Ready and willing are the characteristics that most aptly describe this young Zimbabwean television and radio personality who is also an aspiring poet. With fine features, and a genuine interest in the welfare of others, Tendai is passionate about his life and his work. As a Life-Coach, he wants to help others become their better selves.
He remembers himself writing and performing from the tender age of seven, but when he was eleven years old, he realized that this was his calling. This awareness came about in his primary school, when his Headmaster recognized his talent. During the School’s Prize Giving Ceremony, Tendai staged a theatrical show, which captured the audience. Ben Sibenke, a prominent Zimbabwean actor, author, teacher, was then the Headmaster, who observed Tendai’s talent, and decided to nurture and mentor him.
“I have been performing since the age of eleven on the professional scene, and I continue today,” Tendai announces. He has performed in India, the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Swaziland, Malaysia, Thailand, Zambia, Tanzania, and of course, throughout his native home, Zimbabwe. He loves sharing his work and seeks to inspire people with his motivational messages.
Tendai, who was one of the featured poets of the 2014 Kistrech Poetry Festival, attended and participated in this year’s festivities, primarily to give support as a result of the positive experience from the previous year. From this event he says, “I learned that poetry is beyond words and performances. When we went to the villages, I learned much about poetry, and how much it should be appreciated in our daily routines.”
Despite, or perhaps because of this belief that poetry should be incorporated into our daily life, Tendai is very clear that poetry “is a profession just like other professions,” and therefore he states, “Don’t expect me or any other artist/poet to offer it to you for free.”
His ditty below conveys his feeling about poetry, so titled.
Poetry is a song
Sung with riddles of language
A combination of proverbs and sweet rhythms
Intertwined with voices that echo on stage
Poetry is freedom of expression
The liberty to act and perform bilingual aspirations
Frequent movement on stage
The true voice that portrays humanity
Poetry is the air that I breathe
It is language that I speak
The emotions that I express
It is the thoughts that I expose
Poetry is self-perception
It is a wife I have married
The person I’m ready to share with others
It is an adopted child that needs to be looked after
Poetry is the force of manipulation
In my mind but a force that others listen to and buy
It is a short song,
A soft yet to be sung musical lyric