Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure

“In her latest offering, Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure invites the reader to discover the rich world of African womanhood. With meticulous structure and vivid detail, Starfish Blossoms explores the vagaries of patriarchy and women’s hard-won victories, amid the abstractions of love, growth and death. A must-read.” 

-Tariro Ndoro

Vazhure’s voice is polyphonic and assured, interweaving mellifluous English cadences with reverberant Shona rhythms. Many of the poems find inspiration in the Zimbabwean landscape, as in ‘God’s creatures and rivers’, with its vivid images of ‘termites foraging on rich red crystalline soil’ and ‘rivers flowing amidst baobab, marula & mopane trees’.

– Marian Christie

Many of these poems ring with the unmistakable clarity of biographical information from the life of the poet herself; the ups and downs of life, the poet’s discoveries, the poet’s mental experiments and the poet’s acute personal memories.

– Memory Chirere (The Herald ZW)

The collection is dominated by melancholy but still has its tender moments. It’s not the sort of book you read once but keep coming to again and again. There’s no start or end but you can simply open a page and find yourself drawn into the emotions Vazhure expresses.

– Tafadzwa Madzika (Greedy South)

Poetry & Novels by Samantha

The Mire is a series of fiction novels set between post-colonial Zimbabwe and the UK, exploring an intergenerational legacy of trauma, narrated in first person through the eyes of Ruva, a 1st generation immigrant living in the UK. In this series, Vazhure relentlessly explores the complexities of culture, religion and society within a dysfunctional family set up. Painting a Mirage is a story about the coming of age of UK-born Ruva, who is raised in a privileged dysfunctional Zimbabwean family and returns to live in the UK at the age of 18. Ruva yearns to escape her toxic childhood, but relocation to the UK invokes a bitter confrontation with her illusionary upbringing; and she realises that she does not need to continue conforming to the dictates of her past. As Ruva navigates life in the UK as a first-generation immigrant, she begins to understand what it means to be a black minority living in a meritocracy. During her journey of learning to live independently, Ruva stumbles into marriage. Will the grass that seemed greener live up to her expectations?

ABOUT PAINTING A MIRAGE

The Mire is a series of fiction novels set between post-colonial Zimbabwe and the UK, exploring an intergenerational legacy of trauma, narrated in first person through the eyes of Ruva, a 1st generation immigrant living in the UK. In this series, Vazhure relentlessly explores the complexities of culture, religion and society within a dysfunctional family set up. Painting a Mirage is a story about the coming of age of UK-born Ruva, who is raised in a privileged dysfunctional Zimbabwean family and returns to live in the UK at the age of 18. Ruva yearns to escape her toxic childhood, but relocation to the UK invokes a bitter confrontation with her illusionary upbringing; and she realises that she does not need to continue conforming to the dictates of her past. As Ruva navigates life in the UK as a first-generation immigrant, she begins to understand what it means to be a black minority living in a meritocracy. During her journey of learning to live independently, Ruva stumbles into marriage. Will the grass that seemed greener live up to her expectations?

Pano paita nhetembo dzanyandurikadzi vari kuvheneka zvinoitika kana chizvagwa chomuZimbabwe chasunga tundu chikatamira kune dzimwe nyika. Kufara nokuchema kwevapoteri kunobudiswa zvine unyanzvi munhetembo dziri mugwaro rino. Muchisetswa nokuchemedzwa kudero, muchavhugwa fungwa nokudzidza zvakawanda pamusoro pechivanhu chakafindikwa mumutauro unotapira wechiKaranga.

Pano paita nhetembo dzanyandurikadzi vari kuvheneka zvinoitika kana chizvagwa chomuZimbabwe chasunga tundu chikatamira kune dzimwe nyika. Kufara nokuchema kwevapoteri kunobudiswa zvine unyanzvi munhetembo dziri mugwaro rino. Muchisetswa nokuchemedzwa kudero, muchavhugwa fungwa nokudzidza zvakawanda pamusoro pechivanhu chakafindikwa mumutauro unotapira wechiKaranga.

ABOUT ZVADZUGWA MUSANGO

Pano paita nhetembo dzanyandurikadzi vari kuvheneka zvinoitika kana chizvagwa chomuZimbabwe chasunga tundu chikatamira kune dzimwe nyika. Kufara nokuchema kwevapoteri kunobudiswa zvine unyanzvi munhetembo dziri mugwaro rino. Muchisetswa nokuchemedzwa kudero, muchavhugwa fungwa nokudzidza zvakawanda pamusoro pechivanhu chakafindikwa mumutauro unotapira wechiKaranga.

