Rae Lyric to Stage Solo Debut Poetry Show in Harare

Spoken word poet and blogger, RAE LYRIC, will be staging her solo Zimbabwean poetry showcase at Sanctuary Café and Wine Bar, located at 20 Julius Nyerere Way, Harare, on Thursday 14 December 2017 from 1830 hrs. Doors will open at 1800 hrs.

Born in Harare, Zimbabwe and raised in Gaborone, Botswana, Rae Lyric has established herself as one of Zimbabwe’s emerging spoken word voices. Her poems have graced stages big and intimate including festivals, corporate functions, and various events. To date she has performed at Botho Arts Festival, Maitisong Festival, Shoko Festival, Maun International Arts Festival, The University of Botswana’s Multilingualism and Poetry Festival, Shakespeare in Harare and The TiriAfrika Africa Day Concert. She recently won the Pamberi Trust My Zim Vision Poetry Slam.

This experience makes her confident that she is ready to venture into staging a solo poetry showcase. Lyric’s Lounge will also feature supporting acts including D-Blok, Gwenyambira (Shamie Mutize), King Avry, Raheem Beatbox, Khuku Bakasa, as well as Mycheal Karangura.

Tickets for her show may be purchased at the door on the night for a price of $3 or call MUTSA SHIRIPINDA on 0777 604 821 for more information.


The Savages Chapter 3

Read From Chapter 1 here

I Played Myself

I think it’s cute that people think that they don’t have types, or as I would like to call them, ‘Target Markets’. We naturally gravitate towards people who exhibit similar traits. Therapists would probably call this an unhealthy pattern, and therein lays the reason I don’t have a therapist, yet. I definitely have a type. I like the quiet ones, smells good – a man who doesn’t feel the need to make his presence felt. He just straight up sits there looking all delicious and shit. Oh Lort!

I met Jabu Thirst Trap Nigga (TTN)* through an ex a few years ago. Truth be told, the minute I met him, I knew that I deserved some TTN, all of it even. He was irresistible AF, checked all my boxes and is the first person to turn me into a believer of beard gang. I lowkey hated bae the rest of that night shem. Because I was young and foolish [read as not yet a savage] I didn’t do anything about it, well expect have some solo happy times thinking about him.

* * *

A few weeks ago, as I made my post court drive by this coffee shop that feels like a little heaven, I ran into TTN. Before I continue, I feel like, for emphasis, I must tell you how my day/week was going. First all, I was ovulating like a mofo. Between [too many] meetings and dealing with the fact that my steady lay had moved out of town, I was a horny mess Googling stages of foetus development for no reason besides broodiness. Personally, I don’t function well without a steady supply of that good good. The random case of broody was just my body doing the things that make uteruses to function.

So I walk into the coffee shop, I place my order, to go, and wait for it in this quiet little nook corner they have. It’s littered with art on the wall, wire sculptures and a coffee table with an eclectic collection of miniature marimbas and mbiras. It’s a gem. I cosy myself on the couch and start lazily paging through a magazine I picked up at the counter. I hear my order called out, I get up and head to collect it. I notice that they now sell flowers. I decide I’m buying myself a dozen because I deserve to clap for myself. As I am fishing out my wallet from my handbag, I hear a voice calling me from behind. The voice is followed by a hand on my back, placed ever so elegantly.

I turned around. Good lord! This MF got even finer. I hadn’t seen TTN in maybe five years, because my ex got custody of him in the break up. He aged like wine I can’t yet afford. The wine God drank on his day of rest. Wine that was watered with the tears of a thousand cute babies. The man was delicious yo!

We exchanged pleasantries as I paid for my flowers. He turned to me excitedly after he handed the person at the counter her dues. “Chiedza, this is great! Running into you…” I was confused. “I’m actually looking for a lawyer to draw up partnership agreements for a friend and I. Trying to stay protected if the venture goes south,” he said.

I couldn’t decide if he was making excuses to see me or nah. I didn’t care because as far as I was concerned I was going to get to see him again, AND, collect a fucking cheque. We’ll talk about my mixing business with pleasure in a minute – at another time, with that therapist I’m yet to get. I digress. We traded numbers and parted a few minutes later. I suddenly felt that the hug I allowed him to give me before he left was a mistake. It went straight to my woman parts. Between how good he smelt, how good his arms felt around me and my thirst levels, it was intoxicating torture.

* * *

An hour later, I’m in the office, counting minutes until lunch, when I receive a text.

It was nice bumping into you today Chiedza. When can we set up a meeting? And maybe a better catch up drinks mission

Let the games begin!

I let out a hearty laugh. It came from deep within my soul. Because I saw every savage thing I may possibly do to him. The more I thought about how he had just shown up in my life all fine during a dry spell, the harder I laughed. My assistant, Melody* rushed into my office like a mad woman. “What’s so funny? You only laugh like that when you are about to savage somebody. Tell!” she said as she pulled a chair for herself, sat down and waited eagerly for a response.

What Melody and I have goes beyond an employer – employee relationship. She is honestly a godsend. Not because she’s good at her job, she is, but it has more to do with the fact that we have built a friendship over the three years she has worked for me. She is here for my black girl magic (and/or trouble). She is here for all my savage stories. The tears, the wine at the office at 2 am when the patriarchy gets much that working when they all sleep is better than sitting and looking at them while considering murder. I love her – she’s squad. She is my guardian angel. I tell her I ran into a guy. She was more excited than me. We finessed the perfect reply. It cannot be too thirsty, but at the same time, it cannot be too businessy.

Was great seeing you too. Life treating you well I see 🙂 Let’s link up next week. My assistant will call you and tell you when. We currently swamped right now.

That time Melody and I were sitting in the office doing nothing but going through our exes Instagram. Never be too available for a nigga, that how they end up feeling like they wana intrude on your time and shit. Ain’t anybody got time for that.

* * *

Melody set up a meeting for the following Thursday. In the meantime, TTN and I began a WhatsApp courtship. Nothing too much, just catching up, sending each other memes; you know, 21st century courting vibes. The sexual undertones were strong though never outright.

The day of the meeting arrived. As soon as I landed in the office, Melody gave me the most disapproving look. I gestured to ask why. She pointed to my office as she rushed behind me, slightly edging me to speed up my step.

“Iwe! Aren’t we meeting with sexy dude today. Why do you not look the part, be serious ka nhai,” she said as she unzipped the bright red bandage dress she was wearing.

“Gimme that pant suit, it’s cute, but we must wow,” she said as she tossed the dress my way, I happily obliged while giggling.

“Fam, remind me to give you raise” I said as we turned my office into a changing room. I told you Melody is the fucking truth.

The meeting was just lowkey flirting. I gave him the drafts of the contracts and we looked over them. Within an hour we were done. He invited me for drinks because the meeting was strategically placed at 3:30 so I was off the clock soon after the meeting. I agreed but told him I needed to wrap up at work before I linked up with him. “You niggas too easy!” I said to myself as he walked out.

* * *

Drinks was awesome. He chose a bar that was not too crowded but also classy. That balance is important; you don’t want a place with too many thirsty people. The flirting was on full blast now. I made no secret that I was into him. A bottle of wine in, there was no denying what this was any more. I suggested a movie at my place. Now, everybody knows this was not going to be watching no Netflix situation. We got another bottle of wine for the road, and headed to my place.

We got to my place. I literally just switched on the TV, didn’t even try look for no movie. We got cosy on the couch. He offered to gimme a massage, I obliged. Wine in hand, hands on me, I was living my best life. Booty rubs and kisses on my neck and everything! I had reached breaking point now. I needed him, now! I kissed him. And I didn’t stop kissing him, we made out like thirsty teenagers for a couple of minutes. Groping and all.
Imagine my annoyance when he announced he was leaving. “I need to leave before I do something that’s not me. We are moving too fast,” he said as he gently placed a now half-naked me on the couch before grabbing his keys.

I was mad as shit. Who the fuck flirts with you, buys you wine, then rubs the booty then leaves after. What did you think this was? Netflix and chill? Nigga please! Everybody knows that wine is a pussy shout out. It does the things that make horny to happen and this dude just going to leave me all high and dry. Well, the next day, I cashed my billable hours and going forth blue-tick the mofo. Don’t play like that!

My name is Chichi, and I got thirst trapped by a sexy savage nigga.

Art Work by Andrew Nichols (Sourced from Pinterest)

Cosmic Collision

I do not remember much from my life inside the sun, except, I lived in a perpetual state of burning. A handsome burning, the kind of burn that makes you fall in love with fire, smoke and ashes. A kind of burning that warms the coldest parts of your soul. My eyes are a window to an unenthusiastic hell. My tongue, a belligerent cesspool of poetic sorcery, smoked out of ink I made from my own ashes. The writings on the wall are my resurrections. It is to remember home; I never had to hide or tame these wild things in Yellow. All I had to do was be.

