The Unesco-Rila affiliate artist project has appointed Zimbabwean poet and author Mbizo Chirasha as an affiliate artist to work towards refugee integration through languages and creative expression.

Bella Hoogeveen, for the University of Glasgow’s School of Education and UNESCO Chair of Refugees Integration with Languages and Arts confirmed the appointment as this month began, reports Zimbabwe’s NewsDay. In doing so Chirasha joins fellow Zimbabwean Chirikure Chirikure, who was appointed in 2018.

From NewsDay:

Chirasha, who is a Unesco-International Poetry certificate holder, is on record saying his “politically incorrect” artworks have attracted political persecution, adding that there was need for a better world free from hatred, violence and killings.

“It is not easy. We can use our gifts and talents for the best than to destroy lives,” he said.

Chirasha has worked with several non-governmental organisations and other institutions using creative arts as models of community education, information dissemination and dialogue.

In a recent interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Chirasha said he was not a rebel, but an innocent creative writer seeking a progressive Africa and his desire was to live freely in his home country.

“The problem in Africa is we lose time chasing the wind and blowing it instead of chasing dreams and great ideas. Where are we getting to? We cannot live so anciently that creative dissenting voices are victimised for apparently no reason. We need a civilised Africa where we enjoy varying opinions and views,” he said.

Read more over at NewsDay.

This post first appeared in the StreetLib-TNPS newsletter Publish Africa.