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

BEST PRACTICE: Standing up for freedom of expression …. an invitation.

BEST PRACTICE/STAND UP FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION by expressing yourself and your positions: All writers and poets, artists, musicians, playwrights and film-makers, clergy members and friends are invited to join us on September 30 for our sixth virtual 100,000 Poets (and other artists and friends) for Change (100TPC) beginning at 12:01 a.m. P.S.T. and extending at least 24 hours. We are doing this in concert with global 100TPC. American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel, is Master of Ceremonies. We’ll provide direction on how to join in with us in the blog post that day. Find us at The BeZine.


A unique collection of contemporary songs by artists who have been censored, persecuted, taken to court, imprisoned and even tortured for a very simple reason – their music.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Poets, artists and musicians in 120 countries unite for peace, justice and sustainability

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Poets, artists and musicians around the world are planning individual events to take place simultaneously on September 24th in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change in a demonstration/celebration of poetry, art and music to promote social, environmental and political change.

A MESSAGE FROM 100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE CO-FOUNDERS, POETS MICHAEL ROTHENBERG AND TERRI CARRION ~ 

On September 24, 2016 concerts, readings, workshops, flash mobs, parades, and demonstrations will take place in more than 120 countries around the world. 100 Thousand Poets for Change’s founders, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, state that peace and sustainability “. . . are major concerns worldwide and the guiding principles for this global event.” All participants hope, through their actions and events, to seize and redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability. We are living in a world where it isn’t just one issue that needs to be addressed. A common ground is built through this global compilation of local stories, which is how we create a true narrative for discourse to inform the future . . .

“What kind of change are we talking about? The first order of change is for poets, writers, musicians, artists, anybody, to actually get together to create and perform, educate and demonstrate, simultaneously, with other communities around the world. This will change how we see our local community and the global community. We have all become incredibly alienated in recent years. We hardly know our neighbors down the street let alone our creative allies who live and share our concerns in other countries. We need to feel this kind of global solidarity.”

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Information on The BeZine virtual event is HERE.  To find an event scheduled in your area or to register to organize one, link to 100TPC HERE. The following is an example of just one of nearly 450 events scheduled so far for September 24th.  Other events are ongoing in different places across the globe.

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“Lost Horse Press and the Bonner County (Idaho) Human Rights Task Force are teaming up for the fourth year in a row to present a poetry and music open mic for local writers, musicians, artists, students to express their ideas for positive change in our community, in ourselves, in our country, and in the world.

“Join Sandpoint poets and musicians as they connect with artists all over the globe to express their aspirations for a better world. The Sandpoint event will be held on Saturday, 24 September 2016 from 1 pm until 4 pm at Evans Brothers Café. The greater community to join in as readers, performers, or listeners.

‘If you’d like to be considered for a spot as a featured reader or musician, please contact Lost Horse Press at 255.4410 or email losthorsepress@mindspring.com. You may also sign up the day of the event for the Open Mic. Spaces are limited so if you want to be assured a reading/performance time, please register before the event. We look forward to hearing your thoughts for supportive and constructive change!”