Two years ago today, poet, novelist, and essayist Chenjerai Hove passed away in Stavanger, Norway. One of Zimbabwe’s leading writers, Hove was born in 1956 in what was then the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. His novels include Bones, which won the 1989 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. The author of four collections of poetry, including Rainbows in the Dust and Blind Moon, he also wrote many essays on politics and life in Zimbabwe and a number of radio plays. A strong critic of Robert Mugabe’s regime, he was a founder member of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association and president of the Zimbabwe Writers Union between 1984 and 1992. Hove was living in exile at the time of his death as a fellow at the House of Culture in Stavanger, as part of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN).
Serif were proud to be the publishers of Hove’s Shebeen Tales: Messages from Harare, and to mark Chenjerai Hove’s death we’re offering this short extract from the book, in which he reflects on Zimbabwe’s “masked democracy” under Mugabe.
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