Tinotenda Tavengwa

– Poetry –

“Poetry give color to life, flesh to a skeleton mindset, let that color be green and lets all build a benefiting economy to all for a better tomorrow”

Tinotenda Tavengwa
Location: Gweru
Artwork statement: None

Q&A: 

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

Growing up, I used to love folktales. I enjoyed listening to my grandmother’s stories; I would listen to them for long hours. Others would get bored, but I never did. This was my first encounter with storytelling. 

  • How did it evolve over time?

My love of stories drove me to write my own short stories. I would use my imagination to create characters. My siblings loved sports, but I preferred staying indoors and writing. With time and the help of my teachers, my writing got better and better.

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

My art is influenced by the lives of African people. However, I present it in such a way that it also speaks to a far greater audience, beyond Africa. My dad has also been a major influence in my art. He is also a writer and a lecturer. He would always say: “It’s better to be counted among those who tried and failed than among those who failed to try.” That pushed me to do things I never thought I would be able to do. I write to communicate. I know no better way to convey a message than through poetry. Mostly, the message in my art is hope, positivity, and hard work. I  always hope that my readers get inspired.

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

Art: A way of life; any unique way that one uses to communicate a specific message

Zimbabwe: A land of untapped potential

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

The best way for my readers to truly understand my art is to read or approach it with an open mind, a mind that is willing to take in new ideologies, a mind that is willing to accept new views, even though they may contradict with one’s personal views.

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

Like many poets in Zimbabwe, my art is inspired by the African ways. However my work can speak to anyone across the world. Many people can relate to what I write, regardless of gender, race, or age difference. Everyone can fit perfectly into the poetry I write.

Mother Nature’s Confession

This is a poetic confession from Mother Nature.
A prayer for all nations to give heed to the words she utters.
Day by day she watches as we trample on her giving hands,
Crushing her resources all in the name of work.
We constantly break laws of nature,
giving her a hunch back for the benefit of our own hands.

Building mansions with trees on her bleeding back,
but never planting back.
Our destructive actions cause her climate to change.
It changes as we destroy productivity,
Hindering economic growth and social progress,
Greed is color blinding us from her pain,
so we can no longer recognize the green color of her happiness.
all in the name of work.

What’s work without the betterment of life for the next generation?
What’s work when we destroy the same Mother Nature?
That’s bending her back daily for us to get our daily bread.
Burning chemicals that choke the ozone layer
Defacing her in the name of work

She cries,
with a voice slowly dying,
but with pride she knows,
The hope of her resurrection lies in us,
her sons and daughters.
The lessons she taught us are never to go in vain so it’s on us.
To save planet earth in this changing world of work.
In our hands her resources are to be safe.
Let’s strive for a low carbon climate,
using renewable energies.
Implementing policies that protect our natural working environments,

Let’s show the need to create equilibrium.
A balance between environmental and human needs.
Prioritizing production of green products and services,
creating employment in environmentally friendly processes.
That way,
we preserve her resources.

For a successful transition,
Ethics, right knowledge and skill acquirement are needed,
to create an economy that’s fully green.
This is the world she dreams.

A world were we bridge
the gap between poor and rich.
Fair income on pays slips.
Rights to express opinions in peace,
with no fear for we will have social protection as we work or sleep.

All gender differences are not seen.
International collaboration is what we should seek.
Removing all discriminations of black and white,
Creating a new human species called green.
A species that’s one with Mother Nature.
This will guarantee success in the changing world of work.

She is the voice from the wilderness.
With love, weeping and hoping.
That we can clean our eyes and see,
the importance of an economy that’s green.