First Language(s): Shona
Second Language(s): English
Ketina Muringaniza is a pensioner who has taken full time writing as a hobby. I live in Gweru in Zimbabwe. I enjoy reading, socializing with the marginalized and listening to music. I enjoy gardening immensely. I like dogs. I published one Shona Novel entitled Zviuya Hazvivanane. Another Strangled Cry is under publication with Author House in the UK.
What was your favorite book as a child?
My most favourite book as a reader was Heidi which captivated me when I was just a young reader at primary level. I was so immersed in it that thereafter I read several versions of it from the abridged copy for beginners to the bigger full volumes. I never got tired of reading the novel. It was indeed a great inspiration in my life and wetted my appetite to read more. I have, throughout my life, read several books but so far none have made so permanent an impact. I was a solitary figure failing to get consolation in idle play and foolish childish plants. I somehow enjoyed reading any book I could get hold of. My father had a lot of church literature and farmers’ diaries way beyond my level but I would tackle and read them to the amazement of all. It was only when I went to boarding school and had access to the children’s library books that I became so attached to Heidi that I would imagine myself in the Alps and feel sympathy for her ill-treatment when she was bundled to and from. In fact, Heidi, that carefree character, must have moulded what I am today unconsciously.
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
I clearly remember when I was still very young, before even going to school, that I thoroughly enjoyed the evening fairy storytelling times our parents always set aside daily. I looked forward to those sessions. On the radio, every day there was a thirty-minute session for serial local radio drama which we also followed rigidly every evening, Monday to Friday. Those serial dramas wetted my appetite so much that I would create my own in private, daily adding more scenes to that secret serial creation. Every evening as soon as we went to sleep, I would pretend to be asleep as I ventured into my creative adventure. Thus, at school I was so impatient to learn to read and write so that I could capture my creations on paper. I often pestered my father to teach me syllables not yet taught at school so as to be able to read and write on my own. Thus, I proved a fast learner reading way beyond my level. At that early age, it became my hobby to jot down my nocturnal creations hence my speedy reading and writing skills. Throughout my education, I always excelled in creative writing.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
For years, I had written without much success except for one publication. I was losing heart and almost gave up. My editor encouraged me to carry on. I attended various workshops and seminars organized by Zimbabwe Women Writers in which my talent had been revealed. In 2008, I left Zimbabwe for Malaysia only returning mid-2009, I phoned my editor on my return just in the nick of time. She was ecstatic for me to apply for the writers’ workshop being advertised for Zimbabweans at home. The deadline was in just two days’ time. I had to select one of my numerous texts to send with her help. Everything that could go wrong did, like being detained in hospital for a day before meeting her. The internet went down after the selection for the whole day on the deadline date. I only managed to send the article a few minutes before midnight. My article was selected for the 2nd Residence workshop in Uganda to represent ZWW on my creative writing strength. Eureka! As if in a dream in February 2011, I found myself airborne for Uganda. I could hardly believe I had achieved that solely on my writing skills.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
Yes! I thoroughly enjoy listening to music when I am reading or writing. In most cases, soft flowing, passionate music completely excludes all unnecessary noise which distracts attention. Thus enveloped in appropriate mood and environment, I go right to the moon into Utopia and create whatever I intend into reality, when I actually visualize and experience the scene mentally. Of necessity, the music chosen should suit the mood, climate and background I am exposed to or intend to create. Music is also very crucial in my creative writing because it stimulates, propels and drives me into action. It puts me in the right mental state. It is in fact a very helpful soothing drug which induces the best in me without any harmful side effects. At times when I reread such scenes created when playing relevant music, I just find myself overwhelmed in my creativity so much that I can hardly believe that I produced the piece. I find music is my most addictive catalyst which stimulates and polishes my creativity. I mainly enjoy meaningful music that brings peace, calmness and meaning to what is currently at stake. Hence, I enjoy a wide variety but the golden oldies take precedence.
Early Morning Stroll
Issue Fall '19