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JCSU international student publishes poetry book

Tawanda Nyahasha '20

CHARLOTTE, N.C. / February 11, 2020 - For Tawanda Nyahasha '20, the power of his pen and voice, has led him from his home country of Zimbabwe, Africa to Johnson C. Smith University. The creative wordsmith recently released his first book of poetry entitled "The Burdens of a Wise Man."

"My writings have been my voice for years," said the Psychology major. "It has given me courage to speak out against my country's oppressive government when it was dangerous to do so. Because of my relationship with art, I believe in the importance of art for it tells stories never told, it reminds us that we have something to celebrate when the world looks bleak. Most importantly it helps us listen to other people with different perspectives than ours."

The E-book is a collection of Nyahasha's creative work on various topics including wisdom, modern society, politics, death and spirituality.

Nyahasha said he's been writing poetry since he was 11, however over the years, he turned his focus on other forms of writing including speeches and articles. He was competing in a public speaking competition in Zimbabwe when Dr. Rixon Campbell met him. Impressed with his performance, he recruited him to JCSU. When Nyahasha arrived on campus in 2016, that's when he turned his focus back to poetry.

As eager as Nyahasha was to come to JCSU, he knew the transition to America would be challenging. Alone in a new country, he gives thanks to Phasing Up to New Possibilities program. "Yes, thanks very much to Ms. Pat Newell, whom I owe a great debt. She heard about my struggles as an international student, I moved here by myself no family or relatives thus a lot rested on my shoulders. She stepped in to lift my burden and help."

JCSU's family atmosphere provided extra confidence for Nyahasha to publish the book. "I felt I had a story to tell. I felt the urge to tell that story for I thought it would touch people. Encouragement from mentors and peers also inspired me for they assured me that my story, my perspective was important and people would benefit from hearing it."

"The Burdens of a Wise Man" is available for digital download on Amazon Kindle.

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