Come to think of it, there was something in the air that night – a convoluted turning of the hands of time. It was as though time’s hands played poker with the hands of an ambivalent first timer. As if he wanted to express a dichotomy that was bigger than the religions we had lost in the fire, became here – flesh and bone.  This night, was not the night I met you; it is the night I remembered you. Brother, I know you, from home. I remember. We left the sun on the same ultraviolet ray. We arrived in the same narcissist euphemism. An incestuous innuendo. I remember you.

This particular night, was one where all my wild things got dressed in red lipstick and the intoxication of being me at full blast. They were decidedly unapologetic that night. I was fresh off the realization that being ‘normal’ was not for me; I had rejected it since birth. I had burnt my birthrights at the stake and with their ashes; I built a shrine in honour of the sun.

Sometimes I am a tipsy supernova who tries to perform while intoxicated and it does not quite always work out. This was one of the lost battles. I had shown up at the poetry slam okay, that quickly went south after I spotted the wine. While most details of that night remain fuzzy, I remember that before the slam, I made out with girls in a country that seeks to place the sexual organs of others in the quixotic confines of policies and jurisdiction. I digress.

Rehearsed but unprepared due to fermented grapes, I walked onto the stage. I did not win the title that night – instead, I won some books which in my book, is a win. I absolutely wasn’t bothered. Also, I had caught the eye of a boy who had promised me a night of bar hoping across a city I had lost and found myself more times than I care to remember.

You had written one of those books I won. Your name engraved in heavy black on a drawing, or painting, I cannot decide, because I have never been one to believe in covers. I too, have mastered the art of adorning my divinity in a plain cover. Masks who offer bland will not deceive me, to cover up the blissful secrets that lie on the other side. Your name sounded tingly. The first burn of tequila after one more than you should have. I paged through all the books, yours last, not saving it to savour. I was blasé. The book reminded me of my struggles as a writer, reminded me that we need better people designing our books this side of Kim Kardasian’s ass – I digress.

I opened a page into who you were; two nights after I had first won the books. Irony is, reading the first page of a book and finding parts of yourself, you had buried in fear.  Words, like this, honest, could taint the imagination and bring interdimensional memory to the foreground.

Brother, I am no basic! I am a badass, and reading in chronological order is for sissies. The first page I opened read: “I love your cunt, countenance”. I fell in love. I bloomed at the thought of you, because I had finally remembered. I wondered what you looked like now. Had being on this prudish earth fucked with your carefree. I was determined to find you. I asked the sun to bring you to me. I forgot about my asking for the width of years spent making homes out of broken ruins.  I lost those battles too.

God is bigger than we are, bigger than the sun, bigger than geographical boundaries and the lovers we owned. I know this because years later, after I had masturbated to your words the first time, I arrived at a literary festival, tipsy; to find you, blunt in hand on stage performing a page out of your diary of madness years later. Who was this God of a man who does whatever he pleases. I waited for you outside. You never came.

Instead, you snuck up on me two hours later, looking for a lighter. For light. The petals were in full bloom now. We watered them with liquor and danced the night away. The next three days were a dizzying time of déjà vu, light and poetry. I recognized you. I remember. When I lay next to you for the first time, the air in my lungs became tight, you held me tighter. You breathed into me. I breathed for you.

Brother, I am in love with colour, with the sun and yellow. I am in love with shapes and texture, like the shape of broken hearts and how hands who do not belong on your body feel like. I can see you when I close my eyes. I can see the places you have been. I can see what wounded you. I recognize the scars on your soul. I have them too. I am like you. What are we? I don’t really know how to put it into words. I do know what we are not; human.

I could have sworn the rain washed us in, sealed with thunder and lightning. The sun didn’t need to shine that day. We had stolen light and placed it between us when you crawled inside me with the reverence of a man offering up the last of his stock as a sacrifice.

That is why, I cheat on god with life. You, were god before you were alive? Is it any wonder that we are alike? I saw the terror in your eyes when you realized who I was. Light, from before. Light, you could never possess. Brother I am in love with love, with possession, men I cannot have. I love in colour, brother. I know your shade of grey. I recognize it from the parts of you I have searched in the sun. In the grey of clouds and the sound of rain. Have you heard me? Searching for you? Have you answered?

I already knew what you are. I need no reminding. The scrolls have been read. In a dingy part of town that I will not be caught passed out in, years from now, I did not dance; dancing would be an insult to the rituals of celebration. I did not drink, from fermented grapes and barley that night. My wild named you a feast and these are the only things we still hold sacred. You had returned to me. Not whole! I do not wish to find you whole. Your tainting was an anthem to the places we lost.

On the second day, you were baptized in my bath water. Your desire to converge in my womb read as if to remember home. Do you remember home? The games we played when we were yet too old to remember being young? They say break the bread and have this communion. The grapes had soured enough; the stars had gone to sleep. Claim your baptism pools as only a saint would.

I still think of that converging, of the blanket of grey that threatened to steal my light; sometimes. The way the your burning lungs burnt my body with your lips.  You asked me who god was; God is me, the copper haired girl too loud for earth, too moody for sacred, too restless for prayer, hunger for prey. Nevertheless, you prayed anyway. Knelt down between my thighs and worshipped. The sky scolded me in bolts of lightning. You held me closer. Tightly, as if to squeeze out my rage.

Today, my rage is coloured grey. You crept into my inbox, told me of your other lover. The one I will never have to privilege to become. To be in full bloom for. Today, I do not judge myself for laying myself at alters, tainted by the hands of another. Instead, I count the days between our next chance meeting. I will practice rolling these perfect blunts for you, and naming babies we will never have.

This piece in response to Philani Nyoni’s Celestial Incest. Read here

The Savages Chapter 2

You Got Me All The Way Fucked Up!

Before I tell the following story, I would just like to put it out there that my savagery is not reserved only for the men I sleep with. It is impartial, thorough and extends to anyone who takes me for some silly little idiot incapable of exercising its full wrath based on the little fact that we are friends.

I met Anesu* a few years ago in my second year of varsity. I was retaking a module I had failed due to the thirsty lecturer macking on me and me turning his old ugly unsexy ass down. I was standing outside the lecture room waiting for the class to start while smoking. She asked me for a lighter. We instantly clicked. We had a similar brand of ratchet running through our veins. It wasn’t long before we were doing the most together on nights out and such bonding rituals. Calling us besties would be a stretch. I adored her, but I still had my reservations. Anesu was a crazy maker. She absolutely lacked chill; it was one of the things I loved about her, but, ironically was the reason she couldn’t break into the bestie stratosphere.

I mean, the first day we met, she was already spilling her actual best friend’s secrets to a complete stranger. And you know what they say, if they can gossip with you, they can gossip about you. I wasn’t here for that petty high school bullshit. So while we still enjoyed a good night of bad decisions and litres of wine, I was sceptical of letting her into my inner circle.

On one such night, I was out with a bunch of my friends and Anesu called to say she would be joining us because she just couldn’t deal with being home alone. Something about the walls caving in on her and if she was to spent the night alone, she would send her ex a Drake text**. The more the merrier, I told her where we were. She arrived an hour later armed with body goals and her crazy ready.

I introduced her to the whole table and soon it was all cheery. One of my boys Itai* took a particular interest in her. Itai is a special man. There are guys who love women who will fit squarely under the weight of their masculinity, then there is him, he likes the ones who collect their wild and adorn themselves with it. Anesu and her loud were just too irresistible for him. He asked me to introduce them on a more personal level so I did. I orchestrated a happy coincidence where Itai would come over to my place and find an unsuspecting Anesu there. The rest, as they say, is black love history. The sparks between them were undeniable.

Itai and Anesu made an odd cute couple. Itai is socially awkward and Anesu was the loud mouth crazy girl she had always been. I loved it. Well, most of the time. I just hated being put in the middle of their relationship drama. Remember when I said Anesu had zero chill? She had this habit of blurting out their sexcapades or lack thereof during the people. I remember this one time we were out with a bunch of our friends, drinking and doing what twenty somethings do. Somehow, the conversation switched to sex, but it was more general conversation. Next thing, this girl blurts out that Itai had never made her come.

The awkward silence that followed was horrendous. Itai went pale, Anesu looked proud of herself and the rest of us awkwardly tried to diffuse the obvious weirdness. I, personally found nothing wrong with what she said; but, time, place, and audience are a thing. There are many more examples of why our squad would not go to certain places with Anesu, but each to his own and Itai and Anesu were loved up. It actually gave me hope. If this no-chill loud mouth girl can get AND keep a dude like Itai, savage me had hope yet.

* * *

A year later, Anesu and Itai were still going strong, featuring their weekly drama of course. I had put my distance between Anesu and me after an incident where she almost got me fired. I should have never invited that bitch to my office Christmas party. She got drunk and told off my boss, after, telling him that I think he is an incompetent asshole more concerned with banging underage girls than being a good lawyer. I don’t need to tell you how awkward that shit made work for me. I mean, again, it wasn’t what she said that bothered me. It was that she used my exit speech for in case I ever needed to quit my job in dramatic fashion. “I quit” wasn’t the strongest exist from my job. I decided she was toxic for my life and fell back. Itai and I remained tight though. We would all hang out from time to time.

