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'IT MAKES ME FEEL BRAVE ABOUT BEING A WOMAN': A READER'S REVIEW OF "DON'T LOVE ME IN ENGLISH"

by Bridget Nakuya

Earlier this year when l read the ‘African Saga’, a small sweet book of poetry written by a Ugandan Author and academic Susan Kiguli, l felt like a feather, floating, happy with words, words of a woman, words of an angry woman, words of a complex woman.

But man, as this year is coming to a close, l get the chance to get my hands on a copy of ‘Don’t love me In English’, The Kitara Poetry Series #10, a Kitara Nation book written by a Ugandan Author Bridget Ankunda.

I mention the ‘African Saga’ by Susan Kiguli because it’s a great book by a great woman, a book published in 1998, in juxtaposition with Bridget Ankunda’s ‘Don’t Love Me In English’ because that’s what this book helps you to do; it has taken the concept of a woman in today’s Uganda, today’s world, the world of instagram posts and likes, the world of being able to not just go with a man into marriage simply because the words « l love you » rolled off his lips, the world of women tired of speaking in metaphors.

Ankunda Bridget’s writing teaches you how you can picture the future while standing on the shoulders of those that came before, not taking away, but building on, a great example of the vibrating nature of a Ugandan woman with something to say, but one with the courage and the skills to execute it because the girl killed the execution.

The books leaves you feeling like damn: «is this all, l want more..» It’s short, but it says everything it wants to say and just leaves it at that…

It’s 2020, I’m nostalgic about Susan Kiguli and ‘The African Saga’ and I’m left thinking how far apart these two books are, totally different generations yet the burdens of a woman don’t seem to be so different; the clarity of a woman documenting her thoughts –the unburying of earth that happens when women take us into their minds.

It makes me feel brave about being a woman in my country, this ‘Don’t love me in English’, because l see my kid in 20 years, or so, quoting Bridget Ankunda: «I’m the wind, l won’t be caged.» just like Bridget Ankunda quotes Suzan Kiguli, and my heart rests easy at night thankful that this book was made, that one day many young women are going to read it and grow from it.

[Order for your copy of DON’T LOVE ME IN ENGLISH now for Ug Shs 20,000.]

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Written by Kitara Nation

Kitara Nation is an arts company promoting poetry in secondary schools and higher institutions of learning. We are a vibrant learning space for poets to express themselves.

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