The whistle has been blown. The game has started. The steadily swelling crowd of spectators reels in expectation. It is now up to the players to take it on the front foot, to attack. For, that is what the sea of spectators want. That illustration befits Uganda’s current creative writing industry. Despite the slow pace over the years, a new awakening seems to be taking shape. The advent of Center for African Cultural Excellence, Writivism (2012), The Babishai Niwe Foundation (2008) among others is like the whistle blown. The good support they have received from prospective creative writers shows the game is on.
Ugandans are surely ready to tell there own story. They are clearly on the front foot. The spring of activities such as Peter Kagayi’s monthly poetry nights, annual festivals and contests by Writivism and Babishai, Nyana Kakoma and her Sooo Many Stories. This is thrilling. To note is that this is not restricted to the Capital. In Gulu town for instance there are poetry slams at Bomah Hotel on every first Saturday of the month, Open Mike Nights at O Cafe, Languages and Literature Society of Gulu University is fresh and held a poetry show on campus on 03rd of Nov, Northern Uganda Writers Forum is a writers club and are making up a poetry anthology. That hundred thousand ton wave rising radically in our literature world is upfront and powerful. The audience for it seems promising, pregnant and eager.
I am personally blessed to be in an environment in which it is a daily occurrence to meet a person seriously considering creative writing. The strong reason for this phenomenal and sweeping wave is that Uganda has a strong story to tell. A crucial neurosis to release. Well. What is that neurosis? One man has sat on the presidential stool for three and half decades and the political scene is getting overly sensitive and dramatically comical. A kangaroo system of democracy has held tight grip of the country and there is an opposition fever squared up against it. The highly patriarchal society has been given a rude awakening by the rise of feminism and women empowerment. A great many are on the arena of the battle to extricate themselves from the vicious circle of poverty. Some have succeeded and want others to know how. This is catalyzed by the intellectual literary thirst and hunger currently suffered by the country, a famine that must be quenched and satisfied.
That makes it openly obvious that the rule of change is working out. For “The Only Constant in Life is Change” and Uganda is experiencing it. Uganda has never been and is currently not a literature power house. But with the above, a concerted effort and some buttering on the cake will certainly do wonders. Appreciation to CACE, Writivism, Babishai and all other stakeholders including the writers. We are now at the threshold of our Canaan of creative writing, the promised land is just an arms distance away, soon we will be in a land flowing with the milk and honey of Literature.