Creating platforms and the R- Effect

Art & Design | By Rutendo Mutsamwira, Artist | 28 April 2013

I began my hobby as a writer in high school. My earliest attempts were mostly characterized by religious musings and samples of popular American artists. For example, I would sample R. Kelly's Snake, to deliver a Christian message using his hooks and beat. If I wasn’t writing literature essays in class, I’d be sitting up front in class distracting my teacher - Lee Riley. To my surprise, this pastime transformed into an enduring pursuit once my literature teacher insisted on having my essays recited to the rest of the class. I was chuffed to bits and followed this up with a six month stint of communication classes in Malaysia.

On arrival to South Africa, I started writing more seriously and developing an alter ego- the R- Effect. You know how some people have the gift of speaking in tongues? Well, my gift resides in the way I make a lasting impression when I meet with someone for the first time. So, on my R- Effect blog site there are poems and other random stuff to do just that. Last year, I shaved my long hair in support of cancer awareness. On account of the buzz I created via social media on issues close to my heart, I was interviewed by Betty Makoni as her first guest on her show, followed by Zimnet radio and Radio Afro from Australia.

I am also a Positive Youth Programme Ambassador. My efforts on the social media platforms, has also seen me writing for the recognized, blog site Zimbojam. What I have been trying to do is getting Zimbabweans to form a virtual community that identifies with something completely Zimbabwean. When Hi5 came to the market, we created groups for Zimbabweans in the diaspora to create a global virtual community focusing on uniquely Zimbabwean issues. For example the phrase POVO, is a familiar term to Zimbabweans that conjures images which only a fellow compatriot can appreciate regardless of their gender, race or political affiliation.

If I can use these social platforms to showcase other people’s efforts, then my work will be cut out for me as the catalyst and enabler of discussions on various platforms which are uniquely Zimbabwean. I can't start changing the world before I change the mindset of my people. Have you seen any Zimbabweans at the MTV awards? Why aren't any nationals represented there?. The dominance of Nigerian artists at this influential Western do is because they are the most organized and supportive group of people I know. As such, they pour in a lot of money to support their own. Why can’t Zimbabweans do that? That’s pretty much my drive and when I finish school I will go back to Zimbabwe to see through such initiatives.