* * *

One Sunday morning, while making breakfast for my lover at the time, I got a distraught call from Anesu. She hadn’t called me in a while. I thought of not answering, but then decided against being an asshole. I picked up. I couldn’t make out most of what she was saying. The gist was that she had just crashed her car into a tree somewhere near where I stayed. I rushed to the rescue, calling the ambulance on my way there.

I arrived on the scene and Anesu was tripping balls, saying crazy shit. She had a broken arm and was stuck in the car. I tried as best as I could to keep her calm while we waited for the paramedics, while I alerted Itai of the situation. The ambulance arrived shortly after I got there and I had to ride with her as I had to play next of kin. Itai met us at the hospital. I know my homie, there was something off about how he was behaving, but I wasn’t too concerned, I figured he just didn’t know how to deal with his girl in hospital. Don’t ask me, I have never had a bae see me in hospital so I don’t know these things.

Anesu was in hospital for just under a month. During that whole time, Itai and I were at every visiting hour, being the awesome people we try to be. She had no one else, it was the human thing to do. All her other friends had abandoned her also, dude to her crazy making ways. Her parents claimed they were busy and couldn’t come see her yet. But, legit guys, what kind of savage parenting was this? Your fucking child is lying in bed with broken limbs and you are ‘busy’? The hell. I digress.

Itai and I took turns making meals for her because our diva patient wasn’t having hospital food. I had to take time off work  and move into her place so it would be easier for me to be there for her. It was a lot on me. But, hey, I’d like to think that if I ever found myself in that position someone would have the good nature to nurture me like this. Show up for people without expecting shit back, it’s all good karma, I said to myself.

* * *

A mother finally showed up after three weeks. I was lowkey judging her, but I was glad that Anesu finally had some family around her so I just left the food and decided to pop by the office, as I had work piling up. Itai texts me and asks if I’m free for lunch. He needed to talk. We hadn’t talked much since the accident. I mean really talked, as friends. We met up for lunch, and he looked like shit. I told him that. That’s when he broke down. He told me that that Anesu’s accident was in fact, not an accident. Itai tells me that they had fought and she said she was going to drive into a tree because said that they should take a break because the relationship was a lot on him. Apparently she said that she wanted to die because she wanted to haunt him. Wild. I didn’t know what to say. I mean, I knew that their relationship was rocky at best, but I figured they had made it this far, they were good.

Itai tells me he doesn’t know what their future looks like because he blamed himself for the whole shit. I try comfort him, to the best of my abilities. He leaves the restaurant semi-ok. The next day, as is my new found routine, I go to the hospital to bring Anesu her breakfast. The nurses tell me that she was discharged the afternoon before. Whoa. Why wasn’t I told though, I could’ve saved on fuel. Like legit. The inconsiderateness though. Anyway. I call her and tells me she was home. I tell her I’d pass by later on in the day as I had court and client meetings that day. I visit her that evening, I find Itai there, every bit the supportive boyfriend. I can’t help but be proud of him all things considered.

* * *

It’s my birthday, a few weeks after Anesu was discharged, I’m having a little get together. I had a couple of friends over for dinner, Itai was present too. So was my latest project [new dick, also birthday dick]. I was already tipsy when the security from my complex knocks on my door and informs me that there is a situation at the gate. I giggle because I assume it’s an elaborate birthday surprise. I was never ready.

I walk to the security office, lo and behold, Anesu, is giving me resting bitch face, talking about I’m fucking her man. The fuck? I laugh and think it’s some joke, I tell security its cool, and she’s my friend. And I walk back to my place with her. I try making conversation, she’s quiet. I don’t press further because fuck a lot of shit, today is my day. I will not indulge dumb shit on my day. Kiss my ass heaux!

As soon as I open my door, Anesu spots Itai and launched herself at him, hurling obscenities and shit. “I know what you been doing Itai. You’ve been fucking Chiedza while I lie in hospital for all these weeks,” she screams much to everyone’s, including me shock. Itai tried, in futility to calm her down and take her to my balcony to talk in private. I wasn’t having this shit. I asked them both to leave. While I was still mid-sentence. This bitch slaps me. New dick nigga steps in and pulls me away and takes me to my room. I’m not even drunk anymore at this point. I’m annoyed, with airlock.

Everybody leaves. New dick comes back to tell me this. And that he can’t see me anymore because ‘I have drama in my life and he ain’t about that shit’. So now, my party is ruined, and I didn’t even get laid. I was livid. I decide fuck it. Let me just drink this liquor and read my Facebook birthday messages. Before I could even get to all of them. This crazy bitch had written some bullshit on my goddam wall. Like what kind of petty, delusional world was she living in?

Chiedza you bitch. I’m going to expose you for the whore you are. Fucking my man while I lie in hospital and pretending to be my friend. I bet you wish I died that day. I bet you be fucking all these niggas wishing it was Itai. Well, you fucked up, you will never have him.

You know when you read some shit so crazy you have to pause and look around to find if anybody else can see this shit. After all I had done for this girl. After putting my life on hold to play next of kin, being there for her when no one could have even be bothered to just ask how she was doing. And this the thanks I get?

You got me all the way fucked up. I deleted the post, not before I reported it though. I pulled up my WhatsApp and texted Itai. “Your girlfriend just cost me my birthday dick, either get here and gimme it, or find me a new one.” I wasn’t thinking straight I was beyond boiling point. I didn’t know what would happen next, but I was finna have my own crazy soon. Itai’s response floored me. “Gimme 20,” he responded. Up until this point, the thought of fucking Itai was so foreign to me.

Itai arrived in 15 minutes. As soon as I opened the door, he launched a kiss assault on me. Maybe it was the alcohol, or the anger, or the fact that I was being the savage I was born to be, this shit was so hot. I striped him. Who knew Itai was hiding a Spartan ass body underneath his clothes. We fucked the shit out of each other, the rest of that day. Also, I realized that double dick*** is an actual thing.

If you ever catch yourself trying to fuck with me for no reason, remember I also too, have no chill and is a savage

*Names have been changed to protect the dumbasses

**Drake Text: Where you spill unsolicited emotions for a lover who doesn’t mirror your feelings for them so you fill the gaps with too many of your own emotions

***Double Dick: When a nigga comes but keeps fucking.

The Savages Chapter 1


You know what? Life is a series of bad jokes. Well, at least mine is. Let me explain. I met Dude X* three years ago at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner. And by meet, I mean, he was introduced to me and I just shrugged because he looked like the poster child for fuck boys. It’s that haircut, honestly. From the moment we were introduced, he started flirting with me. I wasn’t having it. Unthawed by his compliments and even the fact that he was somewhat yummy looking. I was still reeling, fresh off the back of a string of failed relationships that lasted just under a season each. In fact, I hated him. He reminded me of the last guy. All bravado and no man. All promises and no follow through. At this point, I was over dating. I just wanted to do me; smash the shit out of my goals, then I’d buy love [twenty-five-year-old model straight off the agency’s catalogue] when I was rich.

Fuck boys are relentless. After I refused to give him my number all night, I legit told this nigga to get the fuck out my face at some point. But I guess he heard ‘challenge accepted’ or some shit in his head. I hear he demanded my number from a friend, even helped clean up after the party to sweeten the deal. He won my number but had a long way to go in winning my time. I won’t lie, he was sweet, charming even, nothing like all the assholes I’d become so used to dealing with.

I caught myself having to remind myself that he is a fuckboy so I should watch myself before I played myself. In between stalking his Instagram and Facebook and seeing who was commenting on his posts, I found what I was looking for; slay queens commenting “MCE” on his posts. I wasn’t about to waste my time, and data, on this nigga. Like I said, I was all about me, and I told him as much.

He took my cues so fucking seriously. Dude would send me all these relationship posts from Facebook. You know the “It takes a good man to love a broken person,” types then add “Whatever it takes; I will convince you that I am that guy.” So my reluctance can be forgiven for melting away into the promise of happily ever, or at least, okay, let’s see where this can go. I could try this.

* * *

Within three months, this shit was official, it was a thing, co-signed by a “Chiedza is in a relationship with Dude X”. Relationship goals shit! Legit ones, not the attention seeking sort. Our love was low key and genuine. I was the happiest I’d been in a while. I had an amazing black king who treated me like a queen. He motivated me, listened to me bitch about all my co-workers, surprise me with food and wine. Life was good.

