Joyce Chigiya is a student as well as a mentor of language arts. She is a teacher stationed at a rural school where she is involved in the teaching and learning of English as a second language. Although she does write short stories, she regards herself as a learner poet. Currently she is working towards the attainment of basic literacy in music.
She has had a number of poems published in local magazines as well as on the web. Her greatest achievement so far has been that a handful of her poems were translated into Chinese in an anthology entitled No Serenity Here (ed. Kaiyu Xiao, Isabel Ferrin-Aguirre and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers). She finds life in the city too fast for her, preferring to live in a rural setting.
Chigiya’s respect for poetry began when she was at a teachers’ college and studied four South African protest poets for a project. Subsequently she studied for A-Levels in Divinity and English, both of which reawakened her appreciation of poetry. When the University of Zimbabwe opened a degree programme for practising teachers at what is now called the Masvingo State University, Joyce was part of the pioneer intake.
Still in pursuit of poetry, Chigiya’s research was an enquiry into the use of verse in the teaching of English as a second language. The result was one very interesting collection of spontaneous verse by young but perceptive potential poets. She was in the 2004-2005 intake of the Crossing Borders Writing Project (Zimbabwe).