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.
“Say goodbye to a refugee when you see them smile
That would be a dream from a thousand miles
Of peace promised by historically corrupted minds
Who never answer to Peace.
“Say goodbye to a refugee when you see them cry,
The guns and runs and bomb-blasts made their land dry;
Their hearts steady
Hard like stone,
Every tear a signal
Of dying faith
Every drop a hope gone
“Home is fairytale
Home is hell
Home is hot enough.”
ACHA DIVINE PATANDJILA LERATO is Congolese national born in 2000 in South Africa. In 2015 her family sought refuge in Uganda because of insecurities back in DRC. In 2018, alongside her friends, she helped to initiate the Greenhill Academy Poetry Club where students would gather every Thursday afternoon and share poetry. By the end of 2018 she joined VERSE IN VAC, a poetry program run by Kitara Nation that focuses on developing theatre and written poetry. Under this program she was able to write and perform poetry in a number of theatre productions thus stepping out as a performance poet. This is her first poetry collection.
Format: Paperback & Kindle
Number Of Pages: 68
Publisher: Kitara Nation
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“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
“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
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.