Monday, September 29, 2008

the sinking of the titanic

This classical black poetry piece is one of the foundations of SPOKEN WORD POETRY, the revolution that failed to be televised but was always bubbling under. This is a masterpiece with its origins in the south of the USA.
I hope ‘Shine’ touches a special part of you as he has done mine

It was 1912 when the awful news got around
That the great Titanic was sinking down.
Shine came running upon deck, told the captain, ‘Please,
The water in the boiler room is up to my knees.’

Captain said; ‘Take your black self on back down there!
I got a hundred and fifty pumps to keep the boiler room clear.’
Shine went back in the whole, started shoveling coal,
Singing, ‘Lord have mercy, Lord, on my soul!’
Just then half the ocean jumped across the boiler room deck.
Shine yelled to the captain, ‘The water’s around my neck!’
Captain said, ‘Go back! Neither fear nor doubt!
I got a hundred more pumps to keep the water out.’

‘Your words sound happy and your words sound true,
But this one time Cap, your words won’t do.
I don’t like chicken and I don’t like ham-
And I don’t believe your pump is worth a damn!’

The old Titanic was beginning to sink
Shine pulled of his clothes and jumped in the brink.
He said, ’Little fish, big fish, and shark fishes, too,
Get out of my way because I’m coming through.’

Captain on bridge hollered,’Shine, shine, save poor me,
And I’ll make you as rich as any man can be.’
Shine said, ‘There’s more gold on land than there is on sea
And he swimmed on.


This classic piece is one that you read and go like; ’enough said’ no word ought to be ejected or added to this masterpiece. I hope you enjoy it.

Psalms 23 part II

The state is my shepherd, I shall not want; it makes me to
Lie down in a subsidized house
It leads me to political tranquility; it restores my faith in a lucrative future.
It leads me into paths of loans and pensions,
For its international reputation’s sake.
Yea, even though the valley of the shadow
Of Kivvulu I will fear no Kondos;
For the state is with me, its tanks and guns comfort me.
It preserves for me a bank account, in the presence of devaluation;
It fills my pockets with allowances, my salary overflows.
Surely increments and promotion follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in senior staff quarters forever.


This sort of poetry is the type that just puts a smile on your face, its well written and so raw that you get addicted to it… read and see what really happens in a brother’s mind when he is rejected.This poem is from the THONGA tribe in the southern tip of our lovely continent of Africa.

1.very well girl:

All right then, girl, refuse me.
The grains of maize from which you eat in your village
Are human eyes!
The tumblers from which you eat
Are human skulls!
The cassava roots you eat
Are human leg bones!
The sweet potatoes
Are human fingers!
Very well then girl, refuse me

open-mic night at the afriart gallery..

Its a Friday and yours truly is on a bodaboda snaking through a traffic jam in the thick Kintante road.Im making my way to Lugogo showground where I think Afriart gallery is hosting an open-mic night which I was humbly told is going to ’happen’. .and happen it truly did, only at another venue.

I get to U M A showground and my Swahili is in; I ask the askari if there is anything happening at the gallery and he tells me nothing, and true to his word I can see the place isn’t lit up.

I insist on seeing for myself and at the front I meet a couple of other poetry lovers who have ‘bounced’ like me. A few phone calls later truly confirm that the event would not take place. ‘So what should we do?’ the ladies ask, and one says the rugby club is always jumping on Fridays; of course I know, my blood is saturated with that thing that we go hungrily there for..It’s just that I’m trying so badly to quit...

I had been pumping this little frame of mine with bitter since 4 pm and I thought I had had enough, enough forever... but that night promised me that I would never.

To cut the thoroughly long story short I had too much of pints and I don’t remember whoever I was with, plus I lost my priceless poetry album by Imani; whoever might have it...Pleeeeeeeeease...

To make it up to anyone who strictly believes that this is a poetry and arts blog and not someone’s memoir of teen-like drinking sprees ,I have prepared a collection of love pieces from as far as the 1700..and I screwed up on Friday, the apology chokes but I guess its audible enough..


I can’t imagine

I can’t imagine a day
Without your charming smile;
Nor can I justly convey
How much I love your style.

I can’t imagine a week
Without your warm embrace;
Nor the absence of your pleasing form
And lovely flawless face.

I can’t imagine a year
Without you near to share
The times that I do endear,
Or the moments of despair.

I can’t imagine a lifetime
Without you by my side;
For I want a love divine,
I need you as my guide.

I can’t imagine eternity
Without the love I’ve known.
My spirit would wander hopelessly
In agony-alone.


