Jabulani Mzinyathi was born in 1965 in Ascot, Gweru, Zimbabwe. He calls himself a poet-prophet-philosopher. His pan-African ideals and the teachings of Rastafari greatly inspire him. He is also driven by an immense sense of justice.
His works have been published in numerous magazines in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. You may read his works at: http://jabulanimzinyathi.blogspot.com.
Five Questions with Jabulani Mzinyathi:
1. How can we ensure that African philosophies are returned from the "dung heap"? Can poetry help? If so, how?
african philosophies have to be returned from the 'dung heap' by africans. in essence i am echoing what bob marley said in one of his timeless songs. he says 'emancipate yourselves from mental slavery none but ourselves can free our minds.' we africans should dispel myths about us. our stories should be told everywhere including the internet. we are low on pride! it is about time we sing our own songs. we do not to continually say according to Plato when we can say according to our elders. wise sayings in africa were not attributed to individuals but elders. the rest of the world must learn this!
poetry can help indeed. there we should capture our past, present and future. poetry has always been a vehicle to pass on messages to the present and the future too.it is for this reason that this poem talks of some great africans. our people will be jolted to sit up and take note of where we have been and where we want to be. there are lots of our unsung heroes while we hold in high esteem david 'deadstone' [livingstone] and others who discovered what we already knew.
2. Do you write primarily for your poems to be read on the page or aloud?
when the word is on the page i call it 'dead on the page' i however write poetry for performance and also for the solitary reader in the comfort of his home or while on a bus or train journey.
3. When you write, who is the primary audience you are considering? Zimbabweans? Africans? Anyone?
i am a zimbabwean, an african and also a world citizen! i write for anyone. i however have a background that i cannot easily escape. my ultimate goal though is to communicate with the world.what a lofty ideal! if i reach out and touch the world i will have achieved my ultimate goal. as human beings we have lots of shared experiences whether we are yellow, brown, black or white or whatever we call ourselves.
4. Why do you choose to write all in lower case letters?
i write in lower case and not capital letters. ah, i am not a capitalist so i cannot use capital letters! i use lower case letters in order to shatter conventions. i am a rebel!
5. Are you currently working on any poems or projects that our readers might be interested in?
of course my spirit is indefatigable. i am like a beast of burden. i am working on a collection entitled yearning voices. i also am still posting some works on my blogspot: jabulanimzinyathi.blogspot.com. there are other works available on the internet. readers can simply enter "jabulani mzinyathi" and do a web search. i have been working now for some time on some prose pieces entitled 'turning point.'