Zimbabwe: Meet Zimbabwean blogger and poet, Mcgini Nyoni

Zimbabweans are leaving their mark in the world of blogs and other social media tools. Zimbabwean blogger, poet, playwright and writing instructor, Mcgini Nyoni, is not an exception. Mcgini is the Creative Director of the project Poetry Bulawayo. Here is an email interview I recently conducted with him.

Q: Can you briefly tell us about yourself?

I started blogging around September 2009 after a workshop with Ivor Hartman at the Intwasa festival. He runs the Storytime blog and in that workshop he opened our eyes to the fact that we could have a free website (a blog is a website really); something we thought was not possible.

Q: Please tell us more about what you write?

The Poetry Bulawayo blog is an online publication of poetry and that
is the blog I will focus on in this interview. I also  write opinion articles mainly on governance issues  on Kubatana blog.

Q: How are you involved with Poetry Bulawayo?

I needed an outlet for my poetry and the poets I work with also needed a place where they could post their work. The blog
poetrybulawayo.blogspot.com has published poetry from across the world and the major achievement to date is the compilation of the poetry anthology DAYBREAK which is available through UNIBOOK online.

The Poetry Bulawayo blog came about after the realisation that mainstream publishers are not interested in publishing poetry mainly
because it is not viable to do so. It is therefore left to those who are driven by passion to push it.

Q: What are the main obstacles for individuals or organisations planning on using social media tools in the country?

The main challenges of being a blogger in Zimbabwe is the limited access to internet and computers. I have to update the blog from an internet cafe, which is not the ideal situation. With blogging you have to be consistent and that cannot happen easily in Zimbabwe. The other problem is that not many zimbabweans use the internet, so most of the hits on the site
are from international visitors. Whilst the international readers are welcome, we would appreciate more local readers.

Q: What  is the future of blogging in Zimbabwe?

More and more people are taking up blogging in Zimbabwe, but it will take some time before it becomes an alternative means of communication. But we will get there eventually.

Pamela: Thanks for your time

You are welcome

Here is one of Mcgini's poems called State Witness.

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