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Writers Interview – Tichaona Shambare, Author of Baby Steps.



Zwnews24: Briefly describe yourself (background, personality, passions, dreams and aspirations etc.) so that the readers (audience) can have a clear picture of who you are and what you stand for as a writer.

TS: My name is Nomater Tichaona Shambare. I was born on the 1st of July 1986. I am an Author of one published book titled Baby Steps and I also have novels that I am currently working on. I make use of biblical texts in my writing in order to teach the truth as it is, without fear or favour. I am a devoted Christian whose desire is to be an inspiration to others using my life experiences and the motivation that I get from those who have done better in life. My motto is Speak to Empower. This is because I believe that every word which I say has an impact on people who read or listen to my content. As such, I have to make sure that what I speak or write is a true representation of my personality. 

Zwnews24: What is the motivation behind your writing career? What do you seek to achieve and why? Do you think you have achieved your goal or do you see yourself achieving those goals through your literary work?

TS: I am motivated by the desire to write simplified text which can be easily understood by people of all ages. This philosophy is inspired by the scriptures from the Bible in the book of Luke 1:3. Most readers who have given me feedback on my content, be it after reading my book or after listening to my broadcasts have said that the message that I share is simple and easy to understand. 

Zwnews24: When and how did you start writing and what has been the impact of that move on you and on the people around you, including family and friends?

TS: I started to write books professionally in 2018. I kept on pursuing my passion and I continued to explain my writing passion to my family so that they can have a clear picture of my love for literature. At last, I brought home a hard copy of my book and this made them to realise that I am serious about writing. Now, they are very supportive and they even check on the progress on my next book. 

Zwnews24: Take us through the book which have published and describe what it is all about and its intended benefit to your audience? 

TS: Baby Steps is my first published motivational book. It explains the journey of a Christian using the ‘baby’ metaphor. The book talks about how openness to learning can lead one to grow as a healthy Christian. It’s a book which shows that a spiritual journey is not automatic since it requires us to move daily in the right direction, one step at a time from conception to maturity, while getting help from other Christians to edify our growth. 

Zwnews24: Tell us more about other literary projects that you are currently working on. 

IS IT WORTH IT? (Final draft – now ready) – This book is based on a question that we constantly ask ourselves when we are submerged in trouble. For example, we sometimes ask ourselves, is it worth it to keep the faith? Taking lessons from biblical example of Paul’s thorn in the flesh and Elijah when he ran away from Jezebel. Based on circumstances that we go through, in the pursuit of a certain objective, you may ask yourself, is it still worth it? 

OTHER SIDE OF TRUTH (Draft) – This book is centred on how broken marriages can affect the unborn child. The church can play a critical role in promoting forgiveness and dealing with bitterness which may affect the child. It is work of fiction with a bit of reality in between.

Zwnews24: If people want to buy your books or invest in your work, where can they find the books and how do they get in touch with you, either for feedback on your work or any other related correspondence?

My book Baby Steps is available on the following platforms:

Websites: www.muckem.com/bookshop, www.library.globtorch.com

Books Shops: Best Books, Anchor house along Jason Moyo Harare  ( from the 25th of June ) 

People can also get in touch with me through Social Media, Email and Telephone:

Social Media – Faceook (Personal Account): Tichaona Shambare, Facebook (Author Page): Tichafaraa; Instagram: Tichaafara, Twitter: Tichafaraa; Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: + 263 775 126 463 Call / App / Text:  +263 719 126 463 calls only 

Zwnews24: What are your guiding values which determine what and how you write? Are there things that you do not write about at all or is there a certain approach to writing, which you do not use because of these values? Share your insights. 

TS: Writing is leadership. I believe that what I write influences perceptions and that, as a leader, is how I want my followers to relate to me as they read my work. Character, passion and motivation play a vital role in my script writing. I write what I can relate to. I am factual as much as I can. I also write poetry which is mainly based on imagination, sci-fiction. I avoid politics, I rarely write about it.

Zwnews24: How did you feel when you got published for the first time and what has been the effect of that moment on your writing career now? 

TS: Words will never suffice to explain how I felt. Getting published has fuelled my passion for writing and my love for literature. I am now also mentoring juniors, so that it will be close to a smooth ride for them. Publishing in Zimbabwe is a bit expensive and most publishing companies don’t offer printing facilities which means it’s an extra cost and so, when you get published despite all these challenges, you experience real joy and excitement. 

Zwnews24: What has been some of the most cherished and memorable feedback that you have received from your readers so far and how has it impacted you in your pursuit of literature? Please share some of the priceless feedback that you received from your readers.

