Home » General » How Author Machemedze Found His Groove

He has for the past years maintained a low profile with few people taking time to appreciate his works.

But given a chance to check his projects, they speak volumes about this quiet man.

Elias Machemedze, the brains behind the 2008-2011 Ordinary Level Old World Shona setbook “Sarawoga”, is a village boy who has managed to bring change in his home town through pen and paper.

He has passion for the literary arts and started writing the script of his novel “Sarawoga” while he was still at secondary school.

“I developed the script of the novel ‘Sarawoga’ from a story that my father, Chisango Machemedze, once told me,” he said. This is an intriguing ‘old world’ story about Chief Nyasoro, who raises a step son, Sarawoga.

In his youth, the cunning Sarawoga tries in various ways to usurp Nyasoro’s throne with the help of the newly arrived white settlers.

His appetite for power can only be equated with evil. As a result, the spirits of the land of Chipindura intervene and Sarawoga dies mysteriously.

Done in impeccable Shona language with no lapses, this novel reads like a rendition from another time.

Machemedze said his writing career has never been a bed of roses with some family members against his dream but his passion kept him going.

“When I discovered that my family was against the path I had taken as a young boy I then resorted to the bush and the nearby Kakomo Kembada hill to brood and be ill for some time that is how I finished writing the script of Sarawoga and I remember going to one of my teachers at Zvomanyanga Secondary School, Enock Kalani, to show him my work for him to assist me in some areas,” he said.

The book was then published by Priority Projects Publishing in Harare in 2004. Machemedze said the literary arts may not be rewarding financially but open doors for those who love them and are good at it.

“I can safely say there is no success in writing but achievements, for instance my novel ‘Sarawoga’ after having been chosen to be a school set book, Oliver Mtukudzi adopted it into a feature film that appeared on Zimbabwe television and even made a song based on it and thus how doors started opening for me,” he said.

His second novel was called “Nherera Zvirange”.

It is another heart-rending old world story about a banished orphan who fights against all odds to reclaim his father’s throne. Before that he falls in and out of trouble many times. He leaves home to stay in the bush and troops are despatched in order to catch him.

In the plot are many military strategies that keep the reader on the edge of the cliff. The novel might be chosen to become another set book in the coming years as it is under review by the relevant authorities.

Commenting on why he decided to write old world novels, Machemedze said he was inspired by old world writers like Patrick Chakaipa and Francis Mugugu.

“I also have a new world novel ‘Sango Dema’ but my strength is in old world novels. I also had a play called ‘Mangwana Ndinhasi’ and a collection of Shona poems that I have done with a number of poets and the book is called ‘Zimbabwe Yotinhira’. It will be released soon,” he said.

He said he is currently working on the biography of nationalist Cde Herbert Chitepo. Born on December 4 1974 in Zvomanyanga Village, his works exhibit knowledge that is far beyond his age.

“I normally visit the spirit mediums and seers of our land, and as a result I have become familiar with various people,” he said. Machemedze thanked academic and writer Memory Chirere for the encouragement and assistance he has rendered since he started his career.

Source : The Herald