Ipikai Poetry Journal
A home for Zimbabwean poetry
ISSUE 2 | SEPTEMBER 2022www.ipikai.org
The Ipikai Poetry Journal
is a project of the
Zimbabwe Poets Society.
FROM THE EDITOR
In Our Poetry, As In Our Songs
It is not very long ago that Ipikai was just an embryonic dream sitting in the minds of different people—there has been a need for a long time to organise structures to nurture Zimbabwean poets as evidenced by the number of submissions we received for our first issue.
And now we are releasing the second issue of Ipikai which is somehow a more emotional milestone for me than the first. Much has been given by its founders Fungai Tichawangana and Batsirai Chigama who work tirelessly in the background to make sure Ipikai is a success. Bhekumusa Moyo who selected and edited Ndebele poetry for our first issue and Tinashe Muchuri who has recently come onboard to oversee Shona poetry have also been crucial to Ipikai’s mission and I thank them heartily for their invaluable contributions.
For a long time, the theme of home and belonging has been the focus of a lot of Zimbabwean literature, and it seemed a broad enough topic for Zimbabweans from any walk of life to speak on. However, as I was reading the entries for this month, my mind was not turned towards Zimbabwe’s wordsmiths but to its bards. While reading Anesu Ndlovu’s “The world, my home”: “They see me from a distance and decide not to come my way”, I found myself turning to Andy Brown’s plaintive statement “ndaikumbira mvura chete” (I was only asking for water) in Mawere Kongonya.
So too, every other poem either gave me Oliver Mtukudzi’s yearning for home in Dande or his bitter realisation of the diaspora’s emptiness in Izere Mhepo. For instance, Emmanuel Sigauke’s “Detected Accents” and “In Here” paint a lonely picture of a cold diaspora. Even Mbonisi Zikhali’s retelling of the prodigal son imagines the real bitterness of a disappointed father that brings Ndakuvara to mind. In Zikhali’s words,
No one wants the entire story of our origins
to invite vultures to gatecrash our reconciliation,
even at its most reckless.
So we take group photos carefully,
knowing which ones will not draw the attention
of angry dead ancestors inside leaking graves
The second issue of Ipikai is not just the contributors’ rendering of physical home but also a declaration of culture—the burial of the umbilical cord in Joseph Matose’s “Meet Me in Gaza” : “Fascinated by the flowing phenomenon/I sigh to soothe a nostalgic heart/That is empty with yearning for where/ My umbilical cord is buried.” It is also the gathering of families at Christmas time (Jonas!) in Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure’s “Tasting heaven”. For me, this issue is a meal and not just any kind of meal, it is the steaming plate of millet sadza and a freshly killed roadrunner shared with too many cousins beside a crackling fire and the promise of a well spun tale narrated by an ageing grandmother.
Home & Belonging
The yearning for a place where one belongs, whether literal or metaphorical, is almost as universal as the fear of death or the yearning for love.
A home can be a physical place of abode, distilled to architecture and geography: a grandmother’s hut, an idyllic suburban garden or a chaotic house of hunger. Yet other homes still are metaphorical and linked rather to people and feelings.
Click on a title to read the poem, or on a name to see all the poems by that poet…