is jingoism and constitution

Pre-medieval, education regressive

A repressive society falling on women

Tightening the noose on the mere

Breathing populace strangulating

From hunger. Roads are court-yards

Civil liberties far cry in blasting nation.









I have given up on fears, they –

Don’t frighten me. I am used to scenes

That we are now used to, – impossible –

A certain girl dying, a limb severed

Shot live under the lime of camera

They talked the most gory things

Happening to children, newest abuses –

The most vulnerable creatures

I am enduring my own share of loss

In an unjust world, – my crushing loss –

But the fear and shadow on the wall

A soldier carrying gun or an outlaw

A terrorist on the lookout, we trembled

The big fear, holding our breath –

We the fodder to bullets and shrapnel

Our warm blood is cheaper than water

Flowing in manholes – something

More. That blast which killed hundred –

In certain city on the surface of earth.



(By Sadiqullah Khan – The Brave Voices Poetry Journal Solidarity Voice from Pakistan, Dr Sadiqullah Khan is a gifted poet of immense insights and creativity. Writing on a range of subjects his themes are social, spiritual and politically aware. Looking the domains of day to day living, delving deep into the sufferings and joys he seems to be the voice of dispossessed and the vast majority of poor he passionately identifies, yet his art touches the high mark of existential writing, unique in style and composition, he appears to lead his own genre. He belongs to Wana, South Waziristan in Pakistan)








New luxury cars for chiefs is a very noble and hearty gesture,

Because they need fast and comfortable transport to ferry them to hospitals 50km away,

And are prescribed drugs which are found a further 60km,

That’s when they fall sick after drinking contaminated water due to 10year dysfunctional boreholes,

While their own subjects are prescribed, by a local elder, herbs and prayers for the same ailment,

And are told by the local political leaders to be strong for time shall come when they will be given,

Just but a bucket of maize and 2ltrs of cooking oil,

So they can have sufficient energy to vote rightly,

Voting for these people who prioritize, over safe, clean and hygienic drinking water,

New Cars for Chiefs.

A culture of barefoot surely raises no eyebrows in Africa,

For the children love constant contact with mother earth,

Unless the bare -feet crack due to long distances to schools 10km away,

And classes are held under tree sheds with no books, charts or pens,

Schools emphasizing on “Early Childhood Development” curriculum yet with no child developmental play centers,

But only a patch of sun baked dusty playground,

Where they learn pattern drawing from wheel tracks,

Left behind by nothing else except,

The New Cars for Chiefs.

On prize giving day pupils are marvelled not by the prizes they receive nor by their own achievements,

But by the implementation of the economic policy ZimAsset,

In procuring an “Asset”,

Whose two thirds monetary value would have built 3 standard classroom blocks,

And further equipped a standard primary school library,

And the remaining third still manage to get a decent all terrain workhorse bakkie,

As one of the more than 200,

New Cars for Chiefs.

The educated are lazy to change the system by shunning voting,

Giving the system an upper hand and a well distant margin to win again,

Saying we have already lost for they shall rig the election,

Saying it’s better to follow sport and support football teams,

Knowing every score, loss, transfer, debt, court case, wealth and trophies of players at, “KAIZER CHIEFS”,

But ironically know nothing on the rhythmically similar phrase,


Education was supposed to free people from colonialism and slavery,

But the educated are continuously oppressed by fear to debate with the oppressor and fear to educate the uneducated,

Lest they become ‘more powerful than us and oppress us more’ they say,

Unmindful that they are further oppressing themselves by oppressing the already oppressed,

All people oppressed by this same system which prioritizes,

New Cars for Chiefs.

Youths find solace in free opaque beer and in passing time playing draft (would be better if it was Chess) at shop corners,

And describe loyalty as biting up their own mother and father at the command of the system just for questioning it.

They are drilled into believing education is for the lazy and that hard work is the use of muscle,

All this as a way to blindfold them so they can’t comprehend the essence of education,

And so under this dark curtain of ignorance keep believing the induced theories of brotherly colonialism,

Which magnifies these brothers’ ideologies over traditional and moral ethics,

Ethics which emphasizes unconditional love, humane treatment of all and humility even of the elderly,

Who today are bought into the rot of the system,

By being offered these campaign toys in the name of,

New Cars for Chiefs.