I loved the fact that he was a twenty something guy going after what he wanted. He had a nine to five, and a start up. We were woke and in love. We would save up every quarter and travel together to destinations urban and tranquil alike. My favourite was when we went to Mozambique one December and spent our days frolicking in the sun and showing off our lit couple gains [yes, we were gym fanatics too] and drinking too many beers with local strangers. It was a dream getaway that ended with way too many insta posts captions like ‘love lives here’. The comments section was drowning with messages from well-wishers talking about how they love us. Our friends couldn’t get enough of us.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a relationship that lit, like honestly. We barely fought; and the sex was lit – the stuff that erotica should be based upon.

* * *

Saturday mornings, like a ritual, was errands then brunch somewhere nice. I thought nothing of it when he proposed a bribe. Take him suit shopping, and there would be two pairs of shoes in it for me. I would have gone without the bribe. I mean who passes up on the chance to see bae trying on different tailored sexiness while fantasizing about how he would look on our wedding [while already thinking of a lit caption that would give your exes chest pains]. AND get not one, but two pairs of shoes for my troubles. I refuse, said no one to that offer, so to the shop we went. It was hella fancy; the shopkeeper spoke that uptight English that reminds you that your country was colonized. I digress; bae had clearly put a lot of thought into this. He said that he was trying to style up his wardrobe because he just got a promotion and needed to look the part.

As the good girlfriend I am, I even chimed in “Kill them all baby!” as I handed him the one he finally settled for, well, I do have good taste. A fitted navy blue slim fit suit that just made him look like he was created in it. With that, Mr Good English packed it for us and told us to come back when we were getting married. We giggled, and Dude X smiled at me and turned back and yelled back “Soon!”

We walked out the store and into a shoe store and I tried on a dozen shoes because I legit wanted to buy them all. Bae got me two pairs and I got myself two, because, you must always do best for yourself, relationship or not. We wore our new items to our two-year anniversary a few weeks later. The night was magical.

* * *

It’s been a week since the anniversary dinner; a week since I last saw him. We have been texting and calling each other, he is hectic at work, I assume. On Friday night, I go out with my girls, I text Dude X and he doesn’t respond but again, I think nothing of it because he’s probably with his boys as well. I’m pretty hung over the next morning so I just spend the whole day in bed. I visit my mother in the evening and spend the night. She asks about him. She tells me to hold onto him, he’s a great guy she said. She remembers how he went into super son-in-law mode last Christmas.

My mum jokingly tells me that she is practicing her ululations because it’s only a matter of time before I walk down the aisle. I giggle like a schoolgirl because that doesn’t seem like a far-fetched fantasy. I go back to my place in the evening. I try calling him before I go to bed; his phone keeps going to voicemail. I think nothing of it, again, and go to bed. Monday mornings are for fresh slays and refreshed selfies.

* * *

Monday goes by and still no word from this nigga. Fam. Now I know something is up. My bullshit antenna is blinking murder red. I plan all the different scenarios that could be possibly happening right now and my reaction to all of them. Then I laugh it off five minutes later and tell myself to stop being crazy. After work, I decided to pass by his flat to put my mind at ease. I knock nothing. I reach for my key, try to open but it won’t open. Did this motherfucker change the lock? Now that I think about it, changed locks should have been a sign. But, alas, devil dick will have you drowning in the middle of denial and have you convinced that you are taking a floating slay picture for the gram and the culture.

I walk to his neighbour’s flat to ask if maybe they had seen him recently. At this point, I don’t really know what to think. His neighbour, Steve* opens the door, greets me with the reverence of a man who is about to deliver a death sentence to an innocent man and motions me to come in. His disposition already tells me it’s about to be some bullshit. He walks to his laptop sitting on the coffee table, types something, and hands it to me. Lo and behold it is Dude X’s Facebook profile. “Dude X added a life event, tagged as married to Random Bitch Fresh Out Of Nowhere.” I felt the blood leave my brain. All I could do was laugh. What the fuck was this. Issa Joke! Steve tells me to keep scrolling. I do.

There are wedding pictures with this MF wearing that navy suit I picked for him a few weeks ago. With a blushing bride, and a child, a fucking CHILD! He has captioned it “the two loves of my life. We are complete now. To forever and beyond”

It turns out that he had married his baby mama that day I spent curled up in bed trying to flush out vodka from my system. They had a child; a whole entire human between them that I never knew existed. I had no idea. My blinders were on. It was not even the fact that he got married that bothered me; it was the fact that I fucked up and fell for this fuck boy, knowing what he was and judging him for proving just that. He had a whole entire Life I didn’t know about. How are you so savage that you date someone for two years and not tell them you have a child? Or a future wife, who isn’t me!

My head was spinning. Steve poured me a shot! Then I asked for three more. I realized something that day. Being a nice unassuming person gets you nowhere. You either a savage or get savaged. My name is Chiedza and I’m savage AF.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty. While all care has been taken to make sure that the characters in this story do not represent real people or instances. If you still feel the need to feel offended because you think it’s about you, sincerely, go fuck yourself!

Celestial Incest by Philani Amadeus Nyoni

Petals suspended on a spine. Something bigger than us, than God, is alive, yawning, stretching, screaming in silence… Trying to be heard. See that grey beyond the homely lights, see the moon straining out of a cradle… A womb, light peeping beyond doom? Is that you, is that me, are we together, somewhere-sometime beyond now? No need to ask how it feels, it’s like, some déjà vu of a moment we are yet to arrive at.

And I am in love with light. Light is colour. I am in love with lightning, with dawn and sunset, with twilight. Light reveals things around us, but most importantly light reveals itself. Can we see it? For what it is, that all things are light: aren’t we all just a shade, of it? Can you see me when you close your eyes? Am I like you? You are like me, we are the same, take away the light, take away sight, take away colour, what are we but sound? Thunder.

It was raining when we lay beyond the city. You are scared of thunder, I’m in love with lightning. You shook out of your sleep speared by the sound of light and something was happening, in your belly; a galaxy was bursting awake. I breathed your air, heaved with your lungs. The light waned, the city swallowed in rain flaked away. Where did we go? Somewhere grey, into the womb of twilight, an eternal but fickle moment, we became those petals, petals on a spine, stretching, stretching, yawning, dawning.

Sometimes, you said, you cheat on God with life. Each time I shook awake I found less light in the room and outside, the galaxy was folding. I was scared, for the first time, scared of the Light, scared to escape twilight, I was scared of colour.

But I am in love with colour. As I am in love with ideas, freedom – the distant star we each must claim and tame alone. We are all travelers, are we edging towards the great grey? The space between times? The eternal twilight? Of course we are, that is home, that is death, and that is fate. Away from the Light.

I saw you for what you are, an idea, a light I had to feel, taste. You dance like a supernova, while talking calmly like you hold all the secrets to creation, and when I told you, cleansed of my sweat in your bathwater, how I wanted to be inside you, one with you, congealed desire trickling down your leg, you transformed, you didn’t hesitate, we became one colour, naked desire.

I still think about it. The thousand faces I saw rippling in your pleasure, kneeling over you, coiled beside and inside you, breathing your air, watching you sleep, being one with you. There was thunder, there was lightning, a galaxy rushed out of me, to explode inside you.

And God is a pretty girl with a huge crush on me. Sometimes she plays coy, sometimes she wounds me as only a lover could; ignored, bored, gored. And you said sometimes you cheat on God with life. And the sky grumbled, and your skin tasted like velvet, your breath like flame. And the sweat of anticipation, trailing down your leg, cold as lightning, tasted like electricity.

I am in love with ideas. Like liberty. I am in love with colours, like grey… I am in love with tastes… Like electricity. I am in love with the moon, I am in love with salt. And I know what you are, I have tasted your smile, I have smelt your colour, I have breathed your peace. I know who you are, I know why you’re scared of lightning.

The air was blue outside, it came in and made small incisions on my back like umthakathi sent to sprinkle fear into my spine. I awoke out of something greater than God and us, I awoke into bland colour, not grey enough. I shut it out and read a page I had never heard and the moment of recognition was strong. We had been here before, and sometimes it takes lying down on a bed, in an actor’s flat, and reading your thoughts on an unfamiliar page to realize that the three of you… The actor, the thinker and the thought on the page, are the same person, the same colour, at least in the grey, that beautiful grey, you are the same ray of sun.

For the next three days I was you, I think I still am, in part. One never quite loses themselves, or the other person, they just grab hold of the fragmented portion and pay it more attention. If I say I am no longer you I am just paying more attention to the light. Take away the light and all we have is instinct, feeling, bare thought: consciousness. I carry you in my spirit like I always have, should.

I know who you are, I know what you are, you are not the petal the light pressed. And I know the force within me. And I know recognition, and sometimes we stand without clothes and think we are only naked, but what we are, really are, is divorced from the light. You grabbed the stem but the bleeding sap did not bleach you, I smelled the earth in the petals, and in the thousand faces that stuttered while you heaved I saw you, the true you, divorced from the light. You climbed onto me and bloomed, the pistils on your neck tensing before the fragrance leapt out of your mouth like thunder.

