The members of the Brussels Writers’ Circle are a varied bunch. Prose writers, poets, playwrights, memoirists, screenwriters and bringers of silly bits and pieces, we sweep in from all different occupations and locations twice a week to share our scrawlings with one another.
In ‘Meet the Circle’, we introduce you to some of our members, hopefully providing an insight into who we are, what we do, and what we think about Greco-Roman wrestling. Well, maybe not that last bit.
This week we will hear from Tinotenda Chibebe. Tino is a 20-year-old student entrepreneur, born in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is currently the Digital Brand Manager at clothing brand, Sight, and a writer. He is studying Biochemical Engineering at the University of Leuven in Belgium. His interests include poetry, prose, technology, film, music and fashion.
When did you join the group?
I joined the group in October 2014.
What were your first impressions of the group?
The Circle was lovely. Everyone was welcoming and open. My young age, which I thought was going to be an issue wasn’t a problem at all. I seemed to seemlessly fit into the conversations because writers understand each other. To other people we might sound a bit alien though.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am a contributor for www.greenlabel.com which is a Rap-centric art website and movement. I am also working on an allegory of Zimbabwe’s past, present and imagined future. It’s a George Orwell-esque novel which I am writing with a very close friend of mine, Tafadzwa Kufazvinei. We’ve given ourselves 8 years to drop this masterpiece.
Who are your biggest literary influences? How have they influenced you?
Kafka’s Metamorphosis is beautifully insane. He made something so strange into something so normal. That’s art and I feel that’s how writers and artists should aim manoeuvre at some point in their career, that is, “make light of what’s heavy”.
Achebe’s “There Was a Country” changed the way I think of myself, the world and matter in general. It made me question the term “it’s human to…” . That is, what is “being human”? If a human being can hack another to pieces with a machete all becuase they are “different” then what is “human”? This question inspires a lot of my poetry and is a big part of my novel that is yet to be actually written and given a name. We aren’t as good as we’d like to think.
As for the micro bloggers, their tweets are amazing. 140 characters and yet they say so much.
Do you have a memorable moment from the BWC that you could share?
“You have made me think about and want to listen to rap music now.”
This quote was on a Rap and Hip-Hop piece that I was writing for my blog which the BWC helped me edit and it has stuck with me ever since. It makes me believe that I have what these people would like to call “talent”.
What do you get out of the group?
New ways of looking at things and new ways of writing. Apart from that, the people are lovely. Not a lot of people my age can say they have 40+ year old friends but I can.