For the love of poetry


Nesbert Takaedza Zengeni is a lover of life, people, and words.

He is also known as The Survivor.

His passion for poetry begun in 2012

“I was so focused on my end of year ZIMSEC examinations. But, there were other things that were affecting my fighting spirit. Then one day I came across The Daily News poetry section. There was a poem titled Do Wake Me Up. I forgot the author,” Zengeni said.

He added: “After reading that poem, I told myself that I was going to start to write poems. I started by writing all the frustrations I had in a poetry way. That moment right there, is when I fell in love with poetry because poems calmed me down. Poems healed me.”

For some, poetry is mind moving, soul kindling and evokes an imaginative awareness of experiences.

For others, it’s just too many feelings on a piece of paper. There is no in-between, one either loves or abhors poetry.

For Zengeni, his inspiration is his life and everything surrounding him, especially nature.

His favourite poets are Lisbon Tawanda Chigwenjere, Philip Kundeni Chidavaenzi, Rabson Shumba, Chenjerai Hove and Lazarus Sauti.

With two books, The Voice in Exile and Shepherd of Hope under his wing the young author is already at work on his next project.

To him ‘poetry is sentimental in bringing out the deep meaning of life, love, disappointments, joy, faith and bereavement’. Poetry does this through reflecting human emotions which are expressed in different ways.

“Poetry for me, heals, it takes you closer to everything that hurts you, and breathes out healing leaving you free and happy.”

In his book Shepherd of Hope his poems cover love, religion and self-reflective pieces, one of the poems Do Not Go Back To Sleep reads,

Though your body might feel weak

Do not listen to your fears

Gather confidence from the inner self

And always remember

Not to go back to sleep

Poetry is as old as history. And older and walks hand in hand with religion. Scholars have for time immemorial been trying to define poetry unsuccessfully.

The world has known many a great poet the likes of William Shakespeare and Maya Angelou whose poem Still I Rise is one of Zengeni’s favorite poems.

At a time, such as this, one cannot help but admire and applaud the tenacity of Zimbabwean authors.

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