Same flower, distended off the ground, separated from the Light. You touched the stem it did not prick you, I touched your face and did not bruise the petals. Your spine, petaled in ecstasy, shaking, over, over, over, and over again, collapsing… Twilight crashing down, rising like the stars, falling like the moon… The colour fades into an earthy smell, the air travelling between us tastes like lightning, schizophrenic Zeus hurling blazing boomerangs…

I told you, I know who you are.

My heart is a window to a galaxy, where you reside eternally fragmented into ideas and colours. And sometimes you come together. In the light I can only catch a glimpse of you. You have hair like lightning, a nose ring, sometimes you have a dick you would like to rub against mine. And I turn away, appalled, deceived by colour, beguiled by the light. Sometimes you’re a vagrant trying to bum a smoke.

Sometimes you leap out of a page, sometimes so do I. Sometimes you walk out of the grey and confront your desire, impale yourself on my spire and bring heaven crashing down and igniting into petals of fire. Sometimes you do not know who you are, and stumble onto a revelation. But I know who you are, at least, when I know who I am. Sometimes I see you, beyond the colour, beyond light.

And somewhere in my belly whence the lightning leapt, followed by the thunder your petals shrieked, palpitating; I know our story. Something in my fear moved when you spoke of Yellow. You told me you know me, from Home. I know you from the grey, I saw us again just now, outside, wrestling the moonlight like Israel earning his name.

Somewhere I know the story of how we became, how we came, somewhere within I know your true name, it’s tangled up with mine. Somewhere inside I know that day, that moment was bigger than attraction, bigger than God and time. Somewhere within I remembered you, though I thought I was meeting you for the first time, you told me you knew me, I guess you are better at remembering than I am, even though in a grey way I knew who you were. I still don’t know your name, but I know you, intimately.

Sometimes a tree is killed and we realize how old it really is. Sometimes a world burns and the light from it illuminates a galaxy, its ash and soot paint the night and those little sparks, leaping from the cinders become our stars. Our world is burning, we did not run, we are the little cinders tossed across space and onto here. We are the flames leaping from the log, suspended in air before they fade.

I know what you are, I know who you are, I was accurate the first time:  I know what you truly are. The light might try to deceive us; I know grey, you know Yellow, if it is what it seems then you are right, we shall call it Yellow. I know what you are, I know where you come from, I know why you are scared of lightning. I know we are lost, but I also know we know the way. And that is how we find each other across space, time, beyond colour. I know what we are, somewhere deep down, beyond the colour, beyond what seems, children of Yellow, our likeness calls. We are little bolts hurled from that fire, that planet of ours, Yellow.

In the story of our origin we are yellow with hearts of flame, shot down in an epilogue to an ancient dialogue, not a civilization for we existed somewhere, there, in Yellow, endlessly, seamlessly like Jesus’s garments. One ball of dancing fire, one desire: to burn, eternally fuelled by our souls.

Flame, like the stripes of the Bengal tiger we are inside, golden as the lion outside, and we were one, like the lion and the veld, the leopard crouching. You found me and buried your fangs into me; we are the same, the prey and the beast, you are what you eat. You nourished my spirit that wandered in the wilderness like cast-out demons, like the spirits of the dead trapped between the light and the grey. An eternal moment of recognition, the line that completes the couplet, the rhyme that defines and defies time.

The heart of the tiger is a flower, her hide is the fabric of petals, burning petals, a flame lily staggering in the rain. It was raining that day. The grey was watching its children, watching itself in us, watching time foretold unfold, the void that preexisted creation hovering above. In that moment, your claws digging deep, bruising the flower of my contentment (sometimes you think you have enough until you find the other half) digging within, digging for petals, digging for colours, digging for gold, for the lion, pulling him into the veld, thoughts of freedom escaping the wound, drawing me in circles of fire, out of the light, into the grey, reminding me, of Yellow.

You stood on the balcony, you stretched your appetite, who did I see in you? What did I see then? A distant mirage, a fusion of passions, delightful illusions. I was blinded by the light, deceived by appearance. I saw the dead lover I exhume so often, cut my wrists and bleed onto her lips hoping my warm blood gives her life again. I saw time unfold and the spirits of poems hover about you chanting, a slow and steady hymn of perfection. I saw the bones of myth shake off dusts of eons and take form; cluttering around you, and the stars we wished upon so often cluster in two masses, and those were your eyes.

“I am a child of Yellow.” You quoth, “We are not of this earth.”

Suddenly it dawned on me, siblings born of incest, of incest born to create. Sister, how far I have wandered seeking your thighs! Sister, how far from home I had to come to hear you hum. Sister, my feet are bruised with the journey from myself, sister show me your breast, where our scions will suckle the golden rays of our origin, let me bury my head and be one with you; again.

“I am a child of the sun.” you told again.

Yes, we are not of this earth… Then I began to recall what I have never heard, never learnt but deep within knew. I began to recall you, I began to recall me, us, folded in the womb of power, the womb of Yellow, it feels like the grey. I remembered death, I remembered the Afterlife which is what existed before life. I remembered being torn from you, from your embrace, I remembered being shot down in a ray of sunlight… And the lightning. I knew you would be scared of thunder, I knew who you were.

I looked up again, the wind chanting solemnly, from where I sat, the grey framing your image, I saw in you again a mirage, another face, another you I sought a lifetime ago. I saw all the faces I have pursued in somnambulism, I saw all the hookers who stopped me in my tracks and I would become their slaves, just for the night; (Close your eyes dear Narkissos) if you linger too long with a sister, you might fall into the grey. And stay.. So you keep running, running, stopping only to drink once but you keep running, running, until your soles give out. Sister, my soles are bruised with running from my soul, sister, today I am not running. The grey is outside, thunder and lightning, a galaxy is exploding in you, sister, we have created another being like us.

And you took my hand and led me before a mirror, our clothes touched the floor and formed a circle of premonition. There was a bucket of water, you crouched there, I crouched on this side. You washed you, I washed myself, I washed you, you washed me, the ecstasy of slowly becoming one being, three beings, the spirit of your lover, hovering about. The spirit of my admirer, enfolding us, she was with us that day, dear God, and when my lips descended to set fire to your petals, she swallowed your scream, with a kiss.

The sweat of your desire was rolling down your thigh, cold as lightning, it tasted like electricity. There was fire in your palm, it smelt yellow. The grey solemn outside, looking in, looking into itself; unto its soul, watching lightning about to be born from rage and pleasure. Schizophrenic Zeus hurling spears of light at himself… Thunder growled before the lightning.

Now I closed my eyes, I shut out the light, I forgot to see what was before me. You had claws, they dug into my spine, ripping the earth for the petals to emerge, flaming tigers leaping for eternity. You snarled for my calyx digging into your petals, tender, trembling to sow tigers inside you. And then I rose, like the flower we were becoming, and thrust a prayer into you. I know who you are, I know what you truly are when even you are not looking. We bloomed together, into the grey, the ravenous thunder foretold lightning.

And I am in love with colours. I am in love with grey… The grey. I saw it outside just now, swirling and twirling beyond the homely lights, wrestling the moon like denial, a vortex, a lucid depiction of the moment we had become.

There was that mirror in the bathroom. I looked over your shoulder, and into your face, straight ahead. I horded you, drew you close as though to force us to become another kind of One, the One we were once, in the days of Yellow, when we were still in the womb of the sun. You quaked and fell to the ground, I stood alone, facing nakedness but looking beyond the light, beyond appearance I realized, you had fallen into me, you had entered me. And when you rose to your feet, flushed from the bloom that had brought you to the ground it was my turn, to fall, to screech, for the thunder we had howled so long to ascend and finally, in an act of rage and beauty, Yellow and grey, violent ecstasy; give forth the lightning.

I know what you are beyond the light, I know who you are when even you are not looking. I know what I am when I cease to deny, I know why I couldn’t keep walking when you asked me to stop. I know why I coiled beside and in you, my back shielding your breasts. I know the colour of your heartbeat, I knew before you told me it was yellow, like our home, Yellow.

I know you wear many faces to hide, sometimes from yourself. I know She is not your lover. I know she is you. My dear I see you clearly; you are Her.

Don’t stay too long in the grey. Don’t linger too long with a sister. I should have left but the rain would not let me, so I stayed, inhaling your air and writing poems in my lungs. I still breathe beauty. The rain would not let me go, I stayed coiled, in and around you, my back, shielding your breasts. The blue wind cut into my spine as though to dislodge the petals, I got up to shut it out, found a book written before my time, I found my thoughts in the page, and shook when I realized this bed belonged to an actor who had once played him: my famous doppelganger. So natural for that book to be found there, so natural for me to be there, to find it there, but who were you? What are you, truly, when even you are not watching?

I wrapped my arms around God, she shuddered when the thunder broke the rhythm of our breathing, I shook each time I escaped the grey, each time I awoke. I should have left, but I smiled to learn the rain had not yet ceased, there was a galaxy yawning, dawning, clawing inside her, I shouldn’t be in such a hurry to return to the Light. But I left, eventually, like we left Yellow as one, like I left you, when lightning split the sunray twain. I left her, again.