Endlessly you inspire me
By what you say or do.
Thus, with great sincerity,
I’ll tell my feelings true.

You always use your eloquence
To raise my self esteem.
To help me boost my confidence
To realize a dream.

You comfort me in times of stress
You hold me tenderly
Your soothing words then do suppress
All of my anxiety.

You love me with a passionate grace
Which gives me ecstasy
And there within your warm embrace,
My spirit wonders free.

In mind and body, I do thrive
Within your loving sphere.
And easily do I survive
Each and every passing year

So now you know in words sincere,
My feelings pure and true,
They reaffirm what is clear
That I am so truthfully in love with you.

One of the most revered love letters of our times is this one from Napoleon Bonaparte to his then lover Josephine, it’s about how passionate a man thought to be obsessed with power and wars can be.
Read it; it will show you another part of the man.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Josephine de Beaueharnais
(Paris, December 1795)

I wake filled with thought of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried?...My soul aches with sorrow, and here can be no rest for your lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love
Which consumes me with fire? Ah! It was last night that I fully realized how false an image of your portrait gives!

You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.
Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.

The course of love never did run smooth.

It’s difficult to know what moment love starts; it is less difficult to know that it has begun.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


An eastafricanpoet’s go at him:

The first time I was lucky enough to witness this poetry addict performing was at his premier performance at the British council, I loved the piece he did on originality and an African having a definition even before the painting was repainted using white hues, if you know what I mean.
Mwaura’s poetry is strong; any witness will attest to this and his flow is so liquid, he drowns you into it without much fuss...
But on his debut performance at WAPI that Sep 2007,I think stage fright or just plain excitement got the best of him and he was like,’Damn;I’ve forgotten my lines…can I have the rough copy?’ well he did not fall back to the rough copy, he just dismissed the whole performance and left the podium with a 5 star applause all over the air around him.
The next time I see him, we are at a symposium run by Imani and in attendance are poetry geniuses like Njeri Wangare.but Mwaura looked so cool unlike the fine poetry maestro that he is...
Next time I hear about him; he’s just become the first KENYA SLAM CHAMPION after beating a host of celebrated names. But he isn’t basking in that glory, far from that; he is perfecting his poetry besides helping a host of needy people.


This is to you on the safe harbor

I have set my sail high and up
And the wind has impregnated her already;
She is full and ready.
And we’re now in the middle of the murky blue sea,
All we see is a relentless blue.

My fellow seamen are weary
The captain has dozed by the wheel
And the rest have slumped on the deck
It’s tough
Made even tougher by the hopelessness

I’ve dropped this into the sea in a bottle
I hope the ebbing waves find you
And deliver this to your pretty fingers.
I’ll be there too
If the sea favors me...

I’d love to know how you fair
If it’s truly peaceful there
But it must be,
After the rough sea
The harbor is always peaceful

My ship will rest on the tide’s back
If it takes us bad, then worst it will be
If it takes good, then best it will be.
But I will arrive
Then kickback and rest; just rest…

This is from me out in the sea.


It’s a lazy afternoon and I’m chilling at the Uganda-famous beach (lake shore) called Lido thinking hard about issues...I also catch up with the poetic-me and jot down a few poems.
These poems were inspired by the lake, the people and the music around me. I hope they get to please you.

1.An afternoon by the lake:

I sit by the waters and watch
I can see misty hills in the horizon
And dark gray waters go as far my humble eyes

Closer by the shore
Big muscled boys show young girls
How to bodily navigate the waters

Around me hairy-legged men in shorts
Fidget with expensive mobile phones
As the ladies with them munch easy on chips and fresh lake fish

The afternoon wears lazily on
Amid windy sunshine, mirandas and R n B
I’m just another person by the lake in jeans and sneakers

A wrinkling sun burned pink man
Tags along two ladies having long horse hair
He needs a swim but they are not eager

Birds fly easy over placid waters
Picking fishes of the waters like fingers pick fries
Some shoot hard into the water then out as hard as they came.

A Marvin Gaye hit swarms the air
And I realize that I’m truly lonely...
Plus me and my lady no longer connect.

2. The someone else I don’t know:

I heard her ask in a mellow voice
What’s love but a second hand emotion
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?
Maybe it’s true; nobody needs something that can get hurt.

But again living without a heart isn’t living…
It’s that heart beat that makes icy blood thaw in our veins.
It’s that beat that sings a favorite song to someone else.
The only someone else that can understand your heart’s conversation
That someone else that I don’t know...

