Yvonne Ncube, Showbiz Reporter
The saying “home is where the heart is” has proved true for Germany-based Zimbabwean poet Vongai Mujakachi whose poetic enthusiasm has been limited to social media due to a non-existence audience in a foreign land.
Hailing from the streets of Bulawayo’s Pumula South suburb, Mujakachi (22) believes poetry is not just about uttering words in an artistic manner, but is a way of communicating, interacting and engaging with an audience.
For her, the drive of people listening to her work is the force behind her success as a poet.
The young writer yearns for the support which she got in her motherland.
She looks back and pines for the days when she used to perform at native events such as Intwasa Arts Festival, cultural events, weddings, schools and workshops.
The talented lyricist says she is in anguish with the knowledge that the Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo is in full swing while she in Germany.
However, the sense of attachment to her homeland has pushed her to find other means to be in alliance with her audience whom she says share the same sentiment to create a feeling of oneness among themselves.
“Ever since I came to Germany it has been hard to find a physical audience like it was when I was in Bulawayo. I could perform at events like Intwasa, weddings, book launches, workshops and schools. Now that I am here I make use of social media platforms to share my poetry with the people who share the same sentiments as myself and who can easily relate and understand fully the message behind the poetry. Social media has been the cornerstone of her relations with my audience in motherland. I haven’t given up though I am still looking for art platforms here in Germany.
“I started poetry when I was at primary school and when I was 13 years old, that is when I penned my first poems. I remember they were 12 and I showed them to my primary school teacher so she could correct me. She was thrilled and encouraged me to continue writing. I also remember reciting a poem at the assembly point. Those poems later made my first book,” said Mujakachi.
She said her growth in poetry was widely influenced by joining the debate and public speaking clubs back in high school.
“Then when I went to Inyanda High School I joined debate and public speaking, this helped me grow as I got the chance to perform at schools. When I was doing my Upper 6 that is when my first poetry book Songs Of Life and other stories was published and launched. It was the best day of my life seeing my dream come true. I also became a member of Zimbabwe Academic Non Fiction Authors Association, later I became the Secretary for the Bulawayo Chapter. This made an impact in my poetry road as I got to network with other poets, and perform at different events.
“I also performed at schools, weddings, church, participated in poetry events such as poetry slams, random poets and then later poets and writers den to mention a few. I was doing both writing and performing poetry. Then last year I held poetry competitions on social media with the aim of supporting poetry. I am grateful for the support I got from my family and friends as I continue to grow in this field. For me as a poet, I would say the future is bright and promising, getting feedback from even one person who relates or who finds worth in my poetry is more than enough,” she said.
Mujakachi said her life experiences influence her to pen poems.
“I have seen and I keep seeing so much talent out there and my dream is to see poets out there getting platforms to express themselves. Also, I would be glad if poetry, just like music, is monetised because as a poet you have expenses which include recording at the studio and or publishing a book.
“I also hope to see vernacular languages thriving in the industry. What I go through in life, be it good or sad there is always a story to tell, then the society I live in, family and friends, even a song I hear or movie I watch can influence me to pen down a piece,” she said. — @SeehYvonne