Tinashe Tafirenyika is a Zimbabwean poet and winner of the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) 2018 for Outstanding Poet in Spoken Word. Tafirenyika is a medical practitioner at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo. She was the “Luckiest Poet” five times in a row a feat that saw her performing at the Shoko Slam in September 2013.
Tafirenyika was born in Bulawayo in 1993 and relocated to Harare for her studies. Tafirenyika studied at the University of Zimbabwe studying Medical Laboratory Sciences. She traveled to perform at the Word N Sound Festival in Johannesburg.
Tafirenyika started to perform at the House of Hunger Poetry Slam and Sistaz Open Mic sessions at the Book Cafe in 2013. In a report, she indicated that her career was helped by Batsirai Chigama and that poets like Outspoken, PAN AND Madzitatiguru inspired her. She talks about subjects she thinks have relevance to society.
“I talk about life. I talk about God, struggle, joy, love and even poetry. I talk about the things that I see daily because these are the things that move me and the best pieces of writing are made when one is genuinely moved,”
• 2017 Outstanding Poet (NAMA)
• 2018 Outstanding POet (NAMA)
Access Granted: Tinashe Tafirenyika
You are not an option You are more lika bare necessity You are my only option and without You there is just no me You are my One True Passion-You ignite this fire in me You are the Fire that consumes me yet at the same time revves me Like a phoenix I rise from your flames You are perpetually the same You cause me to be undone yet you make me you breathe into me but Your awesomeness leaves me breathless Truly breath-taking You are life given You are the light of my life You shine so bright that You almost leave me blind Yet at the same time You make me see clearly I am addicted to your beauty And I am hooked to your sweetness Because since I tasted your goodness Honey started to taste like ash And now I am like a druggie Constantly shooting up higher doses of you I love the highs you give me And it is good that you won’t leave me the withdrawal symptoms would kill me
Being without you is like a cold winter night without blanket Its like a hundred months of winter, no April no December Just July and June It’s like dying a hundred times and waking up only to die again Like recurring acute amnesia-forgetting who I am and where I am again, and again, and again It’s like sickle cell anaemia like bad blood is flowing through my veins Like being a tenant at Alcatraz in four a foot cell and iron chains It is like waking up in total darkness because suddenly the sun is gone Like my rib-cage has been ransacked and all my vitals are gone Like I am Will Smith in the movie Legend-with the whole world to myself but still all alone!
It is just like Rise Of The Guardians Without any Guardians It is nightmares and darkness Like I am blank canvass that will never feel paint Like I’m a blank page never to be tainted by a pen…… Being without you is like a death-wish granted Straying from you is a death-trap so I will not take you for granted And whenever you stand And knock at the door of my heart My answer will always be- “Access Granted”