Chenjerai hove
Chenjerai Hove, Zimbabwean Writer, Zimbabwean Author
Born(1956-02-09)February 9, 1956
DiedJuly 12, 2015(2015-07-12) (aged 59)
EducationUniversity of Zimbabwe
Alma materUniversity of Zimbabwe
  • Academic
  • Author
Notable workSecond Prize, Zimbabwe's Best 100 Books of the 20th Century, for Bones (2003)
Spouse(s)Tekla Hove

Chenjerai Hove is an award-winning author and one of the most celebrated Zimbabwean writers. He published many novels, some of his most outstanding include "Shadows and Bones" and "Up In Arms". He was also a playwright and activist forced into exile in 2001 following confrontations with state security agents.


He was born on 9 Feb 1956 in Mazvihwa, Zvishavane .[1] He is said to have been the son of a chief, he was marrried to Tekla Hove[2]


Chenjerai Hove attended Kutama College and Marist Dete for his secondary education. He attained a Certificate of Education from Gweru Teachers’ College, Gweru, Zimbabwe. He later attended the University of South Africa from 1980–83 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Between 1984-1985 he studied for a Bachelor of Arts Special Honours Degree at the University of Zimbabwe.[1]


Hove started off as a teacher before venturing into journalism. He was one of the most outspoken critiques of the government before he eventually left the country in 2001 citing safety concerns. While in exile, he became a fellow of the International Writers Project in residence at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.[1] In January 2010, he became the Writer-in-Residence at the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade County College. From 2007-2009, he was a visiting Professor/Fellow at Brown University.[3]


Hove died aged 59 in Norway where he was an academic.[4] He died in the Scandinavian nation having fled Zimbabwe after alleged harassment from the state due to his criticism of its operations. He died of liver complications in the company of his wife and sister.

Positions Held

  • 2010 January- Miami: City of Refuge Writer-in-Residence at the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College
  • 2009 Writing: Under the Lion King’s Wings: A Memoir on the History of Political Violence in Zimbabwe, with stipend from Norwegian Organization.
  • 2009 June\July, Guest Translator, Looren, Translating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • 2008 – September, to March, 2009: Guest Translator, Looren International House for Translation
  • Translated Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ into native Shona language.
  • 2007 – 2008, Visiting Professor/Fellow, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • 2005 – 2007 Guest Writer, City of Stavanger, Norway
  • 2005 – 2009: Member, Advisory Group, International Cities of Refuge Network, Stavanger, Norway
  • 2001 – 2004: Writer-in-Residence, City of Rambouillet, France
  • 2002: Visiting Lecturer, Leiden University, Netherlands
  • 2001: Creative Writing Fellow, State of Randenburg, Germany
  • 2000 – 2001: Creator and Organizer, Poets to the Community Project, Queensdale Area, Harare.
  • 1998 – 2000: Consultant Researcher, Culture and Development, Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • 1997: March – August, Cultural Exchange Writer in Munich, Germany, joint readings with Bavarian writers.
  • 1997 – 1999: Head of Dept of Culture, Goree Institute, Dakar, Senegal
  • 1995: Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Lecturer, University of Leeds, England.
  • 1995: Creative Writers Programme Coordinator, Yorkshire and Humberside Arts, England
  • 1994: Visiting Professor, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon
  • 1992: June, Visiting Guest Professor, University of Western Australia, Perth, delivering a series of lectures ‘Literature and Peace’ in the Peace Institure of the University.
  • 1990 – 2001: Founding member of the Board of Directors, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 1991 – 1994: Writer-in-Residence, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 1991: UNESCO-PEN Evaluator, Freedom for Writers and Journalists in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 1988 – 1991: Regional Editor for Southern Africa, Interpress Service News Agency, Harare
  • 1986 – 1988: Part-time Lecturer in Feature Writing, Dept of Mass Communication, Harare Polytechnical College, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 1985 – 1994 Founding Member, Board of Directors, Zimbabwe International Book Fair, Harare, in charge of international writers seminar and international relations and fund-raising.
  • 1985 – 1988: Senior Editor, Zimbabwe Publishing House, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 1981 – 1985: General Editor, Mambo Press Publishing House, Gweru, Zimbabwe
  • 1982: Professional In-House Editorial and Publishing Course, Napier Technical College, Edinburgh, UK.
  • 1978 – 1981: High School Teacher of English Language and Literature, Zimbabwe High Schools

Education and Training [3]

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Life in Exile

Hove lived in exile in Europe and United States and this prevented him from attending his mother's funeral in 2013.[5] It is alleged that the Zimbabwean Government sent four armed policemen to apprehend him. He also claimed that he was considered an enemy of the state.[5]

Published Works

  • And Now the Poets Speak (co-editor; poetry), 1981
  • Up In Arms (poetry), Harare: Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1982
  • Red Hills of Home (poetry), 1984; Gweru: Mambo Press, 1985.
  • Bones (novel), Harare: Baobab Books, 1988; Heineman International AWS, 1989.
  • Shadows (novel), Harare: Baobab Books, 1991; Heinemann International Literature and Textbooks, 1992.
  • Shebeen Tales: Messages from Harare (journalistic essays), Harare: Baobab Books/London: Serif, 1994
  • Rainbows in the Dust (poetry), 1997
  • Guardians of the Soil (cultural reflections by Zimbabwe’s elders), 1997.
  • Ancestors (novel), 1997. ISBN 0-330-34490-0
  • Desperately Seeking Europe (co-author; essays on European identity), 2003
  • Palaver Finish, essays on politics and life in Zimbabwe, 2003
  • Blind Moon (poetry), 2004.
  • The Keys of Ramb (children’s story), 2004


  • 2003: Second Prize, Zimbabwe's Best 100 Books of the 20th Century, for Bones
  • 2001: Guest Poet, Medellion International Poetry Festival, Medellin, Colombia.
  • 2001: Winner, German-Africa Prize for Freedom of Expression and Social Justice (Awarded by German Parliamentary Committee) for overall contribution to democracy and human rights in Africa through my writings in literature and journalism.
  • 2001: Selected, Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century, for Bones
  • 1997: Second Prize, Zimbabwe Literary Awards, for Ancestors
  • 1997: Twin City Exchange Writer, City of Munich/City of Harare, Munich, Germany
  • 1996: Resident Guest Writer, Heinrich Bøll Foundation, Heinrich Bøll House, Duren, Germany.
  • 1992: Second Prize, Danish Foreign Book of the Year, for Shadows
  • 1992: Short-listed, Commonwealth Literature Prize, Africa Region for Shadows
  • 1992: Winner, Zimbabwe Cultural Ambassador, by public national vote
  • 1989: Winner, Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, for Bones
  • 1988: Winner, Zimbabwe Literary Awards, for Bones
  • 1984: Honourable Mention, Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, for Red Hills of Home
  • 1982: Special Commendation, Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, for Up In Arms


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chenjerai Hove dies, NewsDay, Published: July 13, 2015, Retrieved: July 13, 2015
  2. Chenjerai Hove Dies in exile, NewsDzeZimbabwe, Published: July 13, 2015, Retrieved: July 13, 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chenjerai Hove, FL Center, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 13, 2015
  4. Zimbabwe writer Chenjerai Hove dies, British Broadcasting Corporation, Published: July 13, 2015, Retrieved: July 13, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 Exiled writer Chenjerai Hove dies, Nehanda Radio, Published: July 12, 2015, Retrieved: July 13, 2015