Sankonjana, Kezi (Matebeleland South Province)
|Education||Mazowe High School|
|Organization||Amagugu International Heritage Centre|
|Known for||Being a renowned historian|
Pathisa Nyathi is a Zimbabwean writer, author and publisher. Pathisa Nyathi is the founder of Amagugu International Heritage Centre in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. A writer, author and publisher, the former Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Writers’ Union is an art, culture and heritage protagonist who is very unapologetic about his Afrocentric views and perspectives.
Pathisa Nyathi as an individual thinks he has always been an arts, culture and heritage person. While he was in school he was involved in theatre, drama, as an actor, as a director; and belonged to several institutions, writers’ bodies. One time he was Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Writers’ Union which was the first in the post-Independence period. He still remembers his conversations with people from Nigeria, from Ghana, and so he thinks from that time, he has always been interested in arts and culture and heritage. Then he thinks all that remained was an opportunity where the spark will ignite into a conflagration – and that came about when he participated as Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Writers’ Union at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair which brought together many African writers. He remembers coming into contact with South African publishers and they were showing him magazines showing their artifacts, their crafts and he got excited about that. From there, he said he was going to build a centre that was going to showcase, that was going to preserve African heritage, something that was going to promote and document African heritage, so that people begin to appreciate; not from a heritage that is looked down upon, but a heritage that is a source of pride, a source of identity. So indeed about 2012, he started building the centre from his meagre resources.
He went through primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions that include Sankonjana Primary School in Matobo District from 1958 to 1962, Tuli where he did standard 4 in 1963, Mazowe High School in Mashonaland Central Province from 1967 to 1970 where he did his secondary education. In 1976 he did his A levels majoring in Geography and Biology through distance education. He sat for the A Level exams at Mzilikazi High School. He later trained as a secondary school teacher at Gweru Teachers’ College majoring in science from 1971 and obtained a certificate in education in 1973. In 1978 he enrolled with University of South Africa (UNISA) majoring in Geography and Development Administration. In 1982 he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and in 1985 a BA (Hon) from the same university. He has taught at a number of schools and a college in the country which includes Loreto, Usher, Howard, David Livingstone, St Columba’s, Sobukhazi, Gweru Teachers’ College, Gloag High, Nketa High.
He has worked in various capacities such as Education Officer (Non-Formal) Matabeleland North (1996-2002), Deputy Provincial Education Director Matabeleland North (2002-2004), Public Relations Officer with the Bulawayo City Council (2004-2008), Resource Person Culture Fund of Zimbabwe (2008-2009), Consultant in the Ministry of Water Resources, (January - July 2010). Pathisa Nyathi’s undying passion for Zimbabwean arts and culture could also be seen in the social responsibilities which he undertook in arts and other organisations. Chief among these was being the Secretary General, Zimbabwe Writers Union (1989-1990), Chairman of the National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) Matabeleland North (1990-1995), Deputy Director of Mthwakazi Actors and Writers Association (MAWA), Chairman of the Zimbabwe Academic and Non-Fiction Authors Association (ZANA) (Bulawayo Branch), Chairman of the Zimbabwe Writers Union (Bulawayo Branch), Chairman of Mpopoma High School Development Association, Committee Member of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee of Zimbabwe (2009). Pathisa Nyathi’s board membership also evidences his imense contribution to the arts industry in Zimbabwe. Some of the institutions’ boards he sat are Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) (1989-1998); Zimbabwe Book Development Council (ZBDC), Mambo Press Editorial Advisory Board; Organization of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP), Chairman of the Community Foundation for the Western Region of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH); Transmedia (2002-2009), Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo; United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) (2010).
Pathisa Nyathi is also a columnist for The Sunday News (Cultural heritage), The Sunday Mirror (View from Bulawayo) and The Daily Mirror (Giya Mthwakazi). As a traditional or cultural preservationist, Nyathi, has published Traditional Ceremonies of AmaNdebele and Material Culture of AmaNdebele. Most of his publications are in Ndebele. His argument in writing in Ndebele is that it enables constant development of the language to achieve a rich cultural heritage for future generations. As both a writer and a historian he has a lot of his books to his name.
- Ngilecala (a short story published by the Literature Bureau, 1988)
- Kunzima Malokazana (a play published by Longman, 1990)
- Vulingqondo 1 (a ZJC Ndebele revision book, 1990)
- Igugu Lika Mthwakazi (a history of the Ndebele from 1820 -1893 in the SiNdebele language), 1994
- Madoda Lolani Incukuthu, 1999 (a sequel to Igugu LikaMthwakazi covering the 1896 Ndebele resistance to colonialism)
- Uchuku Olungelandiswe, 1996, (a sequel to Madoda Lolani Incukuthu, dealing with Ndebele history during the colonial period.)
- In Search of Freedom: Masotsha Ndlovu, 1998 (a biography of one of the national heroes) Longman
- Material Culture of the AmaNdebele (2000), Reach Out Publishers
- Alvord Mabena: The Man and His Roots (2000) Priority Projects Inyathelo 6 Longman 2001(Ndebele text book for Grade 6)
- Traditional Ceremonies of the AmaNdebele (2003) Mambo Press
- Cultural Heritage of Zimbabwe (2004)
- amaBooks (Ziyajuluka, 2001 translation of Czech stories) (Inkondlo 2005, translation of Czech poems) (Okwenza iqhude Likhonye, Sapes Trust, 1999, translation of Shona children’s book by Tendai Makura)
- Changing Material Culture of AmaNdebele (2009)
- Amagugu Arts Kolobeja: Folktales from a Ndebele Past 2009, Embassy of the Czech Republic, Zimbabwe
- Tumbale: A History of the Bhebhe People of Zimbabwe 2010, Amagugu Arts
- Lozikeyi Dlodlo: Queen of the Ndebele, in conjunction with Marieke Clarke, 2010, Amagugu Publishing
- ISikhekhekhe Sabokhekhe, 2010 TEPP Marketing Publishers and Distributors
- UFikile Nyathi, Ezomdabu 1996 (children’s book) Zimawele Longman 2006
- Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 NAMA Awards.
Pathisa nyathi came up with a competition named 'My Beautiful Home Competition' whereby women would come up with different designs to paint their homes and the most beautiful would win the competition. Initially people didn't know the brain behind that but Nyathi saw a need to make people aware of the designs they made on their houses for many didn't know the meaning of those shapes but only knew they were beautifying their homes.
- Niyi David, , Morecreamthancoffe, published: April 3, 2019, retrieved: November 25, 2019
- , The Herald, Published: May 27, 2012, Retrieved: November 25, 2019
- Nqobile Tshili, , The Chronicle, Published: March 3, 2018, Retrieved: November 25, 2019,
- Bruce Ndlovu, , Nehanda Radio, Published: October 13, 2019, Retrieved: November 25, 2019,