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Writers, and artists

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The question I dread most is, ‘what do you do?’ I unfortunately have to say I am a writer or an ‘artist’, depending on who I am talking to. The response is always the same; people always wonder why I do not get a proper job and stop wasting my life away on useless pursuits. And for those who know that I have a teaching qualification, the lecture goes on and on until I say yes, I am going to go back to teaching, even though I do not intend doing so. I recently told a friend that I intend keeping some dreadlocks, in that way people will conclude that I am an artist before they ask. They will conclude that I am a little crazy and therefore should be left alone. I have resolved to carry around some of my pay slips from prestigious publications to show to some of the skeptics. Why should I be at pains to explain my profession, I wonder? I don’t see people telling nurses to become teachers on top of being nurses. So why should an artist be something other than an artist?

One comment to “Writers, and artists”

  1. Comment by Dudziro Nhengu:

    Whilst I agree with your assertions, at the same time I have a few strong points for you to consider:
    -I believe keeping a dreadlock does not neccessarily prove the fact that you are an artist, especially as there are many people who keep dreadlocks but are not artists. Secondly, most great artists have never kept dreadlocks, Shimmer Chinodya, Charles Mungoshi, Memory Chirere, Barbara Makhalisa, Chiedza Musengezi, to mention a few are great writers but have never kept dreadlocks. I have also met a number of mad men and women without dreadlocks. I think the best way for you to prove to everypone that you are an artist so that they wont bother you asking is to let your works do the talking than claim that you are an artist. I have never, and will never meet Buchi Emecheta but almost every reader knows that the name belongs to a great feminist writer. Dreadlocks is just a hair style but mob psychologists want to mislead people with the belief that dreadlocked pple are great artists, or is it because Dambudzo Marechera had locks. For Bob Marley it had more to do with his religion than with playing the guitar I presume?