TS: One of the readers said ‘your book encouraged me’. Another reader said ‘Keep up the good work’. More so, someone asked where I get such inspiration and the other guy said he read my book and he wishes to talk more about it with me in person. Based on such feedback, I intend to keep writing and give more books to the readers.

Zwnews24: What are some of the challenges that you face in your writing and what is it that makes you to continue writing regardless of these challenges?

TS: I write using my tablet which has limited space but the desire to write has kept me going. I make sure I save my drafts on Google Drive in case I lose my phone. At the moment, because of less disposable incomes, the issue of the market may be concerning since people are more focussed on bread and butter issues and thus they be forced to consider buying books as a luxury. However, despite all that, my passion for literature me overrules the need for monetary gains. 

Zwnews24: What are your words of advice and motivation to other writers, both established and aspiring ones in their pursuit of literature, either as their hobby or profession?

TS: Keep writing, don’t stop, and believe in yourself. If you don’t feel like writing, you can rather even edit a written draft. Take criticism as an improvement initiative, don’t throw everything away without proper introspection. Someone once said to me “someone is waiting to read your book”, so don’t take long, someone needs those nuggets in that piece of literature.

Zwnews24: What do you think is the relevance and impact of literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Do you think literature should be recognized, celebrated and be promoted?

 TS: The world is a product of literature. Scientists, doctors, engineers and many other professions that you see are a result of literature. Without books, we have no religion or education. I am a Christian today because of a book, The Bible. So we can’t do away with books. Literature should be celebrated and more should be done to promote a reading culture in our communities. Imagine a world without books! It would be tough to survive in it, I tell you. Theories and inventions are all a result of Books. 

Zwnews24: How deep is your passion for literature? What have you already done, what are you planning to do and how far would you go to promote literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world?

TS: I love books, my life is centred on books. It is my desire that we should promote the concept of community libraries. Encouraging reading from early child hood, not just reading for academics but also for edutainment. The book fair is a good initiative but it needs sponsorship for proper outreach to communities. The program needs to be organised and managed by authors, not by mere office bearers without a passion for literature. 

Zwnews24: Besides writers, who are the other active players that you can think of in the field of literature? In that regard, is there a person, group of people or organization that you know which is helping to develop and promote literature in your community, in your country or across the whole world? Who are they and what is it specifically that they are doing in this context and how is it inspiring you and positively impacting individuals and communities?

TS: Zwnews24 is promoting literature through author interviews and book reviews. Our local dailies are also doing a lot namely Newsday, Daily News and the Zimpapers group. Most of the articles that I have read on these platforms are so informative, though the cost of buying a newspaper may be prohibitive.

Zwnews24: What has been some of the best works of literature that you have enjoyed so far (Books, blogs, poems etc.)? Share the reasons why you rate them so high and value them so much. Based on what you have benefited personally, what do you think must be done in order to broadly develop, promote and celebrate literature in your community, country or across the world?

TS: How To Stop Worry And Start Living by Dale Carnage, the lessons in this book are simple and easy to apply. Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, this book is a narrative of two fathers and one child. Sydney Sheldon, John Grisham and Danielle Steel to mention but a few.  Minister Munhuwo , Takadini , Mabvumira Enhetembo, those were study books. Life will humble you By Audrey Chirenje, The way the characters blend, it surely deserves a NAMA by my standard. Words of life by Lingiwe Patience Gumbo poems, I like the fantasy created when you read poems, it’s like a pictorial slide show.

zwnews24: What are some of the local, national, regional and international literature awards that you know of and what do they seek to reward or promote? What is your take on their criteria? If you were to give awards in literature, what would be your prizes and the related criteria for selecting recipients and awarding such rewards?

TS:  I would take into consideration the impact a book has made in the country first before giving awards. It must be clear to all to avoid bias in the selection process. 

Zwnews24: Are there people or organisations that you would like to acknowledge and credit, be it for their emotional and material input or contribution (support) towards your works of literature? 

TS: Ms. Lucia Taruvinga who introduced me to reading at an early stage, My brother Fungai Shambare, Mr. Phillip Chidavaenzi, Lifestyle Editor at Newsday and founder of the Writer’s Clinic, a platform to mentor published and aspiring authors. Lindiwe Patience Gumbo, Audrey Chirenje, Arthur Marara, The inspired 365 group initiative content shared is very informative and educational. Mr. Noah Mangwarara the way he exemplifies using nature makes reading enjoyable and fun. 
The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, General Emeritus – Wisdom, Mysteries and Dark Sayings, a poetry anthology written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/2T8sEQX

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