Book Cafe proprietor and liberation war veteran Paul Brickhill has died aged 56. He was diagnosed
with cancer in July this year and passed away on 3 October in Johannesburg. Comrade Brickhill was
born in 1958 and grew up in Harare during the period in which the liberation war was intensifying
rapidly. He refused to serve in the Rhodesian army and escaped from the country to join the
liberation struggle in 1976. He joined ZAPU in exile and immediately volunteered to serve in ZPRA,
in whose ranks his elder brother, Jeremy, was already serving. During his service in ZPRA
intelligence he undertook many dangerous undercover operations and was a fearless revolutionary
Following independence in 1980 he began his life-long career promoting culture in Zimbabwe,
founding the countrys first progressive bookshop Grassroots Books in 1981 and subsequently its
associated sister publishing company, Anvil Press. Together with his first wife, Pat Brickhill, he
played a leading role in developing Zimbabwean publishing and bookselling. He was elected
Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association in 1991 and served on the Board of the
Zimbabwean International Book Fair for the following ten years. Together with colleagues in other
African countries he co-founded the two major African publishing organisations – the African
Publishers Network (APNET) and the Pan-African Booksellers Association.
At the same time, Paul pursued his own personal journey as a musician, establishing a series of
bands during the 1980s, including the popular Solidarity Band, which featured several young
musicians who were destined to find fame as the Bhundu Boys. Paul’s saxophone travelled across the whole country in those years, most usually to be found in the poorer working class township pubs
and clubs. In later years he and legendary jazz guitarist David Ndoro founded Luck Street Blues,
playing almost 1000 live shows in the years 1995-2005.
Paul, and his brother Jeremy, also played an important role during these years supporting ANC and
Ukhonto we Sizwe operations launched from Zimbabwe, hosting ANC cadres and providing logistical
support to the South African liberation struggle. Their activities led to the car bomb attack on
Jeremy Brickhill by apartheid agents in 1987. Apartheid agents later confessed that they had been
confused by the identities and tactics of the two brothers and were not sure which one to attack
In 1997 Paul expanded the original Grassroots Books concept into a multi-dimensional artistic
vision involving music, theatre, film, literature, poetry, art and craft and thus was born the
world famous Book Caf. Since then the Book Cafe has nurtured and promoted music and the arts under Paul Brickhill’s inspired leadership. Together with its sister organisation, Pamberi Trust, the Book Cafe has hosted over ten thousand shows and events, launched dozens of new artists, promoted Zimbabwean and African music, literature and poetry, provided a venue for topical and political dialogue and become a much loved and iconic beacon of artistic freedom and excellence.
In 2011 Paul Brickhill received a NAMA Award for services to the arts and in 2012 he was awarded a
Prince Klaus Award by the Government of the Netherlands in recognition of his role in establishing
the Book Cafe and his own life-long commitment to promoting the arts. Just last week he received the Artwatch Africa Lifetime Achievement Award on the opening night of the Shoko Festival in Harare.
Paul is survived by his brother, fellow war veteran Jeremy Brickhill, his first wife Pat and his
second wife Jennifer, and his four children Tomas, Liam, Amy and Declan.
Mourners are gathered at 6 Durban Road, Avondale, Harare. Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly
Thu 02, 8pm, TARI neGITARE – Hot off Intwasa Festival koBulawayo last week where she delivered to impress, and back on the Book Café stage – with a bang! – cc$5
Fri 03, 7pm, Garden Stage: MAWUNGIRA eNHARIRA featuring Nyamasvisva – a mystical mbira tradition – cc$5. (ENTRY at 6th St gate)
Fri 03, 8pm, Main Stage: VICTOR KUNONGA & PEACE + SYLENT NQO – One of Zimbabwe’s favourites, the inimitable singer/songwriter Victor Kunonga is back, opening this Friday with the gifted young guitarist Sylent Nqo – cc$10 (Table reservations 0772 484 634)
Sat 04, 2pm, Main Stage: HOUSE OF HUNGER POETRY SLAM: A great summer gathering of poets practicing freedom of expression with some of the hottest rhymes in town – come feel the energy!, (Poets to register with MC before 2pm). FREE, All welcome!
Sat 04, 8pm, Main Stage: TRANSIT CREW – Reggae veterans of 30 years – still roots reggae rockin’ at Book Café, for the delight of reggae-lovers – cc$5
Mon 06, BOOK CAFÉ OPEN MIC – So You Think You Got Talent? Bring it on! The hottest jam party in town: poets, comedians, singers, dancers, musicians, bands – come register with the MC before 6pm – FREE, All welcome! ++ Plus: MONDAY BEER SPECIAL: ‘2for$3′ on all local beers!
