CHIEDZA RWODZI

– Poetry –

“Art is the future and so we must create. Create a better life. For our people, for our environment and for our economy. The world is ours for the taking, the time is here and the time is now”.

What inspires you?

Chiedza Rwodzi
Location: Harare
Artwork statement: “My artwork seeks to spark awareness in the reader. It’s a pressing cry for positive action to anybody who reads. The intention is to get people from all walks of life to feel and know that they can play a part in creating a better world for themselves and for other people around them.”

Q&A: 

  • What was your experience with art as a child and growing up?

As a child, I didn’t really have a conscious awareness of art. Though I think I was intrinsically artistic, I just didn’t know that I was. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had in school to explore my creativity and to have been surrounded by other teachers and creatives that brought out the artist in me. Getting involved in the arts at school fueled a passion I didn’t know I had. Art definitely rubbed off on me naturally and my desire for poetry and performance only grew as the years went on.

  • How did it evolve over time?

Studying performing arts in my later years was another great opportunity for me to further my learning and grow in a safe space alongside other creatives. Seeing different art forms, both locally and internationally, opened my mind and challenged me to upskill. I think there’s been a transition from simply wanting my art to sound or look good to wanting it to actually mean something. My desire is for my art to move people, to cause them to think—something that I think wasn’t as important before. My art has become a lot more about using it to help bring about positive change in society and to make people think and act.

  • Who or what influences your art? How would you like your art to influence others?

My art is influenced by several different factors, including personal experiences, people, and nature. I believe pain is a very good teacher. I am most creative when I use my own personal experiences to fuel my work. Observing people and seeing how they relate to other people and the world fascinates me. I would like my art to deeply move people and for people to self-reflect, really think about things, and be inspired to create a better world for themselves and for others. I would like my work to elicit positive change.

  • How do you define the following: Art? Sustainability? Zimbabwe?

Art: Any means or channel of creativity that is expressed in a way that speaks to the world
Sustainability: The art of preserving resources in a way that is beneficial to things around us
Zimbabwe: A breadbasket of potential with a wealth of young leaders who will push the nation forward

  • What is the best way for a viewer/reader to experience your art?

Through my spotlight page or company website 

  • What do you think sets you apart from other artists in Zimbabwe?

I think every individual is different, but I believe I bring a distinctive expression when it comes to my own art. I am currently based in two countries, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe, so I have had the unique experience of operating in varied, thriving artistic communities. I have also had the opportunity to create work with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. I believe I bring a unique perspective in the expression and creation of my art, as this experience broadens my understanding of how to holistically engage with other people. In addition, I’ve had the opportunity to play significant roles on and off the stage as both a performer and a director/producer in both countries.

What are we seeding to a life worth breathing

What are you doing?
What are we doing?
What are we seeding to a life worth breathing?

What are we seeding to a life worth breathing?
When an unemployed man is suffocating in grief Searching and striving for something to feed his sorrows Drowning in depression in a life that seems borrowed

What are we seeding to a life worth breathing? Preserving the oxygen or increasing the gasses? Burning the fuels and chopping down trees
Leaving land crying back to mother nature’s knees Pleading her to change the fate of our humanity Because many tiny steps end up being major breaks

Is there any ounce of care when we open the window And throw out a bit of rubbish simply because its little

What are we seeding to a life worth breathing?
When a woman is still paid less even when she gives her very best

In the grand scheme of the system This system called the ecosystem
Do we prize fairness or are we careless With our choices and our actions

Are we aware of pressing needs
Like gender equality
Or social inclusion?
Or social protection and technological investment? Or do we stand neutral in times of crisis?

What are you doing?
What are we doing?
To advance, to move forward, to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor

Do we take ownership of what we can? Or do we stand and seclude
When our purpose is to include?
Include the “other” who is part of the “all”

Future leaders
Fellow governments
Legacy builders and everyday people
What are you seeding to a life worth breathing? What are you doing
To create a life worth keeping

Can you feel the door knobs of opportunity knocking? Can you taste the uncertainty of the future in waiting? Can you hear the sound of the earth crying?

Wake up, wake up Look up
Look around
Look deeper

But don’t just look
Observe
Ponder
Then, act accordingly
Because what you seed is what will breathe