19 September 2009

Uganda: Women Writers Shake National Theatre

Uganda's National Theatre was the place to be last week when literary brains in the country gathered in commemoration of the 17th National Book Trust of Uganda annual week festival.

The event saw women writers under the FEMRITE umbrella dominate the event an indication that women have consolidated their place on the literary scene in the country.

But that does not mean men were not represented.

Indeed their was a heavy male representation from Ulysses Chuka Kibuuka, the only writing army Captain in the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces with three novels under his belt including 'Of Saints And Scare Crows', Joseph Mugasa, a literature teacher at Masaka SS and formerly at Makerere College School with a poetry anthology 'Pulse Of The Pearl and Dr. Patrick Mangeni of Makerere University's Music, Dance and Drama Department with various books under his name including 'A Leopard In My Bed and Other Stories'. However, the day belonged to the women and they danced to the stage with the lead voice of Dr. Susan Kiguli famed for her anthology 'The African Saga' followed by Ms. Lilian Tindyebwa who read from her novel 'Recipe for Disaster' accompanied by Jackie Batanda as MC and Monica Arach Nyeko a world renown literacy winner to cheer them on. Tindyebwa's works had that unique streak of prophesy where 10 years ago, she was already writing about cross-generational sex matters which have come to be the centre of contention in the HIV/AIDS endemic sweeping the country. With the various recitations and readings including winners of the Nambozo Poetry Awards, matters to do with sexuality seeped through heavily and claimed their place too. What with Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut's upcoming novel on Female Genital Mutilation which jolted many to face the reality that we(men) need not recreate God's plan of a woman's genetalia with a surgeon's knife. Sweetlythough was Dr. Susan Kiguli's poem 'Omuti' meaning 'tree' which was a reawakening of the literary world to go back to their roots to write in their first languages to have effective delivery of their feelings. Look out for Dr. Kiguli's profile in this paper soon.

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