Blessing Chigama
Batsirai Easther Chigama.jpg
BornBlessing Easther Chigama
1977
Zimbabwe
NationalityZimbabwean
EducationMsengezi High School
OccupationPoet
Years active1993 to Present
Websitehttps://batsiraichigama.co.zw


Batsirai Easther Chigama is an award winning Zimbabwean spoken word poet, a short story writer and a socio-political gender activist. She is one of the female pioneers of the country's modern day spoken word craft.

Background

Batsirai Chigama was born in 1977 in Zimbabwe. Her first poetry collection, Gather the Children, won the 2019 Outstanding First Creative Published Work from the National Arts Merit Awards in Zimbabwe. She is an Iowa International Writers Programme Honorary Fellow, 2019.

Career

In 2014, Chigama was awarded second prize in the Stanza Poetry Festival Digital Slam ahead of eight other contestants chosen from all over the world. Passionate about providing alternative narratives to those featured in mainstream media, and in working with young people, her work has taken her as far from home as Denmark, performing and facilitating creative writing and spoken word workshops in schools."

In 2014-15 Batsirai was appointed the Woman Scream International Poetry Festival organiser for Zimbabwe. In 2013, a selection of Chigama's poetry was featured on Poetry International alongside five other Zimbabwe women poets. She also appeared in the Prairie Schooner Winter Issue, Women and The Global Imagination , 2014.

A published short-story writer, she dedicates some of her time to write on the arts and culture in Zimbabwe for the local website Zimbo Jam . Chigama has also become a contributor for POVO Magazine Women's Edition. She says she would like to lend her voice to the women whose voices are silenced the world over.[1]

Her Work

Batsirai's work has been featured in over fifteen anthologies including State of The Nation, (Conversation Paper Press, 2009) and War Against War, (Mensa Press, 2010). In 2014, Batsirai came second in the Stanza Poetry Festival Digital Slam ahead of 8 other contestants chosen from all over the world.

Batsirai is passionate about providing alternative narratives to those featured in mainstream media and her work with young people, has taken her as far as Denmark, performing and facilitating creative writing and spoken word workshops in schools.

Batsirai has travelled to participate in a number of festivals in the region: Arts Alive (SA), SADC Poetry Festival (Botswana), Blantyre Arts Festival(Mal), Tambo Tambulani Tambo(Moz) and a host of other local festivals.

Poems

In 1993 when she was at Msengezi High there was a call for material to be published in the school magazine and she wrote two poems and they were accepted.

  • Where I come from
  • Frills of winter
  • Justice will Find You
  • Shards
  • Beyond the walls
  • Child Soldier[2]

Featured In

Short Stories

Poetry

  • Traps, Zimbabwe Women Writers, 2015
  • Women & The Global Imagination, Prairie Schooner, 2014
  • XXX Nosside World Poetry Prize Anthology, 2014
  • XXVIIII Nosside World Poetry Prize Anthology, Italy, 2012
  • The Hummingbird Review, 2012
  • State of the Nation - Contemporary Zimbabwean Poetry, Conversation Paperpress, 2009
  • Defiled Sacredness - A collections of poems about the effects of rape and sexual abuse on the individual and society, Mensa Press, 2009
  • Visions of the Motherland - A poetic celebration of the cultures, tribes and the people of Africa, Mensa Press, 2009
  • The War against War - Poetry about the Stark Realities of War, Mensa Press, 2009

Awards

  • 2012 Italian Hosside World poetry competition award
  • Second prize in the Stanza Poetry festival Digital Slam
  • 2019 Outstanding First Creative Published Work from the National Arts Merit Awards

Pictures

Videos



References

  1. Togara Muzanenhamo and Irene Staunton, [1], Poetry International, Published: 17 September, 2018, Accessed: 22 January, 2021
  2. [2], Batsirai Chigama Website, Accessed: 22 January, 2021