Joe Ruzvidzo was born in Zimbabwe, and seemed destined to be a Fine Artist. He forfeited his final portfolio interview at art school; choosing to go for a job interview instead, he spent the next sixteen years working in the IT and media industries.
He finally left formal employment to start up a design and copy-writing consultancy, which allows him to spend more time doing his favourite things - writing, playing guitars badly, and grilling more often than any man should.
He lives in Harare with his wife Isobel, three guitars, two barbecues and a ginger cat named Voldemort.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town, Chegutu. It's a lovely town which only recently got their first traffic light (yes, one). I then went to high school in another, nearby small town called Kadoma. As for how it influenced my writing, the title story of my debut collection is actually set in the Chegutu of my youth. Some of 'The Order' is also set there, and I think 'The Heist' is too! It's a place where everybody knows everybody else, and the sense of community is something you can't get anywhere else.
Describe your desk
From left to right? Magazines and unread books and notebooks, computer keyboard, alarm clock, mouse headphones, notebook and pen at my right hand. I don't really keep it messy, I like my workstation tidy. Okay, who am I kidding, it's always more messy than tidy!
Behind Enemy Lines is a collection of stories about ordinary people and anti-heroes dragged into a search for meaning in their lives – whether it is a simple search for identity and love, or a bigger struggle for Africa's political freedom. The canvas of their actions, motivations and circumstances is a Zimbabwe of the past, present and future. Humorous, acerbic, funny and tragic.