Tsitsi Dangarembga, from Zimbabwe, is one of the most important voices on the African continent as a multi-award-winning author, filmmaker and feminist essayist. She lives and works in Zimbabwe. She was born and educated in her home country. She attended Cambridge University, Sidney Sussex College, where she is an Honorary Fellow, before studying psychology at the University of Zimbabwe and screenwriting and directing at the German Television Academy Berlin where she graduated with distinction.
Her literary authorship includes the collection of essays “Black and Female”, published in 2022, and the Tambudzai Trilogy comprising of “Nervous Conditions” (1988), “The Book of Not” (2006) and “This Mournable Body” (2018) and “She No longer Weeps” (drama, . “This Mournable Body” was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2020. In 2021 she was awarded International Pen’s Pen Award for Freedom of Expression, English Pen’s Pen Pinter Prize and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. In 2022 she was awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction and 2023 the Freedom of Expression Prize of the Norwegian Publisher’ Association.
She is currently a Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow, researching the migrations of the people who came to be called the Shona people of Zimbabwe. She was the inaugural University of East Anglia International Chair in Creative writing (Africa) for the academic year 2021-22, a programme that capacitates writers in different parts of the world, with Africa the first region to participate. She was appointed to lecture at NYU Abu Dhabi on the topic Presence and Absence: The work of Representation in a Southern African Setting in 2022. She was Writer in Residence at Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study in 2021, as well as Artist in Residence at the Centre for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora, NYU 2019. She was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship in 2016 and was writer in Residence at Innsbruck University in 2014, following the same position at Northwestern University in 2013. She is currently a member of the Advisory boards of the University of Johannesburg and the Centre for the Afterlife of Violence and the Reparative Quest at the University of Stellenbosyc, as well as being a Research Scholar at that University.
She is a board member of Pavillon Afriques at Cannes. In 2009 she co-founded the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust. ICAPA Trust facilitates, produces, and trains in the production of uplifting, innovative products across a spectrum of narrative genres. ICAPA products and programmes foster creativity in society. They promote innovation and support the dissemination of progressive ideas through content, training events, exhibition and networking events. In 2003 she founded the International Film Festival for Women, in Harare, Zimbabwe, a festival that screens films that feature female protagonists. The festival has also facilitated training programmes for women filmmakers in Zimbabwe and the region. Dangarembga expanded this training Africa wide in 2016 with the programme the African Women Filmmakers’ Development Hub.
Dangarembga has been on the jury’s of Africa’s most prestigious film festivals, including Durban International Film Festival, Carthage International Film Festival, Luxor African Film Festival and the Zimbabwe International Film Festival Trust. In 2022 she was a member of the International Jury at the Berlin International Film Festival
She has credits on many of Zimbabwe’s classic films including Neria, Flame and Everyone’s Child. In 1992 she created her production company Nyerai Films, whose major films include Hard Earth: Land Rights in Zimbabwe (2000), Elephant People (2202) and Kare Kare Zvako (Mother’s Day, musical short, 2004, which was the best African short at Cinema Africano, Milan in 2005 and a finalist at Sundance Film Festival, I Want a Wedding Dress (2010) and In Her Father’s Village (short) (2016).Besides developing a slate of her own passion scripts with women screen writers in Africa and Europe and working on gender-friendly accelerator programmes for African filmmakers through her African Women Filmmakers’ Hub, Dangarembga divides her time between her research, her current prose project, a young adult dystopian novel, appearances in various parts of the world and championing citizen agency in Zimbabwe.