The following poets from Bulawayo are featured in the October 2010 issue of PIW Zimbabwe.
Clemence Chinyani (b. 1985) lives in Kumalo, Bulawayo. He writes poetry and short stories, and is currently working as an accountant with Spotlight Media; he also freelances for several companies.
Lilian Dube (b. 1993) is a young poet of mixed race: her father is Ndebele and her mother is Russian. She is an upper-sixth student at Speciss College. A recipient of the Joshua Nkomo scholarship, she has also won a scholarship to do her tertiary education in the United States of America. Lilian is a very passionate individual and some of this passion can be seen in her writing.
Thandeka Gonde (b. 1988) is a poet, critic and youth counsellor based in Bulawayo. She works closely with Students Partnership Worldwide in their outreach programmes. Thandeka writes from the heart and her poetry is often emotional.
Shari Eppel (b. 1960) is a psychologist, who has worked for sixteen years in the field of rehabilitation and empowerment of tortured communities and individuals. She has written more than 20 major reports on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe since the mid 1990s, and she was the primary author of a report on the so-called ‘Gukurahundi’ massacres in the west of Zimbabwe, which occurred during the 1980s. This report, Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace, was released by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and the Legal Resources Foundation in 1998. Her poem ‘Bhalagwe’ refers to the author's first visit in 1995 to Bhalagwe Camp, a notorious torture and murder centre during the massacres of the 1980s.
Deon Marcus (b. 1978) attended school at Christian Brothers College in Bulawayo and completed an Honours Degree in Accounting Science with the University of South Africa in 2002. He is currently completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Ancient History at the same university. Deon has had poems published in Short Writings From Bulawayo in the Intwasa Poetry series and in Long Time Coming. In 2005 his anthology Sonatas was launched and received a National Arts Merit Award as well as the Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association Award for best poetry or drama that year. As well as writing poetry, Deon is a keen musician and is one of the founders of the Bulawayo Chamber Music Society.
Mthabisi Phili (b. 1986) is a writer, critic and visual artist based in Bulawayo. He has been exposed to theatre, poetry and many other forms of art, and has participated in visual arts exhibitions since 2002. His works have been displayed in Austria, Britain, Norway, Germany and South Africa. He worked as an exhibitions officer for the Visual Artists Association of Bulawayo between 2007 and 2009, during which period he was also the visual arts consultant for the Intwasa arts festival. Founder of Voices in Colour in 2009, he continues to work with Christian art groups in an outreach programmes, and in Bulawayo with Victory Art. He has been published by amaBooks, Bulawayo, and has been interviewed by both Radio Dialogue and Radio France.
Mgcini Nyoni (b. 1979) is a poet, writer, playwright and human-rights activist based in Bulawayo. His poetry has been published in several anthologies including Fire in the Soul: 100 poems for Human Rights (New Internationalist and Amnesty International). He is the Creative Director of Poetry Bulawayo and the director of the annual Bulawayo Poetry Festival.