3. Free souls:

Easy Lingala weaves through the air to my ears
And my head nods in rhythm with my heart
Madilu system, Franco.Papa wemba...
Mawazo feels so easy and deep.
Some Mbilia bell and Tshala mwana also do good.

Two girls stand in the knee high waters
With children sobbing in fear.
Lovers sit in the sand touching each others arms
And jealousy creeps into me.
The sun is now gone

People around me laugh, drink and smile
Photographers ask if I need a photo
But I’m here to run away
And that’s not a memory I want on a photo
‘No Ssebo, I’m okay; no photo today..’

Boys blaze up white cancer sticks
As they smile to their girlfriends.
The sun is now gone but more people get into the water
It must be better now
Better their free souls.

You can see that all those were from a fellow full of fish and issues, a deadly combination…


Why do you stare
And pretend it was only a glance?
Why do you come here
And pretend to be just passing by?
Why do you look into my eyes
When you know mine cannot do so?
Why do you offer me a smile
And yet you know I don’t want but need it?
Why do you kill me
Then let me go?
Why do you offer solutions
Yet you're the issue?
Why do I yearn and starve
When I've had so much?

I cannot help it:

This misty collection is traditional Kikuyu in nature and heavily inspired by real life happenings. It’s about a lady that can only go down hills and cannot climb; how it all ends even I don’t have a clue.

Kui I cannot help it:

My lady Kui
I sincerely don’t understand you,
Not anymore
Kindly tell me what is wrong.

You don’t even care to cut my nails anymore
You no longer let my leg lie on your thigh...
Or it is because my heels are now cracked?
And I can no longer afford muratina.

You told me you will always be with me
Is this truly forever?
See you cannot even look at me,
I’m I not worthy of your eyes?

You don’t even eat this food.
It’s ours not mine
Its not meat, your favorite
But it’s better than nothing.

Kui I cannot help it
When we went to Baba
You promised me and all my people
That it will be for better or for worse.

Kui I cannot help it.
Life isn’t like the flat Naivasha
It gets steep like Nyaga’s abode
But you seem not to understand

Poverty the wise old Guka says
Should be the sharpener of our digging sticks
The sharper they get, the better we can work
We are still strong Kui; the grays haven’t come yet…

I hope and pray
That what I said gets into your head
For I will not talk to you again.
I hope and pray.

Baba I cannot help it:

Baba I cannot help it
Yes Baba all is not well
That is why I came with my people
Plus we are unkempt so.

Baba and Mami we came here long ago
Maybe ten full waru seasons ago
Or twelve, today’s waru matures too fast
We also came dancing to the karing’aring’a

Baba didn’t we bring muratina?
And cows and lessos for Mami?
If I’m wrong Mami correct me.
But my people and yours plus Mwene Nyaga were witnesses.

Mami and Baba I tried
I gave birth to my father
And then my daughter that is you Mami,
So that you would be with us forever.

Baba I cannot help it
Since that foot and mouth curse took all our cows
We have met hills all along our way
But we have tried

Baba, Mami I cannot help it
That I am no longer rich
But I’m thankful that I am healthy
And there are many years ahead of me.

But ever since the meat on our table became mingi
And the tea is now ndubia
Your daughter is no longer Kui
She is someone I do not know

Kui, my mother I tell you, cannot even look at me
Baba she won’t even eat our food
But we have never slept on empty stomachs
My children remain my witnesses

Now Baba and Mami
You have seen that all is not well
I have brought my people
As my witnesses to strengthen my words

Baba you are old
And with that comes immense respect;
So I will give it to you as you deserve
Because refusing to give it you is wrong.

I came with only two solutions in my head
Which I prayed and asked the Great one for,
Plus I talked with my people
Until we decided what was right.

Baba and Mami, Kui it seems cannot climb
She can only go down hills
For that me and my people have decided
And we cannot help it that it has come to this.

Baba if you can please bring your people
To my home that I share with your daughter
And take her back with you
Because it might get worse now that it is bad

But on a second decision, Mami
Come to my home and stay some days
Use them to talk to Kui; teach her
Show Kui that a house is held up by two...

My people here bear with me witness
That I did not disrespect or do anything wrong.
Baba and Mami we have spoken
I pray and hope that you decide the best

Kui you cannot help it:

Kui my daughter, my loveliest of all
The last time I talked to you about a home
Was before your uthoni
It was a long time ago, a very long time ago.