Philani A. Nyoni is a multi-award winning Zimbabwean poet and the heir apparent to firebrand Zimbabwean author Dambudzo Marechera. Get in touch with him to buy his books, Once A Lover and Mars, His Sword here

King Avry on his upcoming EP + his musical journey

King Avry, born Ngoni Avry Chilwa is a multifaceted Zimbabwean creative who, according to him, is the next Prince of African R&B. The singer-songwriter, who also dances and produces music, is currently putting final touches on his debut EP titled Love & Lyrics. Mambokadzi District caught up with him recently and had a chat about his passions and work.

“I would say my work is like a dirty 200 g double chilli beef burger, you have to bite into it and taste the different textures fused with it, to understand it and appreciate it” – King Avry


MAMBOKADZI DISTRICT: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

KING AVRY: Well, I wanted to be an entertainer but didn’t think I’d be a singer.


What kind of music did you grow up listening to?

Funny enough I wasn’t really into music until about grade 6 when I started listening to Maxwell’s Embrya and the track Gravity sticks out for me; I also listened to Eric Benet, Missy, Sisqo, Ginuwine, D’Angelo & Michael Jackson.


You seem to be heavily influenced by neo-soul and 90’s R&B. R&B purists will say that the genre has been watered down in recent years. Where does your music fit in into all this?

I would just say R&B just like everything else is evolving from the Marvin Gaye to the Eric Benet era to the Trey Songz & Chris Brown present day. My music is a blend of my interpretation of R&B with other genres.


How did you first get involved with the music business?

I first got involved with music through my ballet teacher she wanted to cast me in a musical and asked me to sing. I got the role; that was the very first time I performed.


Your ballet teacher encouraged you to step out of your comfort zone and audition for a musical and you got the part. Do you still dance?

Yes, I still dance. I am sure you will get a few moves in a music video but at live performances, I fully indulge [myself].


What are some of the misconceptions people have about male ballet dancers and what do you think is the reason people feel this way?

Ballet is an art and like most things, is not for everyone, either to accept or understand. A lot of misconception says male ballet dancers are gay. That’s an outright lie. I am straight and I love dancing.


When you started out in the music industry, was your family supportive of your decision to be an artist? How has that reaction changed as the years have gone by? What support have they provided you with over the years?

When I made the switch from dance to music, my mum was sceptical but my dad had just died so she rolled with it. Music was my voice because I never really used to talk much after his passing. Down the years, it became better as she actually comes to my shows to support me. She used to provide my bus fare and lunch money on studio trips.


Zimbabweans can remember you from your stint on television talent search show, Zim’s Got Talent, what did that experience teach you?

Zim’s Got Talent was a great platform. Making it to the semi-finals taught me of my strengths; how to embrace my weaknesses, this made me a better musician.


Before went solo, you were one-half of pop duo Hermanos Elektro [with producer Squash Beats], how did that experience prepare you for the industry now?

I really learned a lot about the industry, the good, the bad and the ugly. I am grateful for going through that phase. I absolutely think it was advantageous for me. When you work as a group, you learn to communicate and compromise. It’s not just about you. You actually have to consider the next person. This makes it easier for me to make clear-headed decisions now that I am a solo artist.


If you could tell a younger version of yourself some words from your journey thus far, what would you say?

Don’t be afraid to live, but, open your eyes and don’t fall prey to the industry and its demands – be yourself.


What growth as an artist have you experienced since you started out?

When you start out you think you are going to make it overnight but I have learned to be patient and to take time and give each project time and attention.


What would you consider your biggest achievement as an artist thus far?

So far, my biggest achievement would have to be between headlining Miss Heritage World and Miss Zimbabwe Diaspora SA.


Speaking of South Africa, in 2015, you briefly moved to Johannesburg to pursue avenues outside Zimbabwe. How has that experience changed you?

The SA music industry is a completely different ball game. It’s helped me understand a lot of stuff and shaped the sound changes that are in the EP and new singles that are coming.


What comparisons can you make between the South African industry and that of Zimbabwe?

Currently, just the talent, Zimbabwe is talent rich but lacks in vision and resources.


What has been your biggest learning curve as an artist?

Well in Zimbabwe the industry is being built so you have to put in a lot of extra work to reach a place lesser than our counterparts from other countries.


What interests or hobbies do you have besides making music?

I dance, I also love discovering new music, which is part of my research on the industry, and I play handball and hockey yeah and read a bit too.


What book changed your life?

The Art of War by Sun Tzu, it’s a great book and my own personal opinion guide.


If a movie or an album were to be made about your life, what would it be called?

I’m sure it would be called ‘What If’ [laughs] because there are many opportunities that I come across every day.


How do you deal with the ‘haters’?

I love criticism. I go back to the drawing board and try making a better product than the last one. Then I still give it those same people, but remember that you can’t please everyone.


What is your life philosophy?

I’m a simple person, really. I can be broken down to – God, Family, and Music. That’s how life goes for me.


What is the one thing people don’t know about you?

Well, I have a huge obsession with chocolate; I love it.


Any particular favourites?

It has to be Belgian white almond! I love my chocolate.


What are the words you live by?

“Is the juice worth the squeeze?” I ask myself that before embarking on anything.


What themes do you usually lean towards when making your music?

Life and love are my biggest themes as I use my personal experiences and those of people around me. I love fusing elements it creates a product that appeals to almost everyone thus creating a new lane altogether.


How would you describe your work to someone who has never heard your music?

I would say my work is like a dirty 200 g double chilli beef burger, you have to bite into it and taste the different textures fused with it, to understand it and appreciate it


Your debut EP Love and Lyrics drops soon. Can you tell us a bit about the project? Who did you work with?

In terms of credits, we have artists like Mcknife, D-Mic, Afrow_Zenda, Rae Lyric & Nash XL (UK/Zim) and production we have Squashbeats, Mcknife, Afromendez (SA), CrayBeatx, Afrow_Zenda, Futronic and myself.


Why did it take you so long to release a solo project?

The project took longer to release because I felt that I wasn’t ready to drop any body of work yet. I felt that I had to find my sound in, as much as I could do everything else, I had to identify my place and maximise on it.


If you could describe the project in one sentence, what you say?

A unique collection of music made with ‘Love & Lyrics’ Lol.


Are you signed? If not are you looking to be signed?

I’m an independent artist, yes, I would but I would put some serious thought into it before putting ink to paper.


Are bad experiences one of the reasons you are reluctant to sign a recording deal in Zimbabwe, and if so, what are some of these experiences?

Well not really, just that the deals that have come my way haven’t been lucrative enough for me and I decided to go independent.


How do you think this can be fixed?

I think people should take music and all its facets seriously, realize that it’s a job and not a hobby. That way they stop offering artists mediocre deals and services.


In your own terms, what would you define as success?

Well, I have goals lined up but my ultimate success story would be becoming an acclaimed mainstream artist and do proud by my country and family.


If you could change anything about the Zimbabwean music scene, what would it be?

I would start by creating a functional music industry structure by getting the notion of music being a job into the people and even the artists themselves and try to get stakeholders into the equation to the extent of even having an entertainment bill passed in Parliament.

Keep up to date with news and new music from King Avry on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram and SoundCloud

Confessions Of The New Girl Chapter 12 [FINALE]

Read from Chapter 1 here

Under The Influence

After security ‘escorted’ me away from the scene of my crime like a petty thief, they took me to their office, pending further investigation, or instruction. I don’t know. I wasn’t really listening past my trauma. They informed me that I was to attend a hearing, where some special powers would decide if I would continue being a student at this institution.

I sat in the office quietly, mostly trying not to cry. At a desk was a plump guard, chewing on his lunch loudly, all the while holding an entire personal conversation on a walkie-talkie. I suppose I felt it was the universe’s way of reminding me that humour creeps up when you least expect it. I let out a little chuckle, much to my ‘holding officers’ annoyance.

“You think violence on this campus is a joke?” he screamed my way with little bits of rice flying out his mouth. I am both disgusted and mortified that I don’t reply. Instead, I ignore him and melt into my own thoughts.

I had time to wonder where this type of effectiveness hides when laptops go missing on campus every day. I was soon to learn that it was not the fact that I got into a physical confrontation with one of the girls that were standing outside Dr Dhlamini’s office that got me here. Oh no, it was the perv Dlamini himself who had called security and told them I had assaulted him before I assaulted said chick.

I could not help but wonder if he had filled them in about the part where he offered to make me pass to sleep with him. In the midst of my trauma, I let out a hearty laugh about how he had played the victim.

