FictionDaily likes to interview our favorite writers and editors.
1) Where are you from? Why?
I am a native Zimbabwean. Mother Nature detects that I be here to air the voice of Africa. In my view that is a good reason I should be here to entertain the world while probing minds for a better world.
2) Generate a relevant formula.
Well, to start with, I am not a science fiction writer. So when I sit down to write something, I only convert reality into fiction to lessen the impact of some negative or bad things we experience in the society that we live in. Knowledge of the truth that is said should give us some happiness even if the truth is a kind of a devil, there are good lessons for anyone who is willing to learn. Reality is the trend that I teach my conscience to follow each time I write something about anything.
3) In your story “Identity,” the main character reconciles with her personal history by uncovering it in detail. What’s your relationship with history as a writer?
I am a staunch believer in the philosophy of historical materialism. When I write, I look around the environment that I live in, keeping my eyes open, and my ears on the ground. The observations I make and voices that I hear formulate the themes of the things I write about. In any discourse, I seek first understanding of the historical causes for me to be able to derive the meaning of the present happenings and then try to unlock and share my personal opinions that are hidden in the future. It is so difficult for me to think outside the box of our historical past, our present and our imagined future. I think Julie, the main character in the story “Identity” brings up my storyline. I live for reconciliation.
4) The voice in that story is so distinct. Talk about your voice. Who/what has influenced it?
The singular voice that you hear in my story is a combination of two voices, that of my mother who taught me to be honest and that of my father who drilled me to be humble. None but my parents are great architects of the character that I stand to be and one characteristic is the voice you pointed out. That voice is an African voice influenced by my upbringing and experiences of the world that we all live in. When one looks at Africa today, one sees a place of numerous problems which seem to have no ending or solutions. In my view this notion dates back to the days of the partition of Africa. In short, I feel that it is the source of Africa’s predicament today. The fight between powerful nations of this world as driven by the need to protect different interests then and now makes this continent vulnerable and leaves it being the grass that suffers most when two elephants are either fighting or mating.
5) What is there and what should we do about it?
What is there are bitter fruits of the mustard seed of colonialism sown into the ground/land of Africa’s historical past. What I think must be done is the complete destruction/uprooting of the tree of colonialism. It has become such a stubborn weed that requires the world to plant a new seed by changing the world’s mind set, not with bitterness but with good intentions. This must be done with the progressive understanding that every being regardless of geographical boundaries, race or colour is human. The principle of humanity must in my view take centre stage in today’s world and that is my wish and people must draw good lessons from the woes of our historical past.
6) This is the visceral question. Write something that makes us feel something.
As a new kid in the area of fiction writing, when I look back at the three short stories that I have written and got published at StoryTime, I realise that the issues I have dealt with are indeed matters of the heart. The questions I always ask myself on issues that I raise are, Was the bad that happened the only thing that could be done? Was there no better alternative? If there was or were any better alternatives and when they had been followed what could have been the outcome? I see these questions as building blocks of a better world and thats what I try and encourage throuh my writings. The life of Julie in the story ‘identity’ raises more questions about the political landscape of Zimbabwe, race relations, social mishaps like corruption, and cultural lifestyle. The bad things that are associated with these facets of our life are exasperated by historical errors and remember we are making history each day. What we need now is a good historical foundation for a better future.