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.
“Someone tell Susan Kiguli
she is not the only one tired of talking
in metaphors. Ask her what language
she uses these days, Coz this tongue
has failed me.
My brother too.
“Now he runs from city
to city trying on different tongues
hoping one will stick. He calls home
from bars in foreign lands,
telling us how things should be done,
sweeping rooms he cannot see.
“In case you’re wondering,
this is how you sweep a room
you cannot see: start in the corner,
hit the walls you cannot see with
your fists. When they shake, pretend
they are shoulders, shaking with laughter,
pretend they are dancing, not crumbling.”
-ROOMS & DUST
BRIDGET ANKUNDA has loved poetry ever since she wrote a little poem about food when she was eleven. She fell in love with performance when her teacher let her recite the little poem in class and later at a school function at St Thereza Namagunga Boarding Primary School. She later attended Mt. St. Mary’s College Namagunga for secondary school where she was deeply involved in writing for the school’s magazine and in 2017 she became President of the Writers’ Club. She wrote the winning drama skits for the National SWAS Convention 2017 and 2018. As a member of the Kitara Nation ‘Verse in Vac’ poetry project, Ankunda won the award Best Recitation at the ACDEG Poetry Award 2019 for her poem ROOMS & DUST. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Law at the School of Law, Makerere University, where she is also a junior editor of the Makerere Law Journal. This is her first poetry collection.
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“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.
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.
“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.