Anthologies by Samantha

Tesserae is a unique celebration of Zimbabwean womanhood in all its diversity, its richness of voice and theme and narrative. The contributors include traditional page poets and underground poets, students and grandmothers, visual poets and spoken word artists, established writers and emerging talents, from within Zimbabwe and from the diaspora. In their poetry they explore wide-ranging themes, including challenging or traditionally taboo subjects. Domestic abuse, xenophobia, queerness, illicit relationships, sexual fantasy, menstruation, and suicidal ideation all feature within these pages. There are tender portrayals of family, friendships and parenthood; narratives of loss and despair; humorous poems; socio-political commentaries; transcendent allegories and lyrical descriptions, inter-woven with pulsing natural energy. Scents, sounds, tastes and visual images of Zimbabwe form an ever-present backdrop, at times overtly, at times indirectly. Voices resonate in vibrant harmony; poems engage each other in subliminal conversation.

ABOUT TESSARAE

Tesserae is a unique celebration of Zimbabwean womanhood in all its diversity, its richness of voice and theme and narrative. The contributors include traditional page poets and underground poets, students and grandmothers, visual poets and spoken word artists, established writers and emerging talents, from within Zimbabwe and from the diaspora. In their poetry they explore wide-ranging themes, including challenging or traditionally taboo subjects. Domestic abuse, xenophobia, queerness, illicit relationships, sexual fantasy, menstruation, and suicidal ideation all feature within these pages. There are tender portrayals of family, friendships and parenthood; narratives of loss and despair; humorous poems; socio-political commentaries; transcendent allegories and lyrical descriptions, inter-woven with pulsing natural energy. Scents, sounds, tastes and visual images of Zimbabwe form an ever-present backdrop, at times overtly, at times indirectly. Voices resonate in vibrant harmony; poems engage each other in subliminal conversation.

ABOUT BRILLIANCE OF HOPE

Intended to record a crucial element of African history in the making, this short story anthology depicts experiences of the Zimbabwean diaspora through perspectives of writers based in Australia, Dubai, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe. The fictional and autobiographical narratives herein collectively reflect on the resilience and hope intrinsic to the Zimbabwean dispersion. Entangled in a common quandary, these writers echo the particulars of what it means to be displaced as a first generation immigrant:

Tah, Rudo D M Manyere, Sibonginkosi Christabel Netha, Samuel Chamboko, Priscilla Shumba, Tariro Ndoro, Brain Garusa, Tinashe Junias Chipenyu, Ivainashe Earnest Nyamutsamba, A K Mwanyekondo, James Wanangwa Kajumi Kuwali, Nobuhle N Nyoni, Flavian Farainashe Makovere, Lazarus Panashe Nyagwambo, Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure

Intended to record a crucial element of African history in the making, this short story anthology depicts experiences of the Zimbabwean diaspora through perspectives of writers based in Australia, Dubai, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe. The fictional and autobiographical narratives herein collectively reflect on the resilience and hope intrinsic to the Zimbabwean dispersion. Entangled in a common quandary, these writers echo the particulars of what it means to be displaced as a first generation immigrant:

Tah, Rudo D M Manyere, Sibonginkosi Christabel Netha, Samuel Chamboko, Priscilla Shumba, Tariro Ndoro, Brain Garusa, Tinashe Junias Chipenyu, Ivainashe Earnest Nyamutsamba, A K Mwanyekondo, James Wanangwa Kajumi Kuwali, Nobuhle N Nyoni, Flavian Farainashe Makovere, Lazarus Panashe Nyagwambo, Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure

Intended to record a crucial element of African history in the making, this short story anthology depicts experiences of the Zimbabwean diaspora through perspectives of writers based in Australia, Dubai, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe. The fictional and autobiographical narratives herein collectively reflect on the resilience and hope intrinsic to the Zimbabwean dispersion. Entangled in a common quandary, these writers echo the particulars of what it means to be displaced as a first generation immigrant:

Tah, Rudo D M Manyere, Sibonginkosi Christabel Netha, Samuel Chamboko, Priscilla Shumba, Tariro Ndoro, Brain Garusa, Tinashe Junias Chipenyu, Ivainashe Earnest Nyamutsamba, A K Mwanyekondo, James Wanangwa Kajumi Kuwali, Nobuhle N Nyoni, Flavian Farainashe Makovere, Lazarus Panashe Nyagwambo, Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure