Part 3 of 3: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Mbizo Chirasha, Call for Action – Here’s where the rubber hits the road!
“I am a Zimbabwean, Zimbabwe is the country in which I was born. It is my country. I don’t have another home except Zimbabwe. I need to live freely in my country of birth. Why do I not get the freedom I need? I wait and watch people gambling and playing games with my life, my freedom, my peace, my health and any other freedoms.
“Political affiliation – I do not belong to any political party because of my job. My job is very much global and universal. I am a Poet, Writer, Blogger and Organizer of Events. I am supposed to work with anyone or everybody. I am supposed to relate and associate with every Zimbabwean irrespective of affiliation because I am apolitical in my standing.
“My problem – I have been seeing strange stalking, attacks and threats soon after the Lit fest of 2017. I was quiet after the first attack but now I felt it is getting scary, dangerous and life threatening. I need to open up to the government, Media, International Organisations and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Organizations because I don’t know who is doing this to me and who is planning to take my life and don’t know for what major reason.” Mbizo Chirasha, Tuck Magazine, February 2017 / the finer details of the threat are described HERE.
HERE’S WHERE THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD
YES! This is a long-shot but all you have to sacrifice is a few minutes of time over your morning coffee to write two letters for Mbizo. If nothing else, it will show this man that people care. When he has safe harbor, he’ll continue his literary activism (as he does even now under threat) and he’ll be able to reach out a helping hand to others in peril. So please stand with us. Thank you!
LETTER WRITNG CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF MBIZO’S APPLICATIONS FOR SERVICES and SAFE HARBOR:
We need two letters. Please simply throw your support behind Mbizo by encouraging these organizations to provide timely assistance.
- International Cities of Refugee Network (ICORN) c/o Sølvberget KF,
Stavanger Cultural Centre
p.o. box: 310 4002 Stavanger
ICORN’s mission is “protecting and promoting writers and artists at risk.” I’ve read Mbizo’s paperwork. Responses to his 2017 application for assistance repeatedly indicate that his paperwork is in process but no action has been taken by ICORN on Mbizo’s behalf over the two years since he filed for safe haven.
- Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), a project of PEN America “Since its inception in 2017, ARC has assisted more than 181 individual artists from over 53 countries by connecting them to a wide range of services, most frequently including emergency funds, legal assistance, temporary relocation programs and fellowships. Thanks to a core network of over 70 partners, over 50% of them have already received direct support. Please write a letter in support of Mbizo’s application to an ARC partner agency. He will include it in his application package, which is being prepared now.
- Connect with Mbizo on Facebook or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org about the letters.
- The deadline is : 14th November 2019. Thank you!
gofundme: Mbizo Chirasha: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile
One Thomas Block of Human Rights International organized this fundraiser asking for $575 to address some immediate welfare needs. Be aware that this is a bandage not a cure, so even if you find yourself able to donate (please!), we still need you to write letters of support. At the time of this posting, $150 has been raised. Link HERE for details and to donate.
OCTOBER 30, 2019:
“We in the United States cannot really understand how poetry can become a dangerous activity. But in societies around the world, our activist-artist colleagues risk their lives for justice and art. Just two days ago, Mbizo’s activist-art brother, Zimbabwean musician Platinum Prince was abducted and beaten in Harare. His crime? In September of this year Platinum Prince released a track entitled NDIYO YACHO HERE MR PRESIDENT in which he seemed to be questioning the President of Zimbabwe over the current economic situation. We stand with Mbizo.” Thomas Block, International Human Rights Art Festival Organizer
“We remain resilient in the quest for justice, freedom of expression and upholding of human rights through Literary Activism and Artivism. ALUTA CONTINUA.” Mbizo Chirasha
- Part 1 of 3: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Mbizo Chirasha, A Life on the Run, Interview, The Poet by Day
- Part 2 of 3: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Mbizo Chirasha, Four Poems, The Poet by Day
- “Nights with Ghosts,” a poem from a child in Zimbabwe, The BeZine, Jamie Dedes
MBIZO CHIRASHA is a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017), Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York. 2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund. Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. He has published a collection of poetry, Good Morning President, and co-created another one Whispering Woes of Gangesand Zembezi with Indian poet Sweta Vikram
Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry. Email email@example.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.
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Recent poems and short stories: How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019
“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton