I am a writer who was born in the district of Barking and Dagenham (London) in 1981, to Zimbabwean parents who were studying in the United Kingdom and returned to Zimbabwe a couple of years after independence. I spent my childhood in Masvingo, Zimbabwe where I completed my education at Victoria Primary School and Victoria High Boarding School respectively. I returned to the United Kingdom in 1999 after completing my A levels. I studied Law and Business Administration at the University of Kent in Canterbury and proceeded to study a Postgraduate Diploma in European Politics, Business and Law at the University of Surrey. I work as a regulatory consultant within financial services in the United Kingdom. I am married to my childhood sweetheart, who lives with me and our two children in South Wales.
What excites you?
Driving positive change towards social justice.
What matters to you?
The freedom to be authentic. When I align my intuition with what I think and do, I feel complete, and that’s important to me. I advocate for social justice through my writing, and being authentic makes me reachable and relatable to my audience.
One of the ways I maintain my authenticity is by writing poetry in Shona, a Zimbabwean vernacular language, and translating it to English.
The patriarchy is an example of a system that hinders authenticity of women through inequality, and I would like to see its demise. It is the reason why so many women have lost their true identities or sense of self. The patriarchy teaches women to devalue themselves by conditioning our minds to think that sexism, misogyny, gender-based violence, and a rigid dichotomy of gender roles are normal and acceptable prejudices. Culture and religion are some of the tools employed by the patriarchy to maintain that status quo. My advocacy involves raising awareness of these issues through writing.
What drives you?
Contemplating death is probably one of my biggest drivers. It keeps fresh my awareness that our time in this world is finite and helps to clarify my purpose, priorities and values. My purpose is to write stories and poetry with the objective to shift mindsets towards social justice.
What do you stand for?
Love and kindness. Everything good in life stems from that. I hope for a world where all people experience equality, peace and respect of their human rights.
What causes are special to your heart?
· human equality, diversity and inclusion
· rights of women and children
· rights and welfare of immigrants
· mental health
· preservation of vernacular languages
I raise awareness of:
· abuse, with emphasis on hidden and narcissistic abuse
· bullying and its effects
I empower those weakened by:
· abuse and inequality
· static cultural and manipulative religious beliefs and practices
· systems designed to further the dominant ideology of patriarchy
What's the difference you want to make?
Martin Luther King is known to have said, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write” and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
I write poetry and prose to raise awareness of the causes special to my heart, in the hope that the causes are realised and appreciated. Raising awareness is an important step towards change. I want to leave a mark of positive change as my legacy.
From the Collection “Uprooted” / “Zvadzugwa Musango”:
Damn it! (English) / Dhemeti (Shona) …
I stand here proclaiming damn it!
I am screaming for a ticket
For liberty from oppressors
I mean the wearers of waistcoats
We feel intolerant of our tightening skirts
A scorching discomfort like wearing petticoats
Due to differences in our naughty bits
Treating us like tortoises, we did not ask for shells
We are nauseated by sexual harassment
They say, “love me first, you are chocolate”
Following those insults they pay us peanuts
The burden is as heavy as a haulage truck
If you persecute us, we’ll launch a police docket
Let’s move with the times and stop tip toeing
We want equality, hear us God damn it!
Relieve us from the burdens we carry
So heavy like rocks in pails
We want to escape these little confinements
Please grant us opportunities and rights
Parents if you want a large harvest
Or promising young girls who are independent
End child marriages and all cultural girl child calamities
Teach the little girls to cough out loud
To speak their minds to reveal what’s in the folds of their hearts
To persist with reading and pursuing their education
And not to rush into marriage and having children
Encourage them to love themselves for who they are
Their bodies, spirits, minds and hearts
Oppressing us, and saying we don’t think marrow-deep
We refuse it, we are wailing, please hear us!
Parents teach your male children
Mentor them into straightforward men
Mothers do the dishes with your sons
So they don’t end up treating their wives like slaves
Counsel them about equality
Encourage them to say what’s in their hearts
To avoid releasing tension by abusing their own children
Or verbally and physically abusing their wives
Some of them raping very little girls
We refuse it, we beg you, hear what we are saying!