When you got circumcised
They taught you all about pleasing him
But that all, wasn’t truly all
You always learn on the work

Kui my daughter I want you to listen
Me and your father have shared a bed for a long time,
More than half of our lives
But you still see the fire in him for me

It is not easy
Nothing is easy not even sleeping
And marriage binds you together
Until the bad one takes away one of you.

He was young and wealthy before
The dowry he brought us
Has never been seen before
Not even to this day

You have lived well my daughter
It’s only now that your skin has lost its texture
You were the loveliest and still are
Not only in the mind but in the head too

Character Kui is like a pregnancy
It cannot be hidden.
And yours is beautifully seen
As we raised you in the best way.

Now listen;
Who thought he could ever be poor?
But you lost all your cows in days
Yet you did not lose your hands and land

About character
Patience is a woman’s best part
It is like your breast that feed the world
And I know you have enough of both

Your husband wasn’t chosen for you,
It is the great one that gives us companions
And yours is one of the best
You also know and acknowledge it.

We will not take you back home
You are young but past marriage days.
Now I beg and want you to have patience
Have patience with your husband…

Wealth is not breath
Yet breath is life
You and your husband are young and healthy
You will still be wealthy…

Everything comes slowly
Even life itself is slow and humble
So you stay with your husband
And work hard for your children.

Friday, September 19, 2008



upcoming OPEN-MIC night at the AFRI-ART GALLERY:

Im sitting inside a lecture hall and my tutor is going on and on about managers and how management is about getting things done in collaboration with other people, and Im thinking management is towering over people with a mean face and getting things done. To tell it truly in black and white.

Out of my lecture and rewind to about three hours ago earlier in the day; I stepped into the AFRIART GALLERY inside U.M.A showground where I might a lovely lady who offers me all the help she can about the upcoming OPEN-MIC night. Apparently it happens every last Friday of the month and it was born only in June.

About performances and registration of the same, she tells me all I need is to give her my phone number and name, plus I get to drop a comment into their comment book (even though it was first time around).

About the gallery now; a couple of great art pieces caught my eye but the prices are sky high. The hand painted t-shirts look OK and the gallery is really spacious so I'm surprised when she tells me that the performances take place outside the place, around a fire the traditional story way which I thought was really cool.

'Any questions?' the tutor gets me out of my reverie but a student who conveniently answers and asks all the questions gets the tutor busy for another few minutes..

I learnt all I needed about the upcoming poets night and even got myself a poetry collection that is nothing but a collector's item.
Get to know more about it here.

PAINTED VOICES:a collage of art and poetry

A word from the publishers

This collection of poems was put together with the intention that readers enjoy it immensely. The blend of poetry with art gives it a unique quality that will guide the readers' imagination into the everyday life of love, motherhood, relationships, politics, war, hope, religion and even death that each poem explores. This collection has assembled works of both established writes like OKOT P'BITEK, TIMOTHY WANGUSA and HENRY BARLOW and new interesting voices that will certainly inspire the readers. The artists who have worked on the poems have encased immense talent in the poems. Hurray to them! The combination of poetry and painting is aimed at promoting the unity of the arts and it should inspire a new trend of cooperation.

This project is an infant of the FEMRITE Readers Writers Club, a discussion group that meets at FEMRITE every Monday evening. In our call for poems, to be published in this unique anthology, emphasis was put on originality, clarity, creativity and specified length.About 40 poems were received from which 20 were finally selected. Hopefully this is the first of the many coming poetry anthologies of this unique nature.

PAINTED VOICES:a collage of art and poetry

This is a collection unlike no other (that’s the best description for lack of a better one)…a blend of the new and the old inside the quite lukewarm poetry scene in Uganda. The small book-it’s a collection of only 20 fine poems-is a collaboration between FEMRITE and AFRIART GALLERY, how poetry and painting can marry almost to perfection makes this anthology a trendsetter in this field.

I noticed a number of established, East African poetry heavyweights like OKOT P'BITEK (remember him from song of lawino), TIMOTHY WANGUSA (writer of the satirical Psalms 23 II) and HENRY BARLOW (who writes about building the nation as a permanent secretary's driver)

New voices also come out strongly in this collection, most notably SOPHIE BAMWOYERAKI, whom I've witnessed performing a poem dedicated to her Papa which I found extremely touching. I however thought her poem in here FEAR, ended too abruptly.
Another great piece was from a lady who handles her business like they're (ladies) supposed to; the lovely ROSEY SEMBATYA.her poem IN CONTROL was simple but beautifully contemporary.

