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Dambudzo Marechera



Dambudzo Marechera
(Zimbabwe, 1952)


Dambudzo Marechera was born in Rusape to a poor family. However, he won scholarships to St Augustine’s Secondary School, to the University of Zimbabwe and to New College, Oxford. He has the distinction of having been expelled from all three.
Marechera’s first novel, House of Hunger (1978), won the 1979 Guardian fiction award. It was followed by four other novels, Black Sunlight (1980), The Black Insider (1990) and Mindblast (1884). His poetry, collected together in Cemetery of Mind, was published posthumously in 1992. After his departure from Oxford, he lived and wrote in London until his return to Zimbabwe in 1982.

Marechera’s work, his ideas and his defiance live on in Zimbabwe, particularly amongst the youth, who find inspiration in his willingness to be the lone outsider, challenging conventional and authoritarian views.


Irene Staunton  


Last updated: Jan 5, 2009
© Image: Ernst Schade


Veit-Wild, Flora, ‘Dambudzo Marechera: A Preliminary Annotated Bibliography’. Zambesia, 14:2, 121-29, 1987.
Veit-Wild, Flora, Dambudzo Marechera: A Source Book on his Life and Work. London, Hans Zell 1992. Harare, University of Zimbabwe Publications 1993.
Veit-Wild, Flora and Anthony Chennells (eds), Emerging Perspectives on Dambudzo Marechera. Trenton, Africa World Press 1999.
I get tired of the blood
And the coughing
and more blood
I get out of that flat real fast
to some cool quarrelling bar
and talk big to bigger comrades
washing down the blood with Castle an’ Label
shaking hands about Tsitsi bombed to heaven
trying to forget I don’t like cooking in dead people’s
pots and pans
I don’t like wearing and looking smart-arse in dead
people’s shirts an’ pants
(They said yoh mama an’ bra been for you
said these are your inheritance)
I’m soon tight as a drum can’t drink no more
It’s back at the flat on my back
swallowing it all red back hard down
I woke up too tired to break out so bright red a bubble.

© 1992, Flora Veit Wild
From: Cemetery of Mind, Which of you Bastards is Death?
Publisher: Baobab Books, Harare


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