Our Blazing Writer for the month of April is literally blazing hot!
She is none other than Shaznay Wood, also known as Thee Ammartian. Shaznay is not your regular spoken word artist. She has written and performed several poems, including Me Too, Push, These Scars are Art, Dreams, Shungu, Zviroto, Street Kid, and African yet White.
Last year, she came second place in a Kanyanisa poetry slam sponsored by Lit Fest, and third place in another organized by Theater in the Park. Also, she made it to the top 5 for a hip-hop cypher, Iconicfest.
Shaznay is smart, amiable, intelligent, and has a good sense of humor. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her interview as much as I did.
Let’s go meet her.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Shaznay Wood, a spoken word artist well known for my stage name Thee Ammartian. I am 19 years old, currently studying Film, Radio, and TV Production at the University of Zimbabwe. I am proudly Zimbabwean.
Could you tell us what your stage name ‘Thee Ammartian’ means and how you came about it?
Well, the name ‘Thee Ammartian’ was derived form Ammara Brown’s fan base name ‘Ammartia’. I named myself ‘Thee Ammartian’ because I love her work and I consider myself a big fan. Since Ammara is my role model, I decided to attach her name to my creative side.
How did you start writing?
From Primary school, I was a good English student and my aunt, Elieen Alimanzi, would help me with my homework. I learnt to write stories, poems and songs at the age of 12 and got inspiration from my surroundings and personal revelations.
It’s great to know you started writing at a young age! Tell us about writers and spoken word artists that inspire you.
I am inspired by Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, J Cole, The Street Poet, Madzitatiguru, and Ammara Brown.
I admire Kendrick Lamar for his wordplay and rhyme scheme. Eminem for his relevance; he’s been in the creative industry for a while now. J Cole for his authenticity when it comes to storytelling about society, because most creatives lose themselves to fame and forget their purpose. The Street Poet for his ability to use satire to address serious issues, and Heyhey Preacher for his ability to breathe life into his craft.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
Well, in the next 5 years, I see myself collaborating with artists from different genres, creating masterpieces. I’d also like to run an organization where young creatives can showcase their talents, because it’s never easy for young artists to get their work into the mainstream.
As a young creative, what setbacks or challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Basically financial setbacks. In my opinion, promoters don’t pay artists because they think, ‘it’s just a talent,’ yet, they forget the hard work we put in behind the scenes. Alas, my fans are the best! they understand the kind of artist that I am and increase the views and support each day. For this, I am grateful.
If you could share the stage with any artist, who would it be and why?
Jermaine Cole. Because of his authenticity and his music. He raps about real life issues that happen in society. Also, he’s been in the industry for a while now, yet has remained relevant.
Assuming you’re stuck on an island with your phone, and you’re only allowed to use one app. Which would it be?
One Note. (Chuckles)
Leave a word of wisdom for young writers.
Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Always be patient. Stay relevant and authentic to your purpose.
How can people contact you?
My social media handles are:
- YouTube: Thee Ammartian
- Twitter: Thee Ammartian
- Instagram: Thee Ammartian
- Facebook: Shaznay
- Audiomack: Thee Ammartian
- WhatsApp Call/Text: +263393836
Girl, you are on fire! It was a pleasure interviewing you, Shaznay. I totally love your composure and sense of maturity. Keep blazing!
Enjoy this piece by Shaznay (Thee Ammartian).
Are you are young writer, and would like to be featured as our Blazing Writer of The Month? Send an email to email@example.com with the subject ‘Blazing Writer’. Make sure to include links to two of your best works.