Tsitsi Dangarembga

From Pindula
Tsitsi Dangarembga
Tsitsi Dangarembga
Image Via Women's Museum
Born(1959-02-04)February 4, 1959
  • Novelist
  • Film maker
Known forWon the African Section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989
Notable workNervous Conditions

Tsitsi Dangarembga is an award-winning one of the most accomplished writer, film producer from Zimbabwe. She is mostly known for her award -winning book Nervous Conditions and wrote a play, She No Longer Weeps on which the screenplay for the film Neria was based.


Tsitsi was born on February 4, 1959, in Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe, in the town of Mutoko.[1] She spent her early life in the United Kingdom before moving back to Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia.[2]


She completed part of her education in Mutare at Hartzell Secondary School.[2] Dangarembga studied medicine at Cambridge University but returned home soon after Zimbabwe was internationally recognised in 1980. She took up psychology at the University of Zimbabwe and became a member of a drama group. She then continued her education later in Berlin at the German Film and Television Academy, where she studied film direction and produced several film productions, including a documentary for German television.


The first book written by Dangarembga was titled "The Letter" which she published in 1985. She also released a played called "She no longer weeps" but her break came in 1988 when she published " Nervous Conditions" which was published in 1988 and went on to propel her to international acclaim. Tsitsi also produced the movie "Everyone's Child" being one of her most celebrated.[2] It was also the first feature film to be directed by a black Zimbabwean woman. Following up on the success of Nervous Conditions, she went on to publish a sequel to the novel in 2006, titled "Book of Not". The book went on to become a trilogy with the publication of "Chronicle of an Indomitable Daughter in 2013.[2]


  • The Letter: 1985
  • She No Longer Weeps: 1987
  • Nervous Conditions: 1988
  • The Book of Not (Sequel to Nervous Conditions): 2006
  • Chronicle of an Indomitable Daughter (Trilogy to Nervous Conditions): 2013

Films Directed

Awards & Achievements

A former medical and psychology student, Tsitsi Dangarembga is the first black Zimbabwean woman to direct a feature film and is the author of the prize-winning novel Nervous Conditions. She has written in several genres, including a work of short fiction, a novel, a stage play, and two screenplays. The novel, Nervous Conditions, was first published in Zimbabwe in 1987, but soon thereafter was also issued in England and the United States. In 1989, it won the African section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Prior to this award, Dangarembga had won the second prize in a short story competition of the Swedish aid-organization, SIDA. Moreover, the novel Nervous Conditions was named as one of the top 100 books that have changed the world.

While studying at the German Film and Television Academy, Dangarembga produced films including a documentary for German television. She wrote and directed the feature film Everyone’s Child, which was released in 1996.

In 2006, The Independent named Dangarembga one of the fifty greatest artists shaping the African Continent.

In May 2016, Dangarembga was selected by the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center for their 2015 Artists in Residency Programme.[3]


Nervous Conditions was the first novel to be published in English by a black Zimbabwean woman.[2]


She was arrested on 31 July 2020 for holding placards denouncing corruption by senior government officials. She was granted ZWL$5,000 bail by a Harare Magistrate at the Harare Magistrate Court on 1 August 2020 together with Julie Barnes. The bail conditions include surrendering her passport and reporting to the nearest police station once a week.[4]


  1. Barbara Fister Third World Women's Literatures: A Dictionary and Guide to Materials in English, Greenwood, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 14, 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Tsitsi Dangarembga Biography of Tsitsi Dangarembga, GradeSaver, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 14, 2015
  3. [1], Prabook, Retrieved: 7 July 2020
  4. Tendai Biti, [2], Twitter, Published: 1 August, 2020, Accessed: 1 August, 2020