Maxwell Sibanda (Foto: privat)
Maxwell Sibanda was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1968. He was only able to live and work in his homeland until 2004. The turning point in his career was the ban and the forcible closure of the Daily News in September 2003 by the Mugabe government. At that time, he was in his fourth year as cultural editor of the only private newspaper in Zimbabwe and had worked as a journalist for several magazines since 1994. The journalists of the Daily News were charged before the AIPPA (state authority to control access to information and to ensure its secrecy). All their licenses and accreditations were revoked. They were placed on a “black list,” which amounted to a work ban. After emigrating, he first became a fellow of the Hamburg Foundation for the Politically Persecuted and the International House of Authors in Graz. During this time he published the book D’Zimbabwe – House Made of Stone. From January 2006 to January 2007, he was a guest of the PEN Writers in Exile Program. He then received a grant from the Heinrich Böll Foundation. In 2007, Maxwell Sibanda returned to Zimbabwe and went back to work for the Daily News; in the meantime he has become its deputy editor-in-chief. In 2017, a text by him will be published in the German PEN anthology Zuflucht in Deutschland. Texte verfolgter Autoren (S.Fischer).