Down with oppression of women
Down with abuse of women
Down with disrespect of women
Down with unequal treatment of women
Down with silo mentality amongst women
Down with domestic commotion
The likes of Takesure, sit down
Even you bosses at work, hold up
It is a lamentation, hear us, damn it!
Come on, let’s go to war for equality
Men come along, you’re part of the army
Can’t win the war without you; we need you there
Soften your hearts, love is essential for this war
We are in a war of oppression
We are fed up, it’s stifling
Seriously, please stop abusing us
Unchain our hearts and our voice boxes
I’m standing here blowing a loud trumpet
We no longer want chaos, let’s remove these barriers
We’ve tampered with prickly pears, the glochids are killing us!
I’ve spread myself on the highway, must I die proclaiming damn it!
Ndakamira pano ndichiti dhemeti
Ndiri kuzhambiravo tiketi
Ndoreva vanosimira zvihwasiketi
Tohwa kushinyiwa nemasiketi
Dambudziko chairo sekutsva nepitikoti
Nemhaka yokusiyana kwezviweti
Kutiita hamba, hatina kukumbira makwati
Tohwa kusemesewa neshangwiti
Dzinoti tanga wandida, uri chokoreti
Pedzezvo dzotiqhworesa mapinatsi
Mutoro wacho unorema segonyeti
Mukatinetsa tonovhurisa dhoketi
Ngatifambirane nenhambo regai toti toti
Toda kuinzaniswa, tihweivo Dhemeti
Turai yatakadengezera mitoro
Inorema semabgwe mumigomo
Toda kubuda muzvitirongo
Tipeivo mikana zvose nekodzero
Vabereki kana muchida guru goho
Rinobva muvasikana vane hunhu kwaho
Kuzvarira nezvimutsamapfihwa tinoti bodo
Dzidzisai vasikana kukosora kuti oho
Vataure zviri mufungwa nokutsi kwemoyo
Nokushinga kurava mabhuku vapedze zvikoro
Kwete kumanyira mhuri nemichato
Vakurudzirei kuzvida nezvavakazvagwa nazvo
Miviri, mweya, fungwa, nomoyo yavo
Zvekutidzvanyirira muchiti hatifungi zvine mongo
Hatichadi kuzvihwa tavungudza, tihweivo
Vabereki dzidzisai vanakomana
Vakure vari varume vakarurama
Vanamai sukai ndiro nevanakomana
Vasazobata madzimai avo sevaranda
Varairei nhau yokuinzana
Vakurudzirei kurudunura zviri muhana
Vasazopedzera shungu mukurakasha vana
Vachituka nokutaka madzimai mudzimba
Vamwe vachibhinya zvazuro zvanana
Hatichadi, tateketera, ihwaivo zvatoreva
Pasi nokudzvanyirigwa kwamadzimai
Pasi nokushungurudziwa kwamadzimai
Pasi nokusaremekedziwa kwamadzimai
Pasi nokusainzanisiwa kwamadzimai
Pasi nokusabatana kwamadzimai
Pasi nemhirizhonga mudzimba
Vana Takesure garai pasi
Nemi vana bhasa mumabasa imbomirai
Tabararadza dohwai kana tichiti Dhemeti
Handei tivone kuhondo yekodzero
Vanhurume hamusari, tinemi mumavuto
Haikundiki musipo, varume tokudaivo
Nyevenutsai hana, iyi ihondo inoda rudo
Tiri muhondo yokubatirigwa
Hatichadi hondo tiri kubitirigwa
Zvokwadi chimirai kutishungurudza
Sunugurai dzedu hana needu makurokuro
Ndimire pano ndichiridza bhosvo
Hatichadi mhirizhonga, tobvisa rukato
Tabata madhorofiya, topfidza nevunye
Ndavata mumugwagwa, ndofa here ndichiti Dhemeti
Links to Samantha's work and social media accounts are:
Author website: https://www.samantharumbidzai.co.uk
What is your legacy?