Zimbo Son is a Zimbabwean blogger, a writer, a storyteller and an author. He has just published his first poetry collection. Zimbo Son is passionate about promoting showing African creatives and entrepreneurs through his blog.
You are now a published author, please tell us about the book
My book is called My Heart in Ink and I started working on it this year around June. Most of the poems were part of my dissertation from last year when I studied a Master’s in Creative Writing and Publishing. On the course, I met a lecturer who was passionate about poetry and he played an important role to push my writing to a new level. The book is available to buy from amazon and it is a collection of 30 poems that cover various topics, love, nostalgia, identity, etc.
You have been doing a lot of interviews on your blog, what is the motive behind this?
When I started in 2016, I realized there were not many platforms for creatives to showcase their work. As someone with a media background I also wanted a portfolio where I would showcase my skills. It also served as an opportunity to celebrate Zimbabwean creatives through my work. Late 2017 I started interviewing creatives from all over Africa and that’s how it’s been since. The idea was to give people a chance to share their story in their own words.
I try practicing free writing where you just wake up and write something down for the sake of writingZimbo Son
How do you manage to get interviews from diverse people?
I approach some of the people online via social media and some I connect through mutual friends and some approach me. I always begin by introducing myself and what I do. I share the link to my blog so they can see what I have done. For the most part I have been successful, I’ve also had a few people who never responded.
It seems when you are not doing interviews you are writing poetry, why do you love poetry so much?
I like capturing ideas and putting them out as poetry. Since high school family and friends have always known that I love poetry. However, I never shared my poetry so much because I didn’t want to share that part of me with the world. Publishing my book was a big step in getting my work out there and people will interpret it however they relate to it.
Please share four poets that you enjoy following.
- In my teens I enjoyed Shakespeare.
- Kayo Chingonyi from Zambia
- Kei Miller from Jamaica
- Nomonde Sky from South Africa
How do you navigate a drive spell, what some would call the writer’s block?
I would say I have never had writers block because when I am not writing poetry, I try to write something else. When I am struggling to write something, I find another thing to write about. I have been writing consistently for the last few years, even though I don’t publish it all.
Sometimes I just take a break because when I start writing I keep going till I’m tired. I try practicing free writing where you just wake up and write something down for the sake of writing. You get back to those notes and expand them later into real concepts.
What then would you say has been the biggest challenge since you started your blogging journey?
It’s difficult to get people to interview. Of the 200+ interviews I have done so far, I have sent approached around 300 people, and there are people who never responded. Drafting the questions and ensuring that they are different is not easy. It wears you out sometimes and at some point, I had to take a break. I take several breaks whenever I need to. In the future I aim to only do 1 interview a week instead of 3 like I used to.
Do you have plans to monetize this whole great network you have built on Zimbo Son?
As the traffic grows, I will start offering ad space on the website. The plan is to start doing so, sometime next year. Since the rebranding, it will take some time to get the numbers I received when it was Inua.
Where do you see Zimbo Son in 5 years?
In the future I want to do face to face interviews, if I am interviewing a music producer, I want to visit their studio and see them working. As for the rest, all I can say is watch this space.
How would you like to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as having positively impacted the people in my life. Through my blog, my books and my life if I inspire someone, I would say I have lived well!