The airport made the decision to display one of his Shona poems Kuenda, Kudzoka (Going, Coming) in their departure lounge with effect from June 2012- a small tribute to this great penner of words and sorcerer of emotions.
When Chirikure performs, he has crowds in the palm of his vocal hand, taking them through journeys of pain, fear and laughter. His words are full of provocation, pushing us to think more about ourselves and the lives around us.
Take for instance this stanza from his poem Izororo Ramagamba Nahai (It is Heroes Day Holiday) translated to English by Charles Mungoshi: It is Heroes Day holiday,/Beer-halls are packed to bursting,/Beer mugs and bottles are dancing in hands/As carousers drink beyond drinking.
He talks there, about the fact that despite the fact that the country is commemorating Heroes Day, the people have forgotten what it’s all about.
At a literary evening organised by Pamberi Trust and hosted by the Spanish Embassy on June 25, 2012, writer and literary critic Memory Chirere interviewed Chirikure who was in Zimbabwe for three weeks from Germany where he currently resides. We will publish excerpts from that interview in a separate article.
At the same event Gerald 'Synik' Mugwenhi and Ticha Muzavazi, performed in support of Chirikure Chirikure's send-off. Backed by Chiwoniso Maraire, Okay Machisa and Ticha Muzavazi, Chirikure put up a splendid performance to the delight of the attending audience.
It was a fitting event to celebrate a man whose words have done so much for our country at festivals, in universities and in libraries around the world.
In April this year Chirikure went on a two week poetry caravan tour of Indonesia, with poets from all over the world as part of the DAAD exchange initiatives. His poetry in Shona is now translated into languages which include Indonesian, Chinese, German, Dutch, Spanish and French.
But it has been a long journey to this place…
Chirikure was born in 1962 in Gutu. He is a poet, writer, actor, cultural consultant and translator. A graduate from the University of Zimbabwe, Chirikure is also an honorary fellow at the University of Iowa, USA. He worked with one of Zimbabwe's largest publishing houses, College Press as an editor for 17 years until 2002.
Chirikure has been based in Germany for the past year after being selected to be part of the DAAD Artist in Berlin fellowship which has seen him performing across Europe and lecturing.
His works include the Shona poetry anthology, Rukuvhute (College Press, 1989), Chamupupuri (1994), Hakurarwi published in Shona with English translations (1994), a children's book Mavende Akiti (1989). Chirikure has also written a Zimbabwe Junior Certificate Shona revision book (1989), and co-authored Zviri Muchinokoro, a poetry anthology published by Zimbabwe Publishing House in 2004.
He now has a new poetry collection, Aussicht auf egene Schatten, with poetry in Shona and English translated into German. The book comes with recorded poetry on a CD.
He has also been involved in music and his musical recordings include Napupekeni (2002), a fusion of mbira and poetry. He was also involved in the Ray of Hope compilation, a Rooftop production.
Chirikure has worked with many artists in Zimbabwe including Oliver Mtukudzi, Chiwoniso Maraire, Albert Nyathi and bands like Uya Moya and Detembira.