By Trust Rukwava

Nationally acclaimed Masvingo nurtured multi-award winning poet Ngonidzashe Paradza a.k.a Mambo Guramatunhu raised Masvingo’s flag high at the just ended National Arts Merit Awards(NAMA) held over the weekend on 24 February 2024 were he bagged the outstanding poet award.

Mambo Guramatunhu who is popularly known for the “Toita sei nevanhu veMasvingo” poetry work outdid himself this year with the award being an acclamation of his rising stock.

For a man who began his arts and entertainment journey virtually as an unknown, the award serves as a testimony of the vast talent which Masvingo has nurtured.

Centre News reporter Trust Rukwava (TR) caught up with Mambo Guramatunhu (NP) for an exclusive interview.

Below are excerpts of the interview:

TR: Congratulations on your win can you tell us how and when you began your journey in arts and entertainment.

NP: I grew up and was nurtured as an artist from primary, secondary up to tertiary level.

I have been doing arts my whole life. I only graduated to become a professional artist but the journey started long back.

TR: What motivated you to take this path?

NP: Honestly ndinganyeba when l started l was young I really did not know what l was getting myself into. However there are things that motivated me and kept me going.

The power to address, the power to change lives, the grace to cure souls and of course the business in arts.

TR: What challenges do you face in your day to day business as a poet?

NP: Poetry is not yet among the main line genres. Little space on digital spaces unlike musicians, etc. poets don’t really get platforms. Sponsorship hakuna zvachese despite how good one is.

TR: The arts industry is associated with a lot of controversy. Can you tell us how you stay away from controversy?

NP: I don’t really plan to keep away from drama. I just have things that l don’t do automatically it keeps me free from drama.

I understand people expect some poetry from me and nothing more.

TR: How many projects have you worked on and among those which one do you rate as your best.

NP: I have done a number of solid projects Nduri upenyu album, Zvombo album and kumberi Takamirigwa poetry book.

I struggle to choose the best but my latest album zvombo so far is my best, as you know shangu new one ndiyo inenge ine chimuti.

TR: What does this award mean to you and what can you promise your fans going forward.

NP: I’m humbled to receive the outstanding poet of the year NAMA on Saturday in Bulawayo, not forgetting outstanding poet of the year award that l got the previous night Friday in Harare at Poetry Red Carpet Event.

My thanks goes to GZU for nurturing the talent and empowering me. To my fans that l call family thank you for your continued encouragement. I believe that poetry has the power to touch hearts and change lives.

TR: What advice can you give to other upcoming artists who want to pursue the same career path as yours?

NP: To upcoming artists my word is, it’s never a walk in paradise. Kwakaoma kunze uko zvotoda kushinga nekuomesa gotsi. Perfect your art, connect and push on digital platforms