“What are you laughing at? Is this what your parents sent you to South Africa to do? You should be sent back to your country,” he said while sucking his teeth. FAM, his xenophobic undertones irked every atom in my body. What does my nationality have to do with anything? Surely, people are involved in misunderstandings all the time. There is absolutely no need to throw where they come from into it. I got so miffed that I wanted to go off on him. I then thought to myself, “Self, that won’t yield any positive results for you. They have already made up their minds, whatever I say after this would be used against me.” I decided that arguing with the low-level employee would not serve my situation any good.

The worst part was, I had no one to call. You never think about such things when you move to a different country. You always romanticise the new world you are entering, never considering who you would call in case of emergencies. It even got me thinking about scarier situations. What if I was in a car accident? Who would the hospital call? I mean, sure a call to my parents would be made, but who would I have called in my immediate surrounding? I had no real friends in South Africa, and sure my brother was in Cape Town but since the whole Asanda/Yoliswa drama and him snitching on me to my mother, we weren’t exactly on speaking terms. I literally had no one.

That last bit terrified me. I started thinking about the shit storm that would happen should I be expelled for misconduct. The ride from the airport after I had been sent home would be excoriating. My dad would be quiet but his disappointment would be loud. My mother would be singing the I-told-you-so song and just for good measure, my sister Vimbai would have abandoned all her social activities that day just so she could witness my demise, front row while providing comedic one-liners for my mother.

After an eternity, that’s what two hours felt like, one of the security officers received a call that instructed them to get my details and escort me off campus. I was to report to a hearing ‘within a couple of days’. I obliged and promptly left campus. Of course, my first stop was the whisky section of the liquor store.

* * *

Can you believe these mofos let me stew for two entire days before they summoned me? I am ready to quit this school shit and give a go at being a career baby mama. Like fuck a lot of shit. I was drowning here. And I had no friends to confide in. I mean there was Tonde, but he was all the way in Zim.

I arrived for the hearing at around 10 am. In the plush office was Dr Dlamini, sitting comfortably and smug, the girl I had pounced on and a person from student affairs. This was not looking right for me. I sat down and waited for further instruction. Some big wig who I assume would be adjudicating this mess walked in. He instructed everyone to relay his or her side of the story. Dlamini more or less insinuated that I offered him sex for good grades, when he refused I attacked him in a fit of rage, young preppy girl echoed his sentiments, no surprises there! I was literally sitting there with my mouth open listening to these lies told about me.

When it was my turn to speak, I opened with a chuckle. This came as a shock to the adjudicator dude.

“Forgive me sir, but I find this whole thing absurd. I mean honestly, does this situation even make sense to you, as a logical thinking human being. How does a young woman like me, ahead of her class, go to a whole professor, make moves on him then assault him for turning her down; does that sounds right to you,” I say calmly although, on the inside, I was terrified.

“Miss Muchaneta, I am doing the best I can to try to understand where we are. If you could just tell me what happened in your own words.” He said.

“Before that can happen, I want to know if you will be taking any action against me. As in, am I expelled?” I asked genuinely. I wasn’t about to be kicked out of school fam.

The dude said no. That was all I needed to hear. If Dlamini was going to play the victim card, I was going to play the emotionally distressed girl card. Don’t hate the player! I sobbed for a while and waited for a tissue to be passed my way before I spoke. You have to play it just right. You need to know if your game will work first. You need to know if you’re dealing with cold-hearted savages or nah. Upon receiving the tissue from the lying girl’s purse, which was handed to me by the adjudicator, I launched into a Tyler Perry screenplay worth monologue.

I told them about Munya’s death, about never fitting into my family, about not adjusting to South Africa, about how this whole situation was making me doubt my whole existence as a human being. After my speech, even Dlamini looked apologetic. He even went on to say that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Even the chick I beat up looked like she was ready to not hate me. Mission accomplished! This is my diary, so no judgements right.

At the end of the hearing, the consensus was that I would be given a different supervisor, a female one and Dlamini would be forced to take a leave of absence for a semester. What is it with our society that gives perpetrators of sexual violence an insignificant punishment? He essentially had four months paid vacation. He probably took that fake testimony ass hoe along. Hey, while I don’t partake in calling other women names, this skank sure deserved it. With her lying ass.

I suppose the only consolation was the fact that my family was not involved in the whole ordeal. After the week I had had, slipping into my usual state of depression would have been understood. But alas, the two days prior to the hearing had forced me to take stock of my life. I decided that if I escaped this situation, I would be married to the books, and alcohol would remain my side chick until I graduate. I was finally getting my shit together.

I am so grateful that my best friend Tonde was there for me throughout this trying time. The best of friendships are the ones that defy geographical boundaries. Bless his heart; he was so worried about me that he promised to visit me next weekend.

* * *

It’s been a week and a half since the Dlamini drama and my life seems to be finally on track. My new supervisor is amazing, she inspired me to change my topic altogether. Sure, it was going to be a lot of catching up to do but hey, I’m Rufaro and pressure is my shit. I spent the last week or so in and out of the library and not sleeping. My last meeting with my supervisor was marvellous. I was back on track. To top off the good vibes, Tonde arrives this afternoon.

I pick up Tonde at Park Station in the late afternoon and I swear there is no greater feeling than seeing a familiar face in a sea of unfamiliarity. We decide a night out is in order. My best friend is in town for the weekend so hey, let the good times roll. We call up Tonde’s cousins, Catherine and Rutendo who live in Pretoria to join the festivities. We hit the club and fun times were had. I don’t remember most of it, but hey, I didn’t wake up to any injuries, physical or otherwise so that’s always a good thing. I woke up to the sound of Tonde watching a soccer match or some shit midday Saturday. I will never understand the relationship between men and football. It wasn’t even a live match.

* * *

After my body was no longer jittery, we hit the shops to stock up on a few things. I was having Hannah, Rutendo, and their boyfriends over to chill and braai. They came over around seven, and no surprises here, Tonde and I were already tipsy. It was great to be around cool people with no agendas. I had forgotten the joys of being a twenty-something being around other twenty-somethings, just doing some twenty-something shit like braaiing and drinking. A couple of hours into the braai, we moved into the house and someone suggested we play truth or dare. Now, sober me would have laughed it off as high school shit. Alas, I been drinking, I been drinking King Bey voice I suggested that the truth aspect of the game was lame; we should make it all dares.

Let me spare you all the irrelevant details of the debauchery and say that I didn’t expect what happened next. I was dared to kiss Tonde. Pause. Remember when I mentioned that Tonde is my best friend, he is. I see him in no sexual light whatsoever. Well, that was until his warm lips were pressed on mine. It could have been all the alcohol in my system and it mixing with my thirst, but that kiss was orgasmic fam. So much so that I asked everybody else to leave and they didn’t even trip. Rutendo winked at me and made it a point to say that it was about time for Tonde and me. Like whatever dude, just go!

Tonde and I walked them to the car park, and upon our return, before nigga could even close the door, I pounced, kissing him like there was no tomorrow. Tonde was never ready, shem. He stood no chance fam. I hadn’t been laid in a year and my woman parts were asking for some much-needed baptism. I will deal with the consequences of this tomorrow, for now, let me get it.

My name is Rufaro Muchaneta and I had drunken sex with my best friend, and, it was lit!


Raising Bars with D-Blok

Gone are the days when the rap game was a man’s world. In fact, if the dynamite that female emcees like Zimbabwean rapper D-Blok are anything to go by, we are ushering the age of women with killer bars, a command for the stage and music that just needs to be on your playlist. Ladies, gentlemen and Africa, I give you D-Blok!
“I have been through a lot I am not done, so keep moving” – D-Blok

MAMBOKADZI DISTRICT: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

D-BLOK: I wanted to be Michael Jackson

What albums did you grow up listening to?

I listened and still listen to a lot of Kenny Rodgers, Joan Armatrading, Thomas Mapfumo and Faith Hill.

What are your earliest memories working on music?

Oh, music was my life! I remember pretending I was huge superstar and I would sing and play my imaginary guitar for my dog

How did you first get involved with the music business?

There was no music at my junior school so I would take all poetry reading assignments given, sing, and dance instead of reciting. Teachers and students began asking me to perform now and again

Who or what are the strongest influences from your past that shaped your musical journey and artistry.

My inability to conform to expectations was my greatest influence, it gave me insight on how my interpretation of music should be, country music helped too

When you started out in the music industry, was your family supportive of your decision to be an artist? How has that reaction changed as the years have gone by? What support have they provided you with over the years?

My mom has been Team Blok from day one, my dad has been more into the business side of me[as an artist], which I must say has helped me balance out my artistic and business sense. The rest of my family is team Blok Nation all the way now. Their greatest contribution has been cheering me and levelling me out

What did you study in school and does it compliment your work in the music industry?

I studied IT, networking, graphic designing and computer sciences. They do not fully mix with music but I make them gel one way or another

If you were not making music, what would you be doing with your life right now?

I would still be doing what I’m doing right now, geeking around with and on machines

What growth as an artist have you experienced since you started out?

