Spotlight: Writer & publisher Samantha Vazhure gives hope to African writers

Spotlight: Writer & publisher Samantha Vazhure gives hope to African writers

British-Zimbabwean award-winning poet, writer, and publisher Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure founded Carnelian Hearts Publishing, a UK-based press. Her talent and work have empowered many African authors by giving them a platform to showcase their talents.

Vazhure was born in UK and relocated to Zimbabwe with her family when she was still a toddler. She grew up mainly in Masvingo where she also did her schooling before relocating back to the United Kingdom to do her higher education.

She published her novel, “Painting a Mirage,” which is part of a trilogy. Her poetry collection, “Starfish Blossoms,” released in 2022, culminated in a National Arts Merit Award for “Best Poetry Collection.” She also writes in her native Shona. Her anthology, “Zvadzugwa Musango,” was released in 2020, followed by an English translation titled “Uprooted,” also released in 2020.

Picture1-1 Spotlight: Writer & publisher Samantha Vazhure gives hope to African writers

She published works by other African authors under the imprint of Carnelian Hearts, including Tsitsi Ngwenya, Memory Chirere, and Cynthia Marangwanda. In 2023, the publishing house released the poetry collection Tesserae: A Mosaic of Poems by Zimbabwean Women. The book was listed among the notable books of the year by Brittle Paper and went on to be nominated for Best Poetry Anthology at the NAMAs. Vazhure herself won the award for Publisher of the Year from Brittle Paper. Additionally, Chirere’s Shamhu YeZera Renyu won a prize at the NAMAs. Vazhure and Carnelian Hearts continue to publish diverse African authors, providing them with a platform to showcase their talents.

In a show of its commitment to pan-African talent, Carnelian Hearts hosted a 2024 short story competition with cash and publishing contracts up for grabs. Writers from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt made the recent shortlist, and the winners will be announced soon.

Apart from her literary work, Vazhure also founded Chitende Art which shows her visual artistry. She produces acrylic paintings which she sells and showcases around the world (acrylic on canvas paintings by Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure). Vazhure is an intense creative of outstanding merit, a visionary leader and also a beacon of hope.

Kudzai Mhangwa

Kudzai Mhangwa is a writer, actor and musician. He writes poetry, plays, essays and short stories. His work has been featured on House of Mutapa, Atrebla Magazine, Ka'edi Africa, Poetry Soup and elsewhere.

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