Chenjerai Hove

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Chenjerai Hove
Hove in 2007
Born(1956-02-09)9 February 1956
Mazvihwa, near Zvishavane, Rhodesia
Died 12 July 2015(2015-07-12) (aged 59)
Stavanger, Norway [1]
Occupation Poet and writer

Chenjerai Hove (9 February 1956 – 12 July 2015) was a Zimbabwean poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both English and Shona. [2] "Modernist in their formal construction, but making extensive use of oral conventions, Hove's novels offer an intense examination of the psychic and social costs - to the rural population, especially, of the war of liberation in Zimbabwe." [3] He died on 12 July 2015 [4] while living in exile in Norway and his death has been attributed to liver failure. [5]

Zimbabwe republic in southern Africa

Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare. A country of roughly 16 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most commonly used.

Poet person who writes and publishes poetry

A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience.

A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living writing novels and other fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write as an avocation. Most novelists struggle to get their debut novel published, but once published they often continue to be published, although very few become literary celebrities, thus gaining prestige or a considerable income from their work.



The son of a local chief, Chenjerai Hove was born in Mazvihwa, near Zvishavane, in what was then Rhodesia. He attended school at Kutama College and Marist Brothers Dete, in the Hwange district of Zimbabwe. After studying in Gweru, he became a teacher and then took degrees at the University of South Africa and the University of Zimbabwe. [2] He also worked as a journalist, and contributed to the anthology And Now the Poets Speak. [6]

Zvishavane Place in Midlands, Zimbabwe

Zvishavane is a mining town in Midlands Province, Zimbabwe. Surrounded by low hills, it lies 97 kilometres (60 mi) west of Masvingo, on the main Bulawayo-Masvingo road. Other roads lead from Zvishavane to Gweru, 121 kilometres (75 mi) north, and Mberengwa, 27 kilometres (17 mi) south-west. It is also on direct rail links to Gweru and Beit Bridge which then link up with Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe and to Maputo in Mozambique, and Pretoria in South Africa. It has a private airport serving the city.

Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland former country in Africa

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was a federal semi-Dominion that consisted of three southern African territories—the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland—between 1953 and 1963.

Kutama College

Kutama College is a Catholic, independent, boarding, high school located near Norton in the Zvimba area, 80 kilometres southwest of Harare. Kutama has a student population of about 900 pupils.

A critic of the policies of the Mugabe government, Hove was living in exile at the time of his death as a fellow at the House of Culture in Stavanger, Norway, as part of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). Prior to this, he held visiting positions at Lewis and Clark College and Brown University; he was also once a poet-in-residence in Miami. Chenjerai Hove's work was translated into several languages (including Japanese, German, and Dutch). He won several awards over the course of his career, including the 1989 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.

Robert Mugabe former President of Zimbabwe

Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017. He chaired the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) group from 1975 to 1980 and led its successor political party, the ZANU – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), from 1980 to 2017. Ideologically an African nationalist, during the 1970s and 1980s he identified as a Marxist–Leninist, although after the 1990s self-identified only as a socialist. His policies have been described as Mugabeism.

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

The Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, which ran from 1980 to 2009, was an annual $10,000 prize for outstanding African writers and scholars who published in Africa. Within four years of its establishment, the prize "had become the major book award in Africa". It was one of the series of Noma Prizes.


Chenjerai Hove published numerous novels, poetry anthologies and collections of essays and reflections. His publications include:

African Writers Series (AWS) is a series of books by African writers that has been published by Heinemann since 1962. The series has ensured an international voice to major African writers—including Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Steve Biko, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nadine Gordimer, Buchi Emecheta, and Okot p'Bitek. The emphasis is on Anglophone Africa, although a number of volumes were translated into English from French, Portuguese, Zulu, Swahili, Acoli, Sesotho, Afrikaans, Luganda and Arabic.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Honours and awards

The Heinrich Böll Foundation is a German, legally independent political foundation. Affiliated with the German Green Party, it was founded in 1997 when three predecessors merged. The foundation was named after German writer Heinrich Böll (1917–1985).

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  1. Grimes, William (23 July 2015). "Chenjeral Hove of Zimbabwean Struggles Dies at 59". The New York Times . Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  2. 1 2 Ezeliora, Osita (2008). "Hove, Chenjerai". In R. Victoria Arana. The Facts on File Companion to World Poetry: 1900 to the Present. Infobase Publishing. pp. 217–8. ISBN   978-1-4381-0837-7 . Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  3. Dominic Head (2006). The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge University Press. p. 536. ISBN   978-0-521-83179-6 . Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  4. "Chenjerai Hove dies". 12 July 2015. Archived from the original on 3 August 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  5. "Exiled writer Chenjerai Hove dies". Nehanda Radio. 12 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  6. Maja-Pearce, Adewale, ed. (1990). The Heinemann Book of African Poetry in English. Heinemann. p. 220. ISBN   0-435-91323-9.
  7. 1 2 "The Noma Award For Publishing In Africa" Archived February 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine .
  8. "Leading Zimbabwe writer Hove dies". BBC News. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2017.