Panashe Chigumadzi is an author who grew up in South Africa but was born in the Mbuya Nehanda maternity ward of Harare’s Parirenyatwa Hospital in 1991, a birthplace she shares with millions of other Zimbabweans, but nonetheless feels is auspicious as a writer interested in the narratives of black and African women.
In 2015 her debut novel Sweet Medicine, was published by Jacana’s BlackBird Books imprint to both critical and popular acclaim. She is also the Founder and Editor of Vanguard Magazine, a womanist platform for young, black women coming of age in post-apartheid South Africa. Prior to this, she gained media experience as a TV journalist for CNBC Africa, where she produced a documentary entitled Africa’s Upstarts. She went on to work in the office of the Managing Director as the Project Executive of the Africa Business News (ABN) Group. In this time she was also a columnist for Forbes Woman Africa and contributor to Forbes Africa.
In 2015 she became a Ruth First Fellow where she delivered a memorial lecture entitled Of Coconuts, Consciousness and Cecil John Rhodes: Disillusionment and disavowals of the Rainbow Nation.
Chigumadzi is also co-founder of the Feminist Stokvel, a collective of eight young black women in media and arts who aim to address issues facing young black women through events such as “Hair Soirees”, film screenings and panel discussions.
She is also regular speaker at local and international platforms. Events include her TEDxJohannesburg 2013 talk entitled A New Self-Identity for Africans and her participation as the youngest keynote speaker at the 2014 Ars Electronica Festival held in Austria.
Chigumadzi is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in African Literature at Wits University.
Sweet Medicine, 2015, Jacana's Blackbird imprint