New poetry book, rich in Shona expressions

Genre : Movie, book, album release...
Principal country concerned : Column : Poetry / story telling
Release/publication date : 2014
Published on : 17/11/2014
Source : 17 November 2014

LEVERAGE Masvondo has published an anthology of poems in a book titled Handei Kumombe, which is rich in Shona vocabulary and expressions.
The book is a collection of poetry that will suit people of all ages from the different social strata.

Born on the June 22 1983, Masvondo, who is the last born in a family of eight children attended Kuwangira Primary school in Highfield for Grade 1, but was transferred to Buhera following the death of his mother.

"I was enrolled at the village school called Mudzamiri Primary School and life was not easy without a mother's guidance, but I adjusted in a very short space of time," he said.

Masvondo says he was inspired to write poems when he started Form 1 at Chapwanya High school in Buhera.

"My Shona teacher, Mr Haruzivishe, was the one who noticed that I had a good command of the language and by the time I reached Form 4, a new teacher called D Munyikwa took over the Shona lessons. Munyikwa was a master in the language and he is the one who nurtured me through and through," Masvondo says.

Most of the poems in Handei Kumombe were written when he was still in high school.

"This book consists of poems for everyone; children, adults and the aged. I dedicate this book to my late mother . . . but it's a cake for everyone who loves reading Shona books," Masvondo said.

Most schools in Zimbabwe abhor or punish students who speak in vernacular at school, a situation that has unfortunately, also filtered into most homes.
Masvondo says there are parents who are actually proud with their children not being able to communicate in Shona and would rather have them speak in English.

"That is who we are . . . black Zimbabweans with a variety of languages.

"Language is what gives us our true identity, but it's unfortunate that we are killing our vernacular languages in the name of modernisation and development," he said.

Recently, a man went to enroll his daughter at a certain primary school and during the course of enrolment he learnt from the deputy headmistress that speaking of vernacular languages was forbidden at the school.

"I have since donated a copy to Mudzamiri Primary School, and plans are underway to take a couple more books to Chapwanya High School, the school where I realised my potential as a poet. I have some copies for sale at $8 each and you can also order copies from," Masvondo said.


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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