Date:12 May 2019 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
For a young girl who grew up in the township, which offered both fast and vibey life, and the rural area village with its tranquillity, Livhuwani Donavan Ratshitanda has grown into a woman who can adapt to any culture and still function as a social being.
She is the epitome of a multi-talented artist – a writer, photographer, film maker, and a seasoned software programmer.
Her most recent major achievement was the initiation and launch of the African Authors and Poetry Awards (APAPA), which made its debut last year. The awards dominated the art industry even though its focus was on awarding published poets and writers.
“I noticed that published poets and writers were not getting the recognition they deserved, and so I wanted us to celebrate the value that their work holds,” she said. “APAPA also aims to bring all the poets and authors together and be united, to show them that their work is honoured and appreciated across the continent.”
She started the event with only four sponsors but organises the event with money from her own pocket with the assistance of her mother, who also loves the arts. “My mom is a single mother who encourages other young, single mothers out there not give up on their dreams,” she said. “Mom always tells me that, in all circumstances, I must be strong and keep the passion going. She promotes love, peace and respect above everything else.”
Those interested in the APAPA Awards can visit their Facebook page to get more information on how to enter. Entries opened on 23 October last year and are closing on 23 June this year. The award ceremony will be held on 7 September at a venue yet to be announced.
With her diverse background from two different settings, Donavan has furthermore chosen to see the world through the lens of her photo camera and video camera. She remembers that she had to rent a photography studio at some stage, where she took pictures and packaged them for her various clients. “I am tough-skinned and patient enough with life, while I work harder towards reaching my goals and dreams,” she said.
She holds a qualification in media studies and journalism. She has a passion for writing stories and poetry. She currently runs SeeThru Productions, a company that focuses on photography, cinematography, graphic design and events management. “If you are a youth and want to make it in this age or life, focus on your dreams – work harder and the rest will come to be a good story to tell,” she said.
Livhuwani Donavan Ratshitanda. Photo supplied.
By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.