Tendai. R. Mwanaka is a multidisciplinary artist from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. His oeuvre of works touches on literary disciplines (non-fictions, poetry, plays, fictions), music and sound art disciplines, visual art disciplines (photography, drawings, paintings, video,collage...) inter-genres and inter disciplines etc. Voices from Exile, a poetry collection on Zimbabwe’s political situation and exile in South Africa, came out from Lapwing Publications, Northern Ireland, 2010, Keys in the River, a novel of interlinked short fictions came out from Savant Books and Publications, 2012, Zimbabwe: The Blame Game, a book of creative non fictions on Zimbabwe came out from Langaa RPCIG, 2013. Forthcoming books include; Zimbabwe: The Urgency of Now (creative non-fictions) from Langaa RPCIG, A Dark Energy (full length novel) from Aignos Publishing Inc., Finding a Way Home (short fictions) from Savant. Mwanaka's work has been published in over 300 journals, anthologies and magazines in over 27 countries. He was nominated, shortlisted, and a winner of some prizes and his work has been translated into French and Spanish.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
It’s an awesome burden that you carry
You are wronged yet no one cares
On top of you, everything seems to fall
The unasked for, all the world’s rubble
They say lies, demeaning, distressing
Pain daily devours you unceasing
You are not alone as they tout for your head
You deserve, not of life but of death
Like a sheep led to the slaughterhouse
They lead you too, to their death houses
Worry not for they only take your flesh and blood
No sword can reach your soul, no blow
As you find no food, clothes and shelter
Living on leftovers, tatters and the sky
Like a wild animal, you room the wilds
Thorns and thistles devouring your world
Finding nowhere to rest your head
He sees your predicament, your needing help
They can put you to trial, persecute, but
He is slow in judgement and condemnation
Abounding in grace, forgiveness and redemption
They view you a society’s outcast, accursed
Not in his eyes, not in his kingdom
Together as one people, together to the one Lord
With him forever you will never be alone.
The name of a word should have permission to deal itself
Black notes dancing on white paper: words
Epileptic, Tourettic, Operatic, unEvened out, Issonance
Don’t turn to the dictionary. It won’t find me wrong, because I won’t allow it. I have used them that way,
Humpty dumpy, dumping... They burn that way, like a fire. She checks the dictionary page marked “Fire”
to see how it burns. It doesn’t burn the page for her
Some words can only be pronounced by their own selves
Less is more, what “more”? Can I do more with less, that is more, that is less, more…? Let me tank it.
The name of words should have permission to arise from their bed with bits of their beds caught on
The misuse of words is the better mattress for the words, curving out an aura from their truths
Locus of absurd misapplication: we tie names to words, and words tie names to us, like: Dick, Charlie,
and Jane… am I, a word? My name is Tendai. Does this incurs a chronic alter of vowels? It is a word. It
means: we thank, I thank, he thanks, you thank. Thanks, thanking who; God, my parents, me, you?
Tendai, how much…? Mwanaka, and how much is that?
Mwanaka means you are beautiful, so beautiful…
I who am nothing more than myself?
Not my surname…
Water always speaks in its own voice, do I?
Words are bodies broken by saying them, thinking of them
Do I break myself by my just being there, by speaking my name, when someone speaks it, when I think
of it? Thinking that I am Tendai Rinos (not that beautiful animal with its horns, otherwise my big nose
might be mistaken for a horn), I have a second name, that I don’t like. Here (in my second name: Rinos),
I am not my name but the paths that rains trails, the measure of their tumble
Are you now breaking me by reading this?
This question is lost in the questioning it
The answer is just safe words
Words strangled of their real possibilities
Some words beg for forgiveness for their definitions