To the young minds achievement is, seeing a group of elders fold their tails in fear whenever they pass,

Achievement is, the ability and getting away with, publicly shouting obscene speech in the presence of the young and old,

Achievement is, having to wake up with nothing but after a day out return home in a drunken state,

Yet with nothing in hand to offer that newly established family you left in the morning with nothing,

Oblivious to the targets that the revenue generating steel companies, which are supposed to employ them, set for the year,

Targets which are not met due to, and of course have nothing to do with,

New Cars for Chiefs.

Leadership aspirers show love to the people in cleaning roads using dozers and graders,

Pushing filthy trash in their drainage systems clogging water ways,

Claiming this is a show that they are the greatest saviours to dear environment,

Whose wrath as evidenced by recurrent droughts and floods,

Is a loud cry to everyone even to these greedy aspirers,

Whose indiscreet actions cause floods and disease outbreaks within the same areas they wish to represent,

And advise the locals to improve sanity and avert disease by boiling and treating water,

While they have 5litre mineral water bottles in their SUVs,

SUVs that ride on pothole ridden roads like speed boats on water surfaces,

Contrary to bicycles, bakkies and exJaps which take an hour to negotiate their way to work just 5km away,

For they have no high quality torsion bars, shock dampers, coil springs and high profile off road tyres,

As has,

The New Cars for Chiefs.

Funny the minister of ‘YOUTH’ has a child who has reached retirement age,

And yet claims to represent the interests of the young and energetic,

In a system where less than three percent of those in it are less than 40years of age.

They agree that policies need educated folks for drafting and implementation,

Yet they themselves block the educated from at least giving advice to the system,

Shouting “nations run on Economic, Social and Political principles”,

But funny enough only a handful possess the necessary qualifications to run an economy,

With the holders of such qualifications denied just the opportunity to stand up and talk,

For their constructive speech will hinder them from prioritizing and procuring, New Cars for Chiefs,

Constructive speech which will always be destructive to them,

Them who prioritize, over basic needs of the masses,




(By Saviour S Mabenge – I am Saviour Mabenge born and raised in Zim. I love poetry very much and enjoy writing poems as a platform for communicating my interior thoughts, excitement and fears. My work is mostly inspired by everyday activities in our nation and abroad with emphasis on the social and economic imbalances that exist between different classes of people within the same population. I believe poetry is not only an art but can help in controlling the mindset of the people and by this it is my hope that I will someday help in bringing about a balance to the system)








We cling to vestiges of hope

fast on the loosening rope

always on the run

haunted by long shadows

cast upon our fleeting walls,

daring hope for sweet morrow

that’ll be without sorrow.

we are free, free indeed

just like birds of air

that sing filled with flair,

to welcome every new dawn

our physical shackles shattered

but self-belief badly battered

by eons of subjugation…

When we cast our stare

we see the victims scattered

on the dried riverbed,

waiting for distant clouds

to cast at least a drop

Our seeds in faraway sands

carried by the wind

in response to allure

of glittering white lights

beckoning in alien shores…

Our laughter springs from within

handshake firm in greeting.

we mean when we hug

we children of the sun

in quest for little fun.

celebration of mystic existence.



(By Michael Mwangi Macharia – a poet based in the Rift Valley region,kenya. He contributes literary and education articles to the kenyan dailes. He is also involved in directing,adjudicati­on of music and drama. He has developing interest in History, fine art and photography)








My favourite flower is broken.

Because God is a witch in spandex.

But I will water it until it stands again.

You’re not dying,

So don’t make me confess my love;

I won’t do it; not like that.

Maybe we’ll find it; looking back

And picking it out with the scabs:

Love is what remains when beauty hides behind a wound

And the legs won’t open for a while.



