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DECOUNTRYRIZED is a tale of a lonely African soul seeking refuge from war. Having left her country as a child in search for peace, Acha and her family eventually settled in Uganda and this is where Acha tells her story. The poems are a painful reminder of the effects of war on Africa’s children but the books also filly the reader with hope that someday peace shall be achieved and the writer and her family will be able to go back and settle home.
DON’T LOVE ME IN ENGLISH brilliantly tells the journey of the persona in poetry through Kampala taxi-rides, men’s public objectification of women, the quest for love and the pain of the heart-break and the power of resilience. This wonderful collection highlights issues of gender, religion and culture. A must-read for all teenage girls.
“A nation turning into a mortuary” as an “experiment in human suffering”. This is an example of how powerful Richard Otwao’s poetry is: using deceptively simple diction and imagery, he vividly captures the tragedy that African countries have suffered in different situations of war, dictatorship, deprivation, disease, and insult, to mention but a few. With delicate irony and humour, he shows us that not all is lost, for if we mediate upon our deeds and will ourselves into loving our fellow human beings a little more, we can salvage something from the mess we have put our countries, and ourselves, into.”
-Dr Danson Sylvester Kahyana, Senior Lecturer in Literature, Makerere University
“I think of Rusho’s LIGHT as an act of taking the veil off the world; of the man he is, and that of the people around him. I am deliberate about calling it an act because it’s memory in motion. Each poem dances below a bulb at its own tempo and intent. Some of them seek it, the spot, while others avoid it so that the pains and injustices in their bodies aren’t seen. But a lot is on display still, even during moments of darkness. Questions about gender and the human body, loss, relationships, the country, self, and so on. I admire the bravery by which he writes about himself. What drives a man to speak about himself with such honesty? The only way to find out is by diving into the poems he presents as a mirror.
-Lule ssebo Lule, author of OGENDA WA?
“No speaking Vernacular was beautifully performed; humourous, witty, revealing. I thought the play clearly brought out the shortcomings of an education system that wholly demonizes the use of native languages in schools. No Speaking Vernacular pits Mr. Full stop, the John Speke High School Headteacher against Dambya, (Nsubuga Muhammad) a renegade vernacular speaker. Dambya’s sin is using the Luganda word ‘gwe’ which Mr Full stop considers an unforgivable breach of Article 23 of the school Regulations.
In punishment, Dambya suffers the minimum punishment prescribed by the regulations. He is caned. He is forced to wear old sisal sackcloth, a bone around his neck, and a placard bearing the words: “I am stupid. I speak Vernacular.”
– Herbert Okello Andrew, Lawyer, teacher.
“Artistically, it is one of the most engaging anthologies I have read in a very long time. Each poem is special for the way it seems to roll off your tongue. The pattern of rhythm and sound of the words or prosody is enhanced, line on line, by enjambment as feelings spill while carrying the run of the poet’s thought from one line to the next without a syntactical break. The substance of these feelings are so powerful, even tragic.”
– Phillip Matogo, Poet, Author, Critic
“On the whole, this book is a triumph for the author and The Poetry Series by KITARA NATION. The lexical arrangements uplift its rhythm with a triumph of apostrophic repetition that is typical of Kitara’s style (For the mood has changed/And the boys have changed/ And the girls have changed/ And the boss has changed). Each part of the book (which is accompanied by illustrations) is heightened to the echo chamber of history. Oh yes, these words will ring through time.”
– Phillip Matogo, poet, author, critic.
“The young writers have vehemently demonstrated their frustrations, puzzles and hopes in a society with adults swallowed in know-it-all snobbery. The poetic arrows in this poetry collection declare war on societal silence on things that matter most and draw lines to proper order of the ideal society, a society in which they would love to dwell now as children and tomorrow as adults. It is a reflective collection of thoughts with thousands of options of solutions to our fears. It is work you wouldn’t abandon to dust.”
-Kened. B. Ngiise iii, teacher, poet/writer.
This book, the first anthology of its kind, encompasses poems collected from 3 different national High School poetry programs. It could perhaps be the only book of this kind in East Africa.
“This anthology also highlights important conversations that need to be had; rape, defilement, female oppression, global warming, politics, discrimination among others. We hear a generation that is worried for the state of our nation, and for the generations to come. You will feel the anger, sadness and mixed emotions through lyrical puns and some of the vividly descriptive pieces, and you will never get enough. I especially loved the ‘Ungodly Hour’ for its ability to speak on these important matters unbiased and while making great stories and songs from some equally tragic experiences.”
-Aanyu O. Deborah, Former President, Writers’ Club, Mt. St. Mary’s College, Namagunga.