Curtworth Masango, Entertainment Reporter
PROLIFIC writer and poet Nate Gwenambira is set to launch his debut poetry anthology on July 31 titled Are We Insane.
The poet says he draws inspiration from the social realities surrounding him.
In an interview with H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle, Gwenambira said he has a bias towards poetry and short stories.
“I’m an independent writer who has a bias towards poetry and the short story form.
“I am inspired by the social realities that surround me. I draw inspiration from news headlines, personal experiences and stories that I can identify with.
“I consider myself a writer of social commentary since I mostly dwell on social issues in my poetry,” he said.
He also opened up on his passion for writing and reading, which started in his teens.
“I began writing at 15 having read a few of Lord Byron’s poems in a book I came across in a box at home.
“I am an avid reader of works by Shimmer Chinodya, John Eppel, Brian Chikwava and Batsirai Chigama.
“I also consider the late Julius Chingono and Dambudzo Marechera as the foremost idols I revered in Zimbabwe’s literary landscape.”
On what inspired the title of his anthology, he explained:
“I looked around to observe society and its many facets, and I noticed that as a people, we have come to wear our insanities without any vestige of shame left.
“So begs the questions, are we sane? for normalising abuse and injustice and charlatanism. We have become unashamed of the social ills that eat away at the very fabric of the society we live in.”
“I honed in on a wide range of concerns including, but not limited to, the war of liberation, freedom, poverty, morality, death and religion.
“The book touches on subjects that any demographic can resonate with. This allows for any avid reader of literature to be the targeted audience.
“I tell the story of a broken society, that has become vulnerable to charlatans who parade themselves as the glorious saviours whom we must appease and hero-worship in a bid to survive.”
He however said all was not rose in his journey after meeting some hurdles.
“The foremost challenge is writing for an audience that has a dwindling reading culture.
“As writers, especially up and coming ones like myself, it is almost impossible to establish an audience for ourselves.
“Finding a random person (not family or close friends) with interest in buying a copy of my book is almost impossible.
“Financial constraints is another hurdle I had to surmount, as an independent writer, I self-funded and worked on a shoestring budget but thank God we have nonetheless seen the project to fruition,” he said.