Chidadiso Francesca Mbazo, whose first name means ‘my pride’ in the Shona language, is young but already making waves in her chosen field, the Arts. Driven by passion, she has proved that nothing will deter her.
“I’m an artist, meaning l do all things artistic – spoken word poetry, professional writing, and I host a couple of talk shows for media houses around Bulawayo, Zimbabwe,” Chidadiso told The Weight She Carries. “l model and I’ve acted in a couple of short films with minor roles. I was one of the lead characters in an audiobook written and directed by Nonduduzo Ncube.”
We asked Chidadiso, who goes by “ChichiethepoeticQueen” on social media, to tell us more about her journey to the woman we see today.
“l am a 19-year-old woman, born in a family of five. My family is your typical nuclear family unit. We hail from the City of Kings and Queens – Bulawayo. As a person with albinism as well as being a girl child, l am a disability rights advocate, girl rights child advocate, SRHR defender and peer educator.
The artistic side of me became apparent during my school days. Each time l would write an essay for an assignment, my teacher would read my work to the other classes. At 16, l would write speeches and recite them at church, and people loved them. In 2020, one of the guys at my church became my mentor. Both he and l sat down and wrote my first-ever poem together. That is what propelled me to where l am today. Through that, l was exposed to a lot of media people and the rest is history.
Taking a chance on me
In late 2020, during the lockdown, l was 17 and just felt like there was more I could do, especially with my writing skills. l reached out to I.B.R.A.H Magazine. They told me that they weren’t taking on freelancers at that time, but then 3 days later they called me asking if I was still interested. Of course, I said yes! I was nervous because all l had was passion with no experience whatsoever.
My first interview was online due to the lockdown. According to the feedback, they said it was good. What began as a desire led me from being a part-time freelance writer to a full-time writer in no time. In October 2021, l was chosen to become the assistant head writer at I.B.R.A.H Magazine, a job that was self-taught and driven by mere passion.
Representing my Own
As l mentioned earlier, l attended a grooming and etiquette school to improve my modeling skills. Growing up watching various pageants, l noticed that as a person with albinism, we had no representation. I thought to myself, “I should be up there representing my own as well.”
Through advocacy, l have joined various organizations. What drives me is the need to be extraordinary.
“l always make sure l chase my dreams relentlessly until l succeed because l am not an ordinary human being.”
As a young girl with albinism, l have taken it upon myself to educate people. The belief in some African cultures that albinism is a curse is certainly not true. Therefore, l use my platform and space to prove that we are way more than albinism. We can do what anybody else can do.
I recall an incident that occurred about four years ago. l was turned down from taking the lead role of being a wife in a church play because my husband in the play wouldn’t take me seriously because of my condition. I cried that time. It hurt me. But as they say, ‘by our pain we are molded,’ so l moved on.
In 5 years l want to be a force to reckon with. All l want is to grow in the spaces that l am already in. My degree would have been attained by then and a master’s in the pipeline. l will have won some pageantry crowns as well.