I grew up with the oral tradition of spoken word and music, that celebrates the morals and lifestyle of my ancestral family, Moyo Chirandu - as a son of this family I am better known as Ganyamatope. From Zimbabwe, living in Glasgow, sharing my heritage with others keeps me grounded, and helps increase awareness of lesser-known perspectives of my experience as an African. Using these influences, I have developed a contemporary style of expression, through mbira (traditional Zimbabwean music instrument), spoken word and creative writing and drama. I often use humour to challenge stereotypes and misinformation. I draw on my challenging experiences (such as racism) faced with living in a different culture from my own. Trying to link cultures together, I see creative expression as a celebration, and building of positive self-esteem.
About writer's work
I am a poet, playwright and musician, and enjoy the challenge of new creative experiences. I started writing and performing my work, publishing my first collection of poetry in 2006. I have since had my work published by others in the UK and abroad. As my creative journey continues, I have gained many new experiences including workshop facilitation, education, theatre, commissions, radio appearances, writer in residence, event organising, and studio recording. I have delivered workshops in schools, community groups, to people of different ages and range of ability.
In 2009 I was fortunate to take part in the Scottish Book Trust mentoring scheme. The experience remains an inspiration to how I approach my work.
My workshops put the participants in the driving seat, and are always fun - often including mbira music, song, chants, dance and movement, to facilitate the creative process of writing.
Current events and projects
I am co-founder of Seeds of Thought none-funded arts group. We work promoting creative writing and performance, and often collaborate with other writers/artists. We try to make poetry and spoken word entertaining to those who wouldn’t normally take interest, through our free performance events. I facilitate 4 creative writing workshops a month; organise and perform at our monthly performance event at CCA Glasgow; organise and take part in a yearly art exhibition (Art of Poetry) at St Mungo Museum; and contribute ideas other groups and individuals.
In 2007 I participated in ‘Voices from Africa’ a project run by Glasgow Museums. Since then I have continued as a creative partner, involved in many ongoing projects from planning to delivery
Ignite Youth Theatre, Breaking Free project, Chromatic Voices, Hidden City, Out There (Glasgow Open Museums 20th anniversary anthology), African Caribbean Network, Pan African Arts, Refugee Week Scotland, Scottish Pen, Artists in Exile, One Up One Down, Feast, Love’s Times Beggar, Cargo: Edinburgh Mela, Hidden Legacy (People’s Palace), Markings 30