Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland
In May 2020, Zimbabwean poet in exile Mbizo Chirasha joined our Affiliate Artist Network. Mbizo writes spoken word poetry, page poetry, essays, short and flash fiction, political commentaries, book reviews, memoirs, critical
reviews, blog posts and articles. He is also a spoken word artist and a performance poet.
His main artistic interest is in freedom of expression, resistance writings and arts, Arts and Human Rights, African cultural anthropologies, global politics, lives and experiences of exile, asylees and the homeless, the plight of the girl child, women and the elderly, social justice and economic equity as well as voices against dictatorial regimes, corruption, warlords and drug cartels.
Find out more about Mbizo Chirasha on his Affiliate Artist profile.
Mbizo has kindly agreed to share some of his latest work created during the pandemic:
Iron Wind (Hybrid Essay)
The world has known divisions for as long as history can remember. From
strength that overrides others to the weakness that attracts marauding gangs of men of ambition and cunning. Adventure has led some into what they termed “discoveries” of Rivers and their sources, of Mountains high and majestic, and a people so different in their cultural environments, that to the eye of a visitor, they appeared other worldly.
The world has never run short of divisive tools and terms to keep one for
each. From the irony of heights and weights, to the delight’s and
indecency of dark humor based on foods and drinks and a people’s culture.
GOD and god’s have their roles and stamps on a people’s interpretations,
raging from waging wars to convert and dominate, to whole sale massacres
because others beliefs were less acceptable to a deity followed by a
muscular power. In the name of many known Faiths , man has suffered
immensely and continue to suffer even under the full glare of a world that
is so connected, that nothing escapes the owl eyed social Media/internet
never sleeping eyes.
If it’s not belief it’s something else that pits one man to another. Color
has played the worst card in segregation of humanity. Regimes are known to have come up with a cultic panacea of annihilating all who were less than their proscribed hue, height and eye color in a so called super race.
Commerce has not particularly done well to hide i’s dismal take on the
lesser endowed in terms of what the world considers GDP….Countries are
graded into first, second and third world. Countries comprise individual
human beings. Once categorized in numerical terms, they cease to have a
human quality and adopt a statistical stature.
Dehumanizing poverty by demonizing it and those suffering the “pauper malady”. Terms like ” those who survive under a dollar a day. A people labelled by lack. Another labelled by luck.
Then came weaponry and sophistication. Guns and canned Carnage. Bombs
as heroism spoke to the Sky over Nagasaki and Hiroshima. More divisions
follow. Giants with cold threats lying under silos of frozen homes awaiting
disagreements. What a time of it the world had! But like all eras, this too
came to an end with trumpets of fragmentation scattering the deadly embers of stored caches of annihilation finding its ways into eager markets of rogue juvenile quarters ready to tussle for positions of “global respect” through “fire power”
Ideology made no sense. Religion was cowed. No one was immune to the future that loomed on the human collective heads as each goon state thumped it’s nukes chest.
How times change!
A new baby was born in the East. A baby with an attitude like a thief.
Escaping its parents unloving gloved hands, it flew first into the neighborhood, dropping its ghastly feaces on the heads of its makers kin.
Death. Sinister death. The wind took the birdling over the boarder, across
the oceans on the comforts of cruise ships. And luxury living became a
nightmare. Right now, quarantine is not for rabid dogs or leppers in their
It’s what no longer divides that divides us. What irony! We are faced by an
enemy of our own intellect taken over concious. Our own intelligence
exceeding common sense. Our own genius gone insane.
In it all, regardless of mitigation measures,one thing speaks a human
language. It’s no longer about class, color or Creed. it’s not even about
ideology or theology. It’s about being careful to survive the monster we
have made. And the world suddenly speaks “humanese”.
How I wish we didn’t have to face such an ugly and tragic catastrophe to bring us to the realization of the folly of excessive greed in pursuit of glory and power over others.
If we survive, we may have to analyze our engagement with dark matters that that put life at risk. If we don’t, we are to blame for our end.
For now, let’s keep hygienic, keep to ourselves, bury our Dead, care for the
dying and think of how we have arrived at where we are.
While at it, let’s pray. For regardless of our form of worship, days of
worship, mode of worship and the dress code in worship, we all pray to a
Higher power. He may yet hear our prayers and led a hand.
YOU SEE, praying I personal and communal if you will. Worship places are
closing fast, if not faster than bars and deli’s. Offices are closing fast, if not faster than schools.
Only true saints are at work. Those medics and their assistants and the
guys who must fill the supermarket shelves with your basics.
If you ask me, the very deity we seek in those buildings, is inside us and
those selfless humans who take chances with their lives to take charge of
ours. They are the ones mellowing down the iron wind of a viral onslaught
on humanity right now.
© 2020, Mbizo Chirasha