Iconic Zimbabwean Publisher set to close shop
After celebrating a quarter century of existence just a week ago, one of Zimbabwe’s most visible and respected book publishers, Weaver Press, is set to close shop by the end of the year.
Formed in 1998 by husband-and-wife duo (Murray McCartney and Irene Staunton) in the back yard of their Emerald Hill home, the namesake of the publishing house was borrowed from the many weaver bird nests that were dotted around the landscape.
They have reportedly published over two-hundred titles since they first began their company working with acclaimed writers such as Chenjerai Hove (Blind Moon), Shimmer Chinodya (Harvest of Thorns), Yvonne Vera (The Stone Virgins), NoViolet Bulawayo (‘Glory’ and ‘We Need New Names’) and Tendai Huchu (The Hairdresser of Harare’) to mention a few.
The publishing house has even given a spotlight to issues and histories that are often censored, allowing the truth of these stories to never die. Like most Zimbabwean companies, they have faced their share of hardship largely in part due to the nation’s crumbling economy and unstable operating environment.
The Zimbabwean publishing industry has been suffocated for years with photocopying of books and a shrinking market of book buyers. Pirating is also another issue that has plagued Zimbabwean writers and publishers with little laws in place to protect the industry.