Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
Acclaimed mbira queen Hope Masike has added another element to her profile, this time by publishing a poetry anthology titled “Ask Me Again”.
Masike, also an accomplished fashion designer, worked with the likes of Chiwoniso Maraire and has successfully established herself as the best female artiste in the genre.
Her accomplishments as a musician include collaborating with various musicians from Mozambique, Norway and Sweden in a star group Monoswezi.
Masike said the book was inspired by her struggles.
“In 2018 I hit a hard wall. I broke off my engagement with my very hard-working management partner. With the breakup, gigs withered and I also got sick.
“All this added to the fact that I had long since finished my third album but was getting tired of knocking on record label doors with no success.
“I was physically and emotionally tired while my finances were strained,” she said.
Masike moved back to her family home hoping to land on her feet again.
“Because I stayed in, I ended up having ample time to do stuff I had been neglecting. I started reading a lot and through the reading, a long lost jewel emerged, poetry,” she said.
“I started writing in October 2018, then a few weeks later the idea to make a book came. I approached renowned poet, Memory Chirere, and he agreed to work with me.”
Masike said the book is themed around social issues.
“The book is an honest, unhindered and very liberal take on several social matters of women and men relations, matters seldom spoken of yet evidently affecting us all.
“I know I probably shall make the conservative person uncomfortable, some perhaps will dislike my viewpoint. The more open-minded person shall be pleasantly evoked, no doubt.”
The mbira queen said she has always been a writer but this is her first professional attempt.
Masike said the book is ready for launch next month.
“I will be launching my book on February 7 at Gallery Delta. I chose this venue because it’s a special place for me.
“I launched my very first album here so I thought it was great to launch my very first book there also,” she said.
“Ask Me Again” will be available online with physical copies in local book stores.