Tsopotsa s Poetry talks Identity, Belonging and African Spirituality

 

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TSITSI TSOPOTSA is a Zimbabwean born storyteller, Poet, Writer, Advocate of the Girl child and a Cultural Arts Activist. She ushers in a rare but captivating poetry writing style. Her new poetry beverage soothes the mind of the reader as it carefully flows with blood and warms the African readers soul. It is soul food to the audience. Tsopotsa  poetry speaks belonging, identity and African spirituality. Her new form of poetry is extraordinary in form and content. Reason and rhythm are special ingredients to this rare but sweet poetic refreshment. WOMAWORDS celebrates dexterity, reason and diversity with Poet Tsitsi Tsopotsa. Aluta Continua- WOMAWORDS eDitor.

 

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BIRIA – RUWADZANO

 

The gathering place.

The space for togetherness.

Our choice for the women and women to be.

The giver’s of life and the absence of maleness.

 

Your name is Simukai.

Arise and take up your role.

Be present with you mother’s mother’s mothers.

 

I am the keeper of tales. The storyteller.

Before I left the womb, they knew my destiny

the gift of keeping the memories alive.

 

They saved my name; Rungano, for when I arrived.

Rungano – the one to remember from where we came,

with whom we came;

how we came to be what we became.

This is my gift, passed from woman to woman. From my mother’s mother’s mothers.

 

My mother’s mother’s name was Mavu

Because she came from the dirt.

Her mother toiled with the soil when she was given Udongo’s seed.

 

It is I Rungano, daughter of Mavu and seed of Udongo;

mother of Dudzai; sister of Dziva,

who is welcoming you into the clearing space.

My words are for you.

 

You too are elevated, as the giver of life.

The treasurer of tradition.

Raconteur.

Of our legends, communities our people.

Who we are; why we are and how we are.

Our truth.

Your child will be Yananiso, to keep the family together.

Your seed donor will be Upenyu.

Veneka will be by your side to light the way.

Simuka!

Arise and take your place.

©

 

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FROM WOMB TO TOMB

 

I am calm and normal. No one would know.

Hell’s dramas behind me. ”She seems so sweet”

Say my colleagues, “Give her the window

seat.” Slaying today then; this is my week.

I glide by. All too soon it ends.  Commute is

this torrid cell; an open faucet of sweat.

My pressure cooker – pops its lid: abyss!

“Mourn for my womb which is now a tomb – sperms’ crypt..

Hate is a word to which I can relate.

Bitter words flip off my tongue without thought.

“I have to strip – just get away from me mate..

Sex? I’ll whip you with that thing that you bought.”

I kick the smug bastard; how dare he snore

Whilst I struggle to sleep one minute more.

©

 

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NOT IN  OUR VILLAGE

 

This cannot happen here.

No matter how hard things can be.

Harambe. Ubuntu. Hunu.

We look after our own.

Money? Did you say money?

I can’t believe that they were paid. How much?

Blood for money? Kin for money? Souls for money?

Maybe it’s easy for me to scorn. I don’t need –money.

They have children. Fees. Troubles.

But he was one of our own.

What will become of this child? Who will he be? I hear they have already changed his name.

Ontlametse. God has protected him.

How will he be protected now? Now that he is no longer Ontlametse.

His name to guide him through this life –  to determine his path.

The name that rolled off the tongue.

The smooth yet crunchy. Sweet and crisp.

Crystal ginger. Green apples. Bees’ honey.

Taste of amber.

Money cannot acquire that taste. Impress that warmth.

 

Green mangos. Cotton mouth. trampled mulberries.

And who will this child be?

When he has assumed an identity of someone that we don’t know.

A name plucked from the air, just like that? Whose path will that child follow?

Who then will appease the ancestors?

We are responsible for this child.

Harambe. Ubuntu. Hunu.

The child’s uncle should have taken him in.

What if this child does not follow his destiny and come back to his people?

David?

Not a name we use in our village.

Perhaps the old name would not work in his new home.

He shouldn’t be taking on a new life.

He is one of us.

His ancestors won’t find him there.

But, the point is

 – who will he be?

 

TSITSI TSOPOTSA   completed an MA Creative Writing with (Kingston University). She previously worked as a nurse, project manager and marketing manager. ”It’s never too late to start writing fiction, your life is your resource for the stories that you must tell.” She writes short stories and poetry periodically. “I love writing poetry, the mood to write it always takes by surprise, but it always takes me ages to write one poem. I prefer writing stories because I’m naturally talkative. I am inspired by song lyrics because they are always telling a story.”  Tsopotsa works part-time with Setseno Writers Project whilst writing a new novel.

 

                                   MEET THE WOMAWORDS eDitor

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(Chief  Editor and Projects  Curator)MBIZO CHIRASHA is the Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café (International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival(https://ihraf.org/international-fellows ) , Essays Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom .Arts Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .Featured Writer Poet Activist at The Poet A Day(https://jamiededes.com/). Core Team Member and African Contributor to Bezine of Arts and Humanities(https://thebezine.com/) in USA. Flash/Short Fiction Writer for Squawk Back Publication(http://www.thesquawkback.com/2020/01/mbizo.html).Contributing Writer( Africa) to IHRAF Publishes-https://ihraf.org/ihraf-publishes.The Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Curator of MiomboPublishing Blog Journal(https://miombopublishing.wordpress.com/). Founder and Chief Editor of WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Founder and Curator of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal. Co-Editor of Street Voices Poetry triluangal collection( English , African Languages and Germany) initiated by Andreas Weiland in Germany. Poetry Contributor to AtunisPoetry.com in Belgium. African Contributor to DemerPress International Poetry Book Series in Netherlands. African Contributor to the World Poetry Almanac Poetry Series in Mongolia. His latest 2019 collection of experimental poetry A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT was released by Mwanaka Media and Publishing and is both in print, on Amazon.com and at is featured at African Books Collective. 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate to the Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden (SIDA AFRICAN PAVILION) .2009 Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture and Development (ICACD) in Ghana. 2009 Fellow to the inaugural UNESCO- Africa Photo- Novel Publishers and Writers Training in Tanzania. 2015 Artist in Residence of the Shunguna Mutitima International Film and Arts Festival in Livingstone, Zambia. A globally certified literary arts influencer, Writer in Residence and Recipient of the EU-Horn of Africa Defend Defenders Protection Fund Grant, Recipient of the Pen Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant. He is an Arts for Peace and Human Rights Catalyst, the Literary Arts Projects Curator, Poet, Writer, publicist is published in more 200 spaces in print and online.

 

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#WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS# A Trendsetting Digital Arts Culture Thicket archiving creative resilience and artistic excellence. It is a platform to exhibit women of literary arts prowess and revolutionary sister comrades defying ugly odds of barbarism , chauvinism and savagery to positively change their communities through artistic resistance , to right the wrong perceptions as they carry the torchlight to stardom. WOMAWORDS is Haven of Head -busting Short Fiction . Nerve -Shredding Poetry And Mind -Blowing ARTISTIC Profiles* -Authored and Curated by 2020 Freedom of Speech/Literary Arts Activism Culture Fellow at PEN-Zentrum Deutschland, Germany, Award Winning Poet , Widely Published Essayist Writer , Creative Arts Activism IDEAS Curator and Literary Arts Projects Diplomatie,MBIZO CHIRASHA

 

 

 

 

 

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