Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tribute to Julius Chingono from John Eppel

"I barely knew Julius – met him, briefly, on three occasions – and yet I feel, somehow, that we’d been together for a long time. I guess that’s what happens with kindred spirits.

I was so looking forward to launching our joint collection of poems and short stories together, in the flesh – here in Bulawayo and maybe even further afield; but that is not to be.

Julius, poor himself, was a champion of the poor; and that is what I loved about his writing. One of Zimbabwe’s funniest poets, he was also one of her most serious. He knew that there is nothing amusing about poverty, especially unnecessary poverty; but he also knew, as a recorder of township life, how cruelly funny squalor could be.

And so I say goodbye to a humble man (his magnificent hat notwithstanding), of piercing intelligence, and a heart that loved the oppressed. I say goodbye to the frail old body, but not to the writing, through which one of Zimbabwe’s most idiosyncratic blasters of rocks and minds will live on - for ever and a day."

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to read this John, may he rest in peace. How are you? Drop me an email.