Ignatius Tirivangani Mabasa
Ignatius Tirivangani Mabasa.jpg
Mount Darwin
Known forStory telling

Ignatius Tirivangani Mabasa is a Zimbabwean Shona language expert, writer, storyteller, filmmaker, musician, and academic. In 2021 he made history after being the first person ever to write the ChiShona PhD thesis at Rhodes University. He currently lectures at the University of Zimbabwe in the Department of Creative Media and Communication.


He was born in Mount Darwin and grew up on his grandfather's farm there.


He attended school in Chitungwiza, where he began to write short stories. He studied Shona and linguistics at the University of Zimbabwe. He was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Oslo, where he received the M.Phil. in Media, Democracy and Development in 1998. The following year, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach writing and literature in Illinois.

In 2021 he wrote the first-ever ChiShona PhD thesis at Rhodes University where he was reading African Language Studies. His thesis was titled “CHAVE CHEMUTENGURE VHIRI RENGORO: HUSARUNGANO NERWENDO RWENGANO DZEVASHONA. The folktale in confrontation with a changing world: a Shona storyteller’s autoethnography.” [1]


In 2012, Mabasa founded Bhabhu Books, a publishing company for Shona, Ndebele, and other vernacular language novels and stories novels and stories.


  • Tipeiwo Dariro (1993) = collection of Shona poems
  • Mapenzi (1999) - ' won first prize in the Zimbabwe Book Publishers’ Association Awards in 2000.
  • Muchinokoro Kunaka (2004) - collection of Shona poems
  • Ndafa Here? (2008) - won the 2009 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) Outstanding Fiction Book
  • Imbwa yemunhu (2013) - won the 2009 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) Outstanding Fiction Book
  • The Man, Shaggy Leopard and the Jackal; and other stories - Children's storybook which won the NAMA in 2010
  • Meri Nebhutsu Tsvuku - NAMA nominee for Outstanding Children's Book in 2013.

Social Media Pages


  1. African Languages student writes first-ever ChiShona PhD thesis at Rhodes University, Rhodes University, Published: 1 April 2021, Retrieved: 1 April 2021