Mufaro Jonasi is a Social and Economic Activist, An Alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center South Africa and also an Alumnus of the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development Social and Economic Activism Academy Class of 2022. Mufaro is a former Student Representative Council President at the Zimbabwe Open University where he completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communication Studies with a research major in political communication. He is also a former Secretary General of the City of Gweru Workers Union and works Council. Mufaro is an avid writer of political text and frequently writes articles. He recently won the Phoenix Publishing Book Awards as 1st runner up in the Political Narrative category.
The award winning Activist speaks to Sunday Oyinloye, Publisher, Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable
What prompted you to write the book titled “The Days of my Father”?
I wrote this book out of an anxiety and frustration of how the quality of life for young people in Zimbabwe is declining. I wrote this book noticing how young people are suffering to live better lives and silently going about the daily struggles of life. Being a victim of the socioeconomic injustice we face, i too decided to write a book telling the story of how the youth are struggling in Zimbabwe
Did you face any challenge writing the book?
Political content is a hazard in Zimbabwe. Many journalists have been arrested and tortured for expressing their thoughts, so at first it was difficult to find a publisher who was willing to publish my manuscript, but i never gave up, I eventually found a reliable publisher
Has the book made any impact in Zimbabwe?
The book has made a significant impact across the Zimbabwean political scene, academia, research personnel and the grassroots. Social and economic justice activists in local communities have used my book to reference issues that have to do with community development and effective service delivery. It is my dream that my book will break the borders of Zimbabwe to go abroad and amplify the story of the Zimbabwean young man, to inspire Zimbabweans in the diaspora to never give up on their motherland.
How did you receive the news of your award, and what went into your mind after taking it?
Being published for the first time, i didn’t think i would make the adjudicators cut, especially considering the numerous qualities of nominations submitted. When i got the email, i was thrilled and humbled to receive recognition nationwide; it reiterated within me that the Zimbabwean voice cannot be silenced
What does the award means to you?
This award means the world to me, after nearly 4 years of writing, battling personal and professional issues. Along the way this award is a reaffirmation of a personal victory for me and i am proud of myself for having endured the endless struggles to publish this book. Secondly i believe this award will inspire young people in Zimbabwe that whatever they do they are important and no one can kill their dreams regardless of the struggles they face
What challenges are young authors facing in Zimbabwe, and how can government help them?
Publishing in Zimbabwe is a mammoth task and literary development is underfunded yet literacy development is one of the most fundamental bases of building intellectual capacities and innovation that address national problems. Publishers are not usually keen on publishing materials from young and unknown writers and the self-publishing route is often expensive for most young people, thus many good manuscripts never see the light of day. And it’s a tragedy that needs to be addressed. It is a good thing that Phoenix Publishing has taken the Initiative to recognize outstanding writers in Zimbabwe by launching the Phoenix Publishing Book Awards.
Are you currently working on something you which you want to share with the world?
I am an advocate for child rights and one of my focus areas is skills development for young people to provide for them a platform upon which they can amplify their own capabilities..so currently i am working on drowning prevention programs, drowning is the 3rd world’s leading cause of accidental deaths according to WHO and 90% of drowning cases occur in low income countries. Zimbabwe in the World Health Rankings Report of 2015 was ranked 14th highest in the world of drowning related deaths. These incidents are happening in remote areas and low income communities and it is my goal tp generate a community movement that builds resiliance and preparedness against drowning. This way will prolong the lives of our youths
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to see the manifestation of the social democratic principles that were the foundation of liberation struggle come to pass in Zimbabwe. I want to see child marriages end because the state will be providing free basic education; i want to see the life expectancy of our people increase because of adequate funding for public health in line with the Abuja Declaration. I want to see women give birth under conducive conditions and not die because of the dire state of maternity care which sometimes requires them to wake up as early as 3am to register. I want to see economic growth and talent flourish in my country through co-operation and collaboration. I want to see Zimbabwe become the Beacon of the World