Tue 07, 5.30pm, TANYARADZWA CANCER TRUST – Discussion: “CANCER AWARENESS – Get Informed and Get Active!” Speakers: Dr Chitsike, Consultant for Children cancers; Dr Dina Cesano, Homeopath; Oncologist Dr B Ndoro and Dr Manangazira, Epidemiologist. Supported by Savanna Pharmaceuticals, Zim Trust Africa, Braeside Spar and Pamberi Trust. FREE, ALL WELCOME.
Tue 07, 7pm, ‘SUMMER JAM’ with Jam Signal featuring Eve Kawadza and Gary Tight – Fresh young Zim artists stepping up to summer! – cc – ++Plus TUESDAY BEER SPECIAL ‘2for$3′ on all local beers.
Wed 08, ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Screenings – FREE!
12pm – Acoustic Nights All Stars Tour of Germany (80mins)
3pm – One Humanity (110mins)
6pm – Hudekamp (65mins)
Wed 08, 8pm, DADZA D & HOTTA FYAH – A lively midweek reggae dancehall party! cc$5
Thu 09, 6pm, Preview screening of short film “CROSSROADS” from the ‘One Dollar Movie Project’ – Tinashe is promoted on the same day that his wife is offered her dream job. Marriage or career? Africa or Europe? What is it going to be? Written by Rose Ruramai Chipato. Directed by Stellah January. Produced by Patrick Mahlasera. FREE, ALL WELCOME!
Thu 09, 7pm, THE DIVINE COMEDY by Dante Alighieri – a reading in Italian and English of the Epic poem written in 1321 accompanied by music featuring Ido Baldasso (Italy) & Simba Saini (Zim), followed by a musical performance by SIMBA SAINI & AFRISTORM. FREE before 8.30pm/$5 after
Fri 10 – ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Screenings – FREE!
12pm – Portrait Of a Lone Farmer (73mins)
3pm – Till Death Do Us Apart (95mins)
6pm – Coz Ov Moni 2 (123mins)
Fri 10, 7pm, Garden stage: MAWUNGIRA ENHARIRA featuring Nyamasvisva – A mystical mbira tradition – cc$5. (ENTRY at 6th St gate)
Fri 10, 8pm, Main stage: AFRIKA REVENGE – Possibly the most epic duo in Zimbabwean music history, Willis & Taz reunite for this Mega show. (Advance tickets on Sale from Book Cafe Bookshop). cc$10
Sat 11, 2pm, SISTAZ OPEN MIC – “BE BREAST AWARE” in Breast Cancer Awareness month – Sistaz, this is your space – come and claim it! FREE, ALL WELCOME.
Sat 11, 5.30pm, EMILIA PATRICK & THE FAMILIA TONES – Emilia Patrick is a singer, composer and violinist from Zvishavane -resisting generalization by effortlessly blending African tones with funk, pop and rock. The result – an independent pop sound that pushes the boundaries! cc$5
Sat 11, 8pm, ALEXIO & SHADES OF BLACK – Urban soul from Zimbabwe crowd favourites, delivering a great show of soulful contemporary music – cc$
Activity Report Feedback from ZESN Public Meeting: An analysis of the Electoral Amendment Bill on 10th of April 2014
See the link for a report on the meeting ZESN Activity Update 100414
http://www.panorama.co.zw/ – for news about the Creative Sector in Zimbabwe
Nhimbe-NPAAC September Newsletter – news from the cultural scene back home
Masakhaneni Newsletter – Have a look at this very interesting newsletter which covers the pre-election 2013 and post-election period
1 July 2013: Harare News –
Community Newspaper and online website launched
New – Zimbabwe Theatre Association launches newsletter – click on link below
http://harare.usembassy.gov/amb_speeches/three-years-in-zimbabwe-how-i-see-young-people-building-a-better-country.html – Positive outlook from outgoing Ambassador Charles Ray
LAUNCH OF A VIRTUAL LECTURE HALL at the UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE
CARA and Econet have installed ‘Life Size’ video conference equipment into a College of Health Science Lecture Hall on the University of Zimbabwe’s main campus.
‘Virtual Lectures’ will be streamed in to support the College of Health Science and the Faculties of Science and Veterinary Science in areas currently lacking teaching staff, or who could benefit from engagement with the diaspora and/or international partnerships.
Population Census in Zimbabwe 18-28 August – how many people are in Zimbabwe? For more info click on 2012 Zimbabwe Population Census
Some of you may be interested in this new blog, which discusses some
current issues in Zimbabwe, based on my recent experiences as Director
at Hlekweni. I’d especially appreciate comments from Zimbabweans, at:
With thanks and in Friendship,