BY Mandy Kanyemba
Zimbabwean Poet Takudzwa Chikepe has been writing poetry for 15years now as he believes that he can tell stories, connect to people & share everything from experience, inspirations, research, dreams & revelations through poetry.
The Poet who started writing at the age of 19 revealed that he has so far written over 3600 poems since 2006.
“I write 1 poem a day 5 poems per week that is 20 poems per month multiply by 12 months you get 240 poems a year multiply by 15 you get 3600poems. When I started writing I never stopped except for two weeks when I had my laptop my eBook readers & phones stolen & I mistook it as sign from God to stop writing & focus on other things.”
The poems are of a wide range of variety as some of them have a biblical leverage with well chosen verses & other general poems which brings out an African feel when reading or listening to them.
“I derive my poetry from the Zimbabwean Shona society “Nhetembo” (a way of putting across a message without people knowing that you have said so). Nhetembo is different from poetry although people see poetry & nhetembo as the same. There was nhetembo before people knew that there was something called poetry, although we can start to evaluate the two & say it is the one and the same thing although we can see the difference.”
“My poems are my own genre I used to call them short poetic stories, stories written in a poetic way although I’m evolving & in the process of developing into something that I’m not yet aware of.”
VaChikepe as popularly known in the Arts circles says his inspiration is derived from imagination, anything happening that seems to be standing within the society in real times, historically , scientifically, theologically, prophetically & anything that is hidden.
The First African to get the Mutabaruka Award in the International Reggae & Word Music Awards 2021 (IRAWMA) has been part of several International & Regional Arts Festivals including USA, Jamaica, Nigeria,Kenya,Uganda,Ghana,Zambia & Lesotho where his talent is being recognized & appreciated.
Chikepe has just recently published a book of poetry entitled “Mental Gymnastics” which is on Amazon & is already becoming popular in the US (Virginia & North Carolina).
“ I believe publishing is a calling just like writing & I’m already working on the 2nd book that is coming soon definitely year 2022,a minimum of 1 or 2 books a year will be good because I already have all the poems.”
Chikepe says publishing will live for generations & people reading the Poets work will get to know him better.
“ I invest my gift & talent in real time life where people look at my work & resonate with it & live in it in as much as there shall be others who when they read out of the real times they will feel like they are reading Shakespeare. They won’t understand what was happening in the real times & so they will create their own theories & hypothesis around my work for I also write in that context of creating a space for people to think of what they want to create from what I have written.”
The 34yr old Artist is also grooming more than 200 inspiring Artists & Poets through some of his Arts groups namely “VaChikepe & the 100 sailors, VaChikepe & the Sailors Club & VaChikepe & the International Sailors Affiliates.
Through the initiative a publication of The Sailors Review Newsletter & Journal is released every two weeks & circulates in Zimbabwe Africa & the world at large with different artistic pieces from promising Poets who are benefiting from the mentorship namely Pikitayi The Poet , Dr Thembi, Brian Manyati ,Tatenda Murangi & Progress Muwadzuri to mention but a few.
“As the Sailors we appreciate poetry, we are breaking poetry barriers, we live for poetry, we live in poetry & poetry ends up knowing us by our names out of poetry we become all sorts of things.”
VaChikepe believes that Art plus Spiritual commitment to passion produces a great power that is more than technology.