The Herald (Harare)

16 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Poet Nyathi Makes Inroads Into Nigeria

ALBERT NYATHI'S book, "My Daughter", is set to go places following a contract between the Zimbabwean dub poet and a Nigerian puiblishing house. The book, published in Zimbabwe with assistance from TN Bank and caused quite a stir on the local scene since its launch at the Harare International Festival of the Arts last year, addresses issues that affect the girl child everyday.

Contacted for comment, the "Senzeni Na?" hitmaker confirmed the developments saying there has been an overwhelming response to the book both locally and regionally.

"Well, it is a good thing that the book continues to capture the imagination of an entire continent and Nigeria is a big market and obviously this means Zimbabwean literature is going in the right direction," he said.

According to the contract details, Nyathi has already sent the soft copy of the book for publishing in Nigeria. Over 650 copies were sold on the first day at Hifa and judging the popularity of the poem it appears the book will do well on the Nigerian market.

Part of the book reads:

"My Daughter (I want to) protect you, From hungry lions silently eyeing you, Licking their lips, Ready to pounce on you, From the jumpy jumpy monekys that move from tree to tree . . ."

An animation of the poem is set to be released anytime soon.

In a related matter, Nyathi said plans are afoot to write a follow-up to "My Daughter" called "My Son".

This time, he will write the book with assistance from Ignatius Mabasa, another prominent Zimbabwean published author.

"My Son will follow in the footsteps of My Daughter but this time we are looking at the son whom we call Shakespeare. We discourage him from use his spear on every animal that comes his way and so forth," he said.

Nyathi has recited his poems at high-profile events and State functions where he has recieved rave reviews.

Born in Kezi in Matabeleland South into a cattle-rearing community, Nyathi mastered traditional poetry at school. He soon started to write his own plays and poems, inspired by his experiences in the liberation struggle and has never looked back since then.

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