OAC

Interviewed at his home in Loveland by Sandra Grady
8 October 2011

Paul S. Bere was born in the town of Chiredzi in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. He started writing as early as primary school, creating a number of small plays performed by students to educate themselves and others to avoid malaria and HIV/AIDS. After this introduction to writing for an audience, he took up poetry because it offered him the chance to be autonomous in his creativity.

Paul completed secondary school in Zimbabwe and then did a certification in Computer Studies there. After he finished this course, he came to the US in January 2000 and settled in Cincinnati because he had an uncle living in the area. He has continued his studies in the US, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Technology at Northern Kentucky University. He hopes to be certified in Oracle database and eventually to obtain a Masters degree in Economics. In addition to his studies, Paul continues to write poetry. Although his first language is Shona, he writes poetry in English because he finds it an easier language to put into poetic form. He started posting his compositions on Facebook and, when he got a positive response, he published a collection titled The Chronicles of Benevolent Affection: A Declaration of Love, Tribulations and Hope in 2010.

In addition to his poetry, Paul hosts a three hour radio show online every Monday. Zimbabweans living all over the world tune in to discuss the political situation in Zimbabwe and how to survive living outside the country. His mother and father still live in Zimbabwe, and his mother comes to visit him and his brothers every other year. Paul has asylum in the US due to his involvement in the Movement for Democratic Change Party, a group in opposition to the current government. When he began receiving threatening phone calls in 1999, he moved to the US and has not been able to return to see his father or six siblings remaining there.

Paul continues to work on his poetry, writing mostly from his life about the people and relationships that fill it. He sees life as a cycle of hope, despair, love and sadness, and illustrates this with examples from his experiences and observations.

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