Zimbabwe Artists for Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, and Civil Dialogue: Poetry, Song, Dance,Theatre

Tafadzwa Muzondo curates  the Inaugural Zimbabwe Human Rights Festival. It was held December 10 –  13.

Thanks to our rich connection with Zimbabwean poet in exile, Mbizo Chirasha, I have the pleasure and privilege of expanding The Poet by Day to include African artists, to feature their efforts in support of human rights and just governance. More to come in 2020 from poets and other artists all over Africa. I hope readers will enjoy the lyrical difference in English, the passionate action, and the creativity demonstrated. The Poet by Day jamiededes.com and The BeZine support crossing borders and honoring shared humanity. One world. One race: the human race. / J.D.



Machipisa in Highfeilds is a paradoxical African high density suburb in Zimbabwe. It gave birth to the both iconic song maestros and political heavyweights inclusive of the late George Nyandoro, Enos Nkala.  Robert Mugabe the late nationalist and former long serving president of Zimbabwe resided in Highfeilds before his long trip to Mozambican jungles to preside over the liberation struggle in the 70s . Highfeilds shaped the life and creativity of the late Dendera Superstar Simon Chopper Chimbetu, father the current Dendera crooner Sulumani Chopper Chimbetu. while the Oliver Tuku Samanyanga, the iconic Ketekwe maestro had most of his musical walk to stardom inside Highfeilds .

Theatre against violence showcase at HIFA

Like an other creatively fervent generation, to revive the legendary traits of Highfeild Tafadzwa Muzondo of the Edzau Isu fame, an independent theatre guru and human rights defender have artistically turned an old disused bridge into a popular, edutainment and infortainment theatre, arts and poetry venue. The artists and human rights defenders are using these venue as a space for artistic exhibition, freedom of expression through arts as they continue to promote civil dialogue through theatre arts production. Theatre PaBridge  (pa Machipisa) has become a common artistic oasis or Theatre Arts hub for both young and established artists in Zimbabwe and abroad .

If hate is the only beverage in the bar,
I’m holding on to my thirst,
suppress the crave for the meanwhile
reciting lines and verses that question our sanity,
rhythms and rhymes that expose us to our stupidity.
Assuming we still have the conscience
I want to see them meet the hatred in the streets…
i want them to know how we so much yearn for peace

– Edward Dzonze

Tafadzwa Muzondo and patterns at the launch of the Theatre PaBridge

To mark the International Human Rights Week Tafadzwa Muzondo, Edzai Isu Theatre Arts and Action Hub curated and hosted the inaugural Zimbabwe Human Rights Festival (ZHRF) at Theatre PaBridge from the 10th to 13th December 2019 . The artists spoke human rights through poetry, expressed freedom through dance, sung songs against political tolerance through Katekwe violins and used stand-up theatre to stop corruption, political abuse and injustice in high offices.  The Zimbabwe Human Rights Festival was an entertaining, engaging and empowering platform, which took stock of the human rights situation at local, national and international levels. It was a profound artistic initiative meant to mainstream human rights in an innovative way by rallying together rights holders and solution holders.

The late Zimbabwean musical icon, Oliver Tuku Mutukudzi

ZHRF featured theatre, music, dance and poetry performances on human rights as well as post performance discussions and exhibitions by relevant civic society organizations and responses by invited solution holders. Major highlights of the performances, discussions and representations will be streamed live on our social media platforms as well as other partner platforms.

The theme of the inaugural festival is “AFTER”, which is an abbreviation for Arts Fostering Total Enforcement of Rights also meaning AFTER all the bickering, sloganeering and propagandizing, citizens need their rights to be respected not trampled on.

It is encouraging that the Zimbabwean government has established the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, a Constitutional Commission to promote awareness, protection, development and attainment of human rights and freedoms in Zimbabwe. As a transformative arts organization, EDZAI ISU Trust conceived a creative and innovative initiative in the name of ZHRF to commemorate Human Rights Day and contribute to the need to respect human rights in our dear country.



The universal declaration of human rights 10 December 1948 / courtesy of the United Nations Department of Public Information / Public Domain

Besides the Zimbabwean constitution being clear on human rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by Zimbabwe, recognizes the inherent dignity of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. It includes civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights, like the right to social security, health and education.



Tafadzwa Muzondo is the organizer.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Festival, the brainchild of award winning transformative artist and social activist Tafadzwa Muzondo, is a rallying point in the mission to improve accountable, democratic governance that serves an engaged citizenry. Respect for human rights is at the core of social and economic development as without citizens enjoying and authorities respecting human rights, we cannot talk of any meaningful people centered development.

Aluta Continua!


Jamie DedesAbout / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications: Five by Jamie Dedes on The World Literature Blog,  Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Womawords Literary Press, November 19, 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

POETRY ON THE BIG SCREEN: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

81vv8gxuvl-_sy445_ Well, here it is Friday and the new year is upon us. This is the last of the holiday break movie reviews. Up this time is Mrs.Parker and the Vicious Circle.

Jennifer Jason Leigh won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (1994), the National Society of Film Critics Awards (U.S.) (1995) for best actress, and second place for best actress by New York Film Critics Circle Award (1994) for her portrayal of Dorothy Parker, poet, writer, screenwriter (A Star Is Born, among others), caustic wit and founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, the vicious circle. Parker is probably the only member of the Round Table still well-known and not just by those of us old enough to remember her. Witness: The Portable Dorothy Parker is one of three in the 51qrl0o4m1l-1-_sx329_bo1204203200_Portable series that remains continually in print. The other two are the Bible and William Shakespeare.

The Algonquin Round Table, named for the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, was a meeting place for a circle that included  New York writers, critics, screenwriters and actors. During their daily luncheons the members engaged in clever and pithy witticisms and wordplay, shared across the U.S. by the columnists in the group.

“Ducking for apples – change one letter and it’s the story of my life.”

The movie is well-larded with Parker’s quips and short wry poems. It centers on the Algonquin years, circa 1919 through 1929, and her many glamorous but disappointing love affairs.

“I require three things in a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid.”

Some members and associates of the Algonquin Round Table: (l-r) Art Samuels, Charles MacArthur, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker, and Alexander Woollcott
Some members and associates of the Algonquin Round Table: (l-r) Art Samuels, Charles MacArthur, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott

The movie gives us a peek in on the clever but often cruel bon mots shared by the likes of – among many others – Harold Ross, the famous (or sometimes infamous among writers) editor of the New Yorker, the humorist William Benchley (Parker’s best friend), critic and social commentator Alexander Woollcott, playwright and director George S. Kaufman, and author and playwright Robert E. Sherwood.

It’s rather fun that Peter Benchley, grandson of humorist Robert Benchley and Wallace Shawn, son of long-time New Yorker editor William Shawn, are among the cast that includes such lights as Campbell Scott, Jennifer Beale, Matthew Broderick, Martha Plimpton (distant cousin of George), Keith Carradin, Jon Favreau and Peter Gallagher.

“My land is bare of chattering folk;
the clouds are low along the ridges,
and sweet’s the air with curly smoke
from all my burning bridges.”

Jennifer Jason Leigh is superb in the role of a complex woman who is at once smart and sexy, brittle and vulnerable. The cast is outstanding. The clothing and setting perfect. Both thumbs up on this one.  I suspect those who are familiar with the background of the Table and its members will get the most out of the film but given Parker’s witticisms and Leigh’s performance I think all will enjoy Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle.

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