(By Philani Amadeus Nyoni – a Zimbabwean born wordsmith. He has written award-winning poetry for the page, the stage and the screen. He has also written articles and short stories for various publications, local and international)








To rise again when you fall

To walk when your knees are weak

To climb when your steps falter

To sing when your throat is dry

To speak in the face of opposition

To laugh when happiness is far

And call it with the echo of your voice

To resist the enemy’s force

And leap beyond the boundaries

Set by tradition and society

Away from chords restraining

Courage to start all over again

When the one you love walks away

And the shock is like cold rain

Courage to face the pain

The loss devastating like a wrecked train

Courage to breathe when you are choking

Courage to keep on standing

When the prognosis is damning

When the bills are mounting

Courage when the task is daunting

Beyond man’s vague comprehension

Courage with fervent determination



(By Temitope Aina – Temitope writes passionately and inspiringly and her themes are love, peace , harmony and self development.she loves to read African literature and is enamoured with poetry. She writes from Lagos, Nigeria)








Sonnet III From the horizon will…

From the horizon will rise conflicts and progress

The later is better than the former in rebuilding

The fallen walls of the grand citadel amidst grass

To stand anew that tardy root that out shooting

In zealous nous to shelter its grandson’s prospect

And to strain the form Fig that stood before, hops

To branch broadly and vastness follow to protect

Govern, nature, reserve the lost and found hopes

Of both the comrade and us born in the free doom.

let not the new dispensation hallow deviation only

On scripts and manifestos, Practicality off doom

Is the plea seek from the gifted by Apollo solely.

If then the my poetry tells no lie, I be glad too, and

The brwal which spelt ceaseless at the kickoff end.



(By Wilson Waison Tinotenda – I am Wilson aka lowlife diarist with the zeal to embroider the societal restriction logo that heralds our misery as poets, writers and the society)








Like greens and pods will come to dust,

So must the iron fist come to rust.

What begins, by fate must bear and end,

The rules are firm; they never bend.

Empires falling-billows rising

Stench of death, the hellhounds howling

Behold the giant from the sky:

The midget looks him eye to eye.

The greens and pods have come to dust,

So has the iron fist come to dusk.



(By Philani Amadeus Nyoni – a Zimbabwean born wordsmith. He has written award-winning poetry for the page, the stage and the screen. He has also written articles and short stories for various publications, local and international)








When all else has failed and you feel frail,

You still remember, they depend on you.

Mother with undying love, keeping the smile of your youth.

You swallow your pride, no work is too hard.

You sell by the road-side, you clean their homes.

You travel far, you work their fields, they laugh at you.

You had a dream, you children had made it.

You will work towards it, nothing else matters.

Ooh Beloved Mother, your soul is not defeated.

You gave him your love, you gave him your all.

My child, submit, for that is right.

Those words keep coming, an echo in your ears.

How were you misled, how was he not real.

You still cook and clean, a slave to love.

But he has forgotten, he found him new love

You are heartbroken, you cling to hope.

In all those struggles, you pray for his return.

Ooh Beloved Mother, still your soul is not defeated.

You lie awake at night, to nurse your sick child.

I see a heart bleeding from within, you feel their pain.

When your child looks at you, you beam with a smile.

I know you have your fears, you are trembling inside.

You just want to take away the pain.

You can do anything to make them feel better.

You blame yourself, you question your abilities.

Remember you do your best, when you hold them in your arms.

Ooh Beloved Mother, still your soul is not defeated.

Mother, awake at the crack of dawn.

Dragging your cracked feet on the dusty roads.

Tilling the dry land with unending hope.

Heat plates your bare back as you cross the field.

When you sit, your child sucks on your almost dry breasts.

Your body is shaking from hunger, your sweat feels like blood.

The skies are clear, no promise of rain.

I know you pray silently, and put up with the pain.

Ooh Beloved Mother, still your soul is not defeated.

Mothers, stay strong. Mothers, the art of nature.

Mothers, keep giving. Mothers, change the world.

Mothers, let out your voice, we celebrate you.

Ooh Beloved Mothers, your souls will never be defeated.




(By Vivian MaMoyo Mabenge – I am a Zimbabwean born lawyer and poet who is passionate about story-telling and provoking thought on a wide range of socio-political experiences in our communities. I find inspiration from listening to people’s stories and searching within myself for that part of me that can relate to such stories. I dream of a community that is free to engage in conversation and action for the benefit of its people, especially those who cannot voice their opinions and grievances. I dream of peace, justice and heath for all. I know through our collective effort on this platform, a lot can be achieved)








Live your truth

Let it resonate from within

Though your voice sound different

From the loud chorus the masses rent

Though it be a whisper

Let it gain strength within

For only in being true to oneself

Does the journey begin.



(By Temitope Aina – Temitope writes passionately and inspiringly and her themes are love, peace , harmony and self development.she loves to read African literature and is enamoured with poetry. She writes from Lagos, Nigeria)








We’re walking again, bare-footed

and bloody:

Back on 7th- liberty street.

Blindly the bulldog returns to vomit-

long forgotten and buried

By black bare-footed communists

Now buried booted heroes-

In happy little granite tombs.

‘if skull sockets would see nor

dry bones feel-

I tell you we’ll be having snakes

for dinner.’

We’re now, walking bloody and bruised

a spackle for all to see-

Naked Intestines reeking with

maggots-and get rich fast flies.

Snakes in suits coiling about-

Wall street , what of

7th- liberty street?



(By Nyashadzashe Chikumbu)








Reality check time is now

That image of derailment

You see what I meant

The opportunists got on board

Grew fat on the gravy train


Some lionised themselves

Turned the struggle into a possession

Assumed they owned that sacred struggle

Claiming to be the liberators

Others adopted mercenary tendencies


The chasms are widening

The diversionary tactics at play

Hunger and poverty gobbling communities

Opportunists now at each other’s throats

Reality check time is now



(By Jabulani Mzinyathi– a Zimbabwean to the marrow. A firm believer in the peter tosh philosophy that there will be no peace if there is no justice. Jabulani is a pan African and a world citizen)








Browsers have trimmed you to chocolate box

prettiness; necklace hunters have tidied

your shade; a lingering damp has put socks

on your naked roots; photographs have fixed

you. Yet still you conjure up the full range

of vertical symbolism, the three

levels of the cosmos; the cyclical

nature of life and death. You are a tree

growing in the centre of the world. Will

not emperors climb up and down your trunk?

And Christ: per crucem ad lucem: that strange,

good fruit, did he not die into life? Monk,

monkey, poet, boomslang, crimson-breasted shrike –

of the Umkamba – acolytes alike.



(By John Eppel – John lives in Bulawayo and has 18 publications of poetry and prose to his name, including collaborations with Julius Chingono, Philani Nyoni, and Togara Muzanenhamo)








I follow my voice as if it were a radiation.

It tells me I carry a million bodies

Under this dark skin.

I am not my father’s child.

My mother too may not recognise my body.

There is a war in my body. I have never known how to kill it.

I am no African Lincoln to ask birds to chase stars.

Or even Chris Abani to write Sanctificum.

I cannot ask for the birds to set bricks in place, to

Make language to the graves inside my bones.

I only know nothing about this body

Because the war only knows of still borns.

I swear. I know even my father’s tongue. I can speak my mother’s language

But I do not know home. I do not know my name.

My father said a boy in this body cannot be his son.

My mother held her Dera on her face.

I do not want to say this.

No one does this in a poem.

I hold my mouth to run over the salt tongue inside out.

It unfurls to something inconsequentially folly.

Come. Eat my tongue boy. Eat the war inside this body.

Take away this desire.

My body -not my home!

My family not my family.

My country not my country.

I do not know where I belong.



(By Muriithi Kariuki – A Black anti-religion humanist who lives and writes from Lamu, Kenya)








Everyday now

Mental me

Flies over the park

And gets little sleep

Everyday now

The metaphysical

Universe raises

A brazen fist

To inform us

Of ephemeral grace

In the mental

Ward of state

I’ve grown used to

The music of wolves

Who hover on margins

Of informal dream

Mental me driven

Insane by grocery boys

Who study Math

In Jerusalem

Mental me

And happy you

With your degrees

In poetry

I skip a rope

Oh mental shin

To let sparring

Sparrows in

White gowned wardens

Prowl halls

Night after night

To keep treasures safe

Cold water drips

From deep sleep

Melting glaciers

Are mental fields

We sip a little

Narcotic sweet

From Apple red faces

Of young athletes

Cold cold cold

Mental me

Begged to be free

Of cruelty

Everyone reading

The same sign

Of rude rap

From deep caves

Zimbabwe go be

My mental me

On fire driven

Roads of thorn tree

I can’t miss

Because I’m

A snowman in

The tropic sun

Go figure on

A zoological Park

Where howlers

Scream for freedom

Mental me

I never yield to traffic

Because I know

How it all ends



(By Neeli Cherkovski – an internationally known poet living in San Francisco California. He is the author of many books of poetry and prose. His latest collection, Elegy for My Beat Generation,” it’s published by lithic press)






The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign


Editor review


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.