VETERAN novelist, playwright and filmmaker, Aaron Chiundura-Moyo, says he doesn’t have a consistent source of income.
The 67-year-old, who claims to be living by the grace of God in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, says his life is now taking care of itself.
He told H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle that he is no longer worried about what he will eat or drink when he wakes up.
“I don’t have a living formula now because a lot of things have changed in our lives as compared to the way we used to survive long back.
“Covid-19 and piracy have really affected us and we no longer have a consistent source of income despite all the books and scripts that we wrote for film and television.
“I have reached a point where I am no longer begging for help because no one is forth-coming.
“Zimbabweans have a belief that popular figures like us are never affected by the same problems our peers face and as a result, we are dying in our homes. We are suffering in our homes but the truth is that our fame does not translate into fortune,” he said.
Chiundura-Moyo who has resorted to online coaching clinics said they were also victims of failing to adjust to digitalization.
“It’s sad that the world that we are living in has gone digital and some of us, the so-called serious writers we are still stuck in the past.
“Instead of embracing the new technology, some of us who still prefer using the pen and the typewriter is now paying the price.
“However, I have been advised to do online coaching clinics but it’s not paying as we used to do,” he said.
Chiundura-Moyo, who has written several Shona novels before and after independence, bemoaned the lack of royalties from publishers for worsening their plight.
“We last received royalties long back and we have since forgotten whether they are still there because our sector has been hit by piracy.
“It’s sad to note that some of the books we have written which are set books are now being pirated I school.
“You will find the whole school studying photocopied set books, which has really affected us.
“Long back when your book was considered a set book, you will be guaranteed cash but now it has become a pipe dream,” he said.
The Glen View-based writer said he was still conducting physical mentorship courses with individuals although it was not rewarding.
“There are some people who still flock to my house for mentorship courses but some of them are poor and I can’t afford to brush them aside.
“There are however some who are serious, especially those aged between 25 years and above who are mature.
“I try by all means to assist these people but the majority want free things and I can’t assist all of them for free,” he said.
Despite the challenges he faces, Chiundura-Moyo says he would not throw in the towel.
“I can’t quit now but embrace new technology and even try to write and post my works online to remain relevant as is the case with the new crop of writers.
“I have noted that I can’t continue to be stuck in the past when I can easily adjust and embrace change.
“However, we are struggling to make ends meet and I don’t even know what I will eat tomorrow but my life is taking care of itself,” he said.
Chiundura-Moyo is one of the writers who has written several books, radio, and television plays that are still as wonderful as ever but remain poor. -H Metro