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Elizabeth “Zaza” Muchemwa is a dynamic and energetic young woman who has been practising on the performing art scene in Harare as a performance poet, short story writer and theatre director. From 2006 to present day Elizabeth has performed her poetry on various stages and at various events in and out of Harare.

Elizabeth believes that as a people it is important to tell our stories through whatever form of art we choose, to shape our future how we want. For her it is poetry and theatre. She also believes that it is important to know one self, to accept one’s history, the past and the present in this quest for shaping the future

This is a crisply articulated poem delivered in a soft tone, contrasting the harsh realities that Elizabeth describes.


The poetic deliverance
Is what I seek to give
Not the words from my mouth
But the breath that I live on
Touch my heart, my soul
You will find God’s essence
Stuttering on the words of I and I
There is no doubt in my mind
Suffering malnutrition, ignorance , indecision, starvation is not the way
But our future is not rooted in
Silver and gold either
Neither is it in them
Fighting oppression suppressing
Borrowing from one language
Tongues in which we lose our diction
And celebrate the distinction of being one mass
I blaspheme because I don’t know
Any other way to celebrate this
This one on one I have been having
With the spirit
Making me feel safe to call
As I deliver this speech
Embedded in a skill filled
With the fluency of my impulses
Saying no to this
Filling this speech
Meant for this crowd
That crowd
That rally
That congregation
That cyberspace

A poetic deliverance is
What I seek to give
Not the words from my mouth
But the
Words coming from within.

*For more on Elizabeth Muchemwa and other Pan-African poets please visit Badilisha Poetry website, produced by the Africa Centre.

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