Tarisai Witness Mtetwa was born at St Augustine’s Mission near Mutare, and had a largely rural upbringing. He attended both primary and secondary school at St Augustine’s. Mtetwa began writing poetry at high school. “Even though I was not in a literature class,” he says, “I earnestly read all the books that fellow students were studying. I then developed an interest in literature, poetry in particular.”
After he finished school, Tari moved to Harare, where, at the same time as writing poetry, he worked as a self-taught artist and showed his work in a number of exhibitions as an employee of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. Subsequently, in 2007, he attended the then newly opened Zimbabwe Film and Television School of Southern Africa, graduating in 2010, when he immediately joined the academic staff as a lecturer.