“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 is our country
If you seek the truth,
You are chasing wind.
The wounded are the culprits,
The aggressor is the victim.
The dead are peripatetic,
The living are the dead.
The press becomes the chief rumour mill,
They are the agitators.
The regime of the day,
Props up the opposition.
The passionately disgruntled opposition,
Promotes the regime in power.
The voters become autocratic,
They oppress their leaders.
Children violate their parents’ rights,
Women rape men in broad daylight.”
RICHARD OTWAO was born in Amuria in December 1971 and went to Angorom and Soroti Demonstrations schools for his primary education. He later joined Amuria SS in 1986 and when the insurgency that rocked the Eastern part of the country set in, he enrolled in Teso College Aloet to complete his secondary education. Preferring a teaching career, he enrolled in NTC Kaliro for his DSE (Dip in Secondary Education 1993-1995), Kyambogo University for BED (2001-2005) and later Masters of Arts (MA) in Literature in the same University. Richard has taught English Language and Literature in English since 1996 in various schools. He is currently teaching in Mt St Mary’s College Namagunga.
Format: Paperbakc & Kindle
Number Of Pages: 100
Publisher: Kitara Nation
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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.
“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.