I have grown immensely, now I know how to work the crowd, lead and how to create music at the drop of a button

Who are your favourite musicians/bands in Africa and the world?

Thomas Mapfumo, Pink, Joan Armatrading and Beyoncé

Which artists, both living and dead would you love to work on a collaborative project with?

Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, Queen Latifah, Akura and the artists I mentioned before

What is your biggest fear as an artist?

Losing my creativity, waking up without the ability to create or understand music is a huge fear I believe all artists harbour

What would you consider your biggest achievement as an artist thus far?

I would say well-respected artists in Zimbabwe and abroad recognize and respect my music and the work I have put in. Also, when people stop me in the streets and show love, it is humbling and so I consider these two things as my biggest achievements thus far

What has been your biggest learning curve as an artist?

To know when to accept or decline promoters. Now I know when my name and brand are being jeopardized or compromised. I had a promoter approach me and ask me to perform at an out of town function and I was to foot my own bills because he was ‘giving me exposure’. That was blatant exploitation.

What interests or hobbies do you have besides making music?

Computers and horrors hands down

If a movie or an album were to be made about your life, what would it be called?

‘Cryptonic’ because I am very open yet very enigmatic at the same time

What is the one thing people do not know about you?

I am a perfectionist

What are the words you live by?

I have been through a lot I am not done, so keep moving

What themes do you usually lean towards when making your music?

None. I just close my eyes and freestyle, if it feels right and honest to who I am then I ink it

How would you describe your work to someone who has never heard your music?

That is always hard. I’d like to say, its soulified and thumping

Do you have any interesting groupie stories?

Oh gosh hahaha. Well after every performance, I get people who tend to stalk me and it’s a bit scary at times but there you have it

What is your making music philosophy?

Simple. I Nike it – just do it, don’t over think it let it flow

Are you signed? If not are you looking to be signed and what kind of deal are you looking for?

I am not signed because most deals leave a lot to be desired. I’m a bit weary of it. I sign artists but no, I am not a record label, I provide the backbone that every artist should have

How did your name come about?

D-Blok was born of my no nonsense character and mental inability to accept that there is impossibility. Keislim is a whole other chapter hahaha

Collaborations not only make for reaching wider audiences but also learning curves for both the artists. What have you learnt from the various collaborations you have done?

I have learnt to listen to the undertones of music regardless of genre. I can now fit into anything musical

Who is the most awesome person you have worked with and tell us about that experience?

Most awesome? Gosh, you are putting me in a spot there. For fear of alienating people I will be diplomatic and say everyone

What challenges have you faced being a female emcee in the male dominated industry?

I am going to be very honest here. I have faced no unequal challenges as a female rapper. To be frank my male counterparts view me as an equally formidable rapper just like the boys. Hip-hop is a level playing field IF you actually have what it takes

In your own terms, what would you define as success?

When you notice that the people you influence or inspire cut across the gender, race and age divide

How would you like to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as a musical daredevil

If you could change anything about the Zimbabwean arts and music industries respectively, what would it be?

I would love to change in the Zimbabwean art and music industry view to be viewed as just that, an actual industry

What does 2016 hold for you?

2016 is the year of the biggest and baddest. Year of change if the start is anything to go by

We all know that more often than not artists do not make enough money to sustain themselves without having another job. What do you think can be done to mitigate this?

Artists have to change their approach to music. Once they become professional and treat their art as a business then sustainability becomes a reality. As an artist, your art is your business. Artists should not squander the money they get from shows but instead open an account and deposit a percentage. They should also have a qualified management team that is able to determine the actual worth of the artist so when they charge for shows, promotions, features and such they do not under value the worth of the artist

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us. Please continue sharing your talent with the rest of the world and all the amazing work that you do. Any last words to your fans and supporters?

Thank you Blok Nation. I know you all got me as I do you. Let’s bring about positive change and energy in everything!

Keep up to date with news and music from the Blok Nation by following her on Twitter + Instagram, like her page on Facebook and listen to  her tracks on SoundCloud

To My Daughter: Of Expectation, Expecting + Prospect

Heir to the language the hurricanes in my bones speak, the collector of dreams the generations of women in my family inherit as an heirloom, the angel carved from my bones and flesh, you will sit on a throne. This throne is fashioned from bravado and black girl magic. You will sit, wearing a crown made of all the precious things that survived this fatigued heart of mine. And the people, they will know of your beauty, your intellect, your spirit and your heart and they will be pleased. Your presence will be a temple, sacred and divine. You will heal, be the answer that some seek, you will preach, of whatever sanctified scriptures you believe in.

I do not know where or what you are doing, but I do know you exist. You exist somewhere between the stars, my biological clock and the future. Nestled within the potential you carry and plotting ways to teach me about being a better woman, better person and even a better daughter to my mother. I await the lessons you will teach me with ink ready and heart as warm as I know your smile will be.

Child, I am nearing the prime of my fertility and though I am evolved enough to know that life is not a race, it is a journey. I cannot help but wonder how many months, years and seasons lie between now and your birth. I find myself daydreaming about you, at the most inconvenient of times; mother’s day on social media feeds, weeks when my period plays hide and seek and sometimes when the news that someone I used to babysit just added a baby to the list of things I don’t have as yet. It is in these moments; when self-pity, feelings of inadequacy and wondering if I just might be infertile, I think of you. However, you would be surprised to learn that these are not warm fuzzy thoughts. Instead, I find myself scared.

I am increasingly worried about you even before you even exist as a faint line on a home pregnancy test. I am suffering from a mild case of performance anxiety. The anxiety brought about the prospect of raising a girl child in a world full of hate, misogyny and patriarchal constructs that have sometimes robbed many, including me, of liberty. A freedom to freedom. A freedom that should be a right but is bargained and borrowed and held ransom in the hands of strangers we call a society.

I am only learning what it means to be a woman; I am nowhere near being the woman I know I should be. Honestly, between you and me, I am only just packing my childhood into neat little boxes I will revisit when this word, woman, gets too heavy. Will I be able to shield you from the absolute fuckery that comes with having a vagina and boobs? What will I teach you of self-respect and it’s relation to body autonomy? What words will I use when teaching you not to let anyone govern your body and its magical powers? Because, yes of course, your body is magic! Learn it and practice it religiously. What will I tell you when you ask me of the difference between men and women, will my answer be biology, abilities or the lies that were told to me? Will I dress you in girly colours, or will that go against my teaching you to refuse to fit into boxes.

That is not to say I will not love you fiercely and teach you to be fierce. To stand for what you believe in, to never hide or be ashamed of yourself and your abilities. You come from a long line of women; stubborn and resolute, not afraid of going against what is ‘acceptable’. What is acceptable anyway? Who decides? I hope you will be decisive. I hope you will learn about the decisions your heart, head and sometimes your lady parts make for you. Never be apologetic for the things you decide for you and your body.

I have already named you, she of the throne. Come forth and rise dear child. Wear your crown in whatever shade of madness you choose. Paint with world with your magic. Come and take your place as the rightful heir to your mother and grandmother’s riches. What we lack in trust funds, we more than make up for in spirit, prayers, and tattered hearts we wear as cloaks to show off the battles that didn’t kill us.

I hope you will find my lessons worth learning. My mistakes are bursting with ruins that have no phoenixes to rise from the ashes. I hope you will not judge me, for all the things I did when I was yet to learn of the world and myself. Things done to find myself. I have done things I am not proud of, like break hearts on purpose and giving up on my purpose. I want better things for you. I want a better world for you. One in where you are an artist with sheer audacity as your compass as you navigate this world full of mind fucks and niggas who are just trying to fuck.

I want to teach you many things about life, about being a woman and never apologizing for who you are, even when you do not know who that is yet. I want you to always remember that you are beautiful. Even then, I want you to know that, it is not all you have to offer. I want to read to you child. Books, poems and letters from your father. I hope by the time you have manifested I would have learnt enough about love to teach it to you. I want to teach you to cook for your man and let him cook for you. To love without prejudice or expectation. To know the difference between love and train wrecks. How to fish yourself out of despair when you soul has collapsed into the arms of a boy with holes in his heart, cold skin and a fragile ego. I want to teach you to love and learn about your body. To know that sex does not equate love and that the opposite is sometimes true too.

I want to teach you that love is not black and white and most times never easy. It comes to us to teach us things of ourselves. And daughter, I am under no illusion. I know you will not be easy. You are flesh from my body so you will contain some of my hurricanes that have claimed some of the wrinkles on my mother’s face. I promise to never steal your whirlwinds. I will never tell you to hold your tongue. You create your own road map to life. I hope I am not over bearing, as all the scars I carry from the time before I met your father sometimes fester. I do not want you trying to change, mute, or downplay yourself for a boy. I want you brave, not afraid to cry or ask for help. I want you not afraid to come undone, to learn of your vices and know that everyone needs them. I want you in control of your monsters, but most of all, I want your arrival, soon.

Your broody mother

Rae Lyric