“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.
“What power you have
In the palms of your hands!
What majesty you wear
As you walk the streets
Of citizens enslaved and enchanted
By your handshakes and speech!
Whisper your fears
For walls have ears–
Whose life ends
Before it is
Whose laughter is squashed
before it is
But you strut like cocks
Colour your tongues like peacocks
Creators of universal
Harmony and chaos
Until the gods look down
And seeing smaller versions of themselves,
Cut them to size.”
Itah Patience Mbekhi has a B.A Education (Literature and English) from Kyambogo University, and an M.A in Literature from Makerere University. She is currently a teacher and Assistant Head of Department English and English Literature at King’s College, Budo. She is a wife, a mother and a mentor. Patience enjoys reciting, reading and writing poetry. She has contributed to newspaper The Monitor as a columnist and has had her poems recited at the Uganda National Theatre. This is her first Published poetry collection.
Format: Paperback & Kindle Version
Language: English, Luganda
Number Of Pages: 59
Publisher: Kitara Nation
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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.
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.
“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