The men too did a commendable job and I think the panelists that finally chose the poems to be published also did an extraordinary job.
Feast your eyes and soul on this beautiful marriage of painters and poets; lethal, if you might ask me.

Monday, September 15, 2008



There will be the WAPI famous SKILL FACTORY.
One of the main events will be The craft in writing and performing poetry, with NEEMA NGWATILO.

This session is designed to heighten awareness in poets of the words and ideas they weave together with a view to increasing effectiveness on the page and in performance.
Close attention will be paid to particular texts, looking at the elements that make a piece effective and those which do not, and how to craft a performance or presentation.
E-mail pieces that you want workshopped to

Get to know more about NEEMA NGWATILO here.(CHECK THE SIDE BAR)

Article courtesy of THE WAPI TIMES.



Wapi, wapi… wapi…what can really be said? The best thing after sliced bread or the best thing since East Africa attained independence. The K'LA WAPI runs from 2 pm to about 8:30 pm which is quite different from WAPI NAIROBI which ends at about 6 pm.True to K'LA parties the party races hard into the night through to 9 pm and its jumping even after I leave at about 9:15 pm.
This is how it went down…
Its 5 o'clock and my head is in a spin so ruthless that I feel like I could bite of the head of the inventor of the phenomenon called a traffic jam, but because patience is a virtue and I try to stay as virtuous as possible, I grit my teeth and watch other cars move slowly past...
After what seems like eternity, I get to town and catch a boda b' quick, fast and in a hurry then soon enough I get to the fabulous HOTEL AFRICANA to its part that's ideally called the PEOPLE'S SPACE. The party is already jumping and there's a Tanzanian crew busting Swahili rhymes on stage.
Later on a designer displays some very 'streety' clothes which I must admit is a nice change away from the usual fashion shows where you’ve got skinny girls that stand at 7 feet and where clothes that you can never get into in the streets of East Africa .
This is only the third edition of WAPI in Kampala but the crowd could put the Nairobi edition to test. I take a walk to the clearly marked tent that’s supposed to house the poets and to my surprise I found only one poet; a certain young man by the name of B.GIDEON, a high school brother who already has a published collection of wonderful, easy and fine poems. (Please read more of his poems in here, CHECK THE SIDE BAR.).
The collection that I get to purchase goes by the name of BY SAIL, BY CUPID co-written by B.GIDEON and K.COSMAS.
One Mr.Kasisi gets on stage clad in a Maasai shuka and is carrying a wooden cross, his poetry is also quite touching only that he gets booed off stage before he does his thing right.
I get a line from him amidst all the noise and it goes something like this, ' If wishes were fishes all men would be fishermen' and I thought that was really cool.

Voice of hope children's home performs some acrobatic stunts that get me holding my breath; the kids were so young. Their B-boying was also worth writing about. I get to know that they are street kids getting rehabilitated through art in acrobatics.
The rest of the evening wears on with lots of fashion and a lot of music, mostly of the radio-everyday type. One singer grabs my attention though, the brother who dropped rap music in his native Rutooro, not your everyday type of music...

The night is however made great by KLEAR KUT,this crew of NAVIO and LANGMAN THE MYTH showed the 'baby MCs' how real hip-hop is done, with THE MYTH reminding everyone who thought they owned LUGA-FLOW that he was its rightful king. These rappers are more than truly talented and they keep getting better with each passing year.

The artist of the night was the finest Luganda rapper in Uganda, none other than BABA LUKU, who had just jetted in. He reminded everyone that it was indeed a dream come true for him to finally see a working platform for the underground Luganda hip-hop scene. He drops more than enough rhymes and when his time to leave comes, he left all of us shouting, "ENCORE!"
The MCs call it a wrap right after he (Baba Luku) leaves but the DJ promises to play music for the rest of the crowd after the performances.
That’s what happened at WAPI K'LA

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


She was just 5’ 2”
Her skin weighed heavy on the light side
And less in the dark side.
Straight A’s but she attended lectures in proxy

I was wrong from the moment I felt it
It was more inside my jeans
And less inside my chest.
But so wrong, so extremely and thoroughly wrong
That it seemed right.

She smiled so well, so easy and so naturally;
She was the type that never took a taxi
Her locomotion business was settled by BODA B’s and SPECIOS.
Plus she looked great in skinny jeans
And I thought any hairstyle looked ideal on her

But I was wrong and double wrongs never became right
She made me happy inside my jeans
Sad in my wallet
And infatuated inside my chest
But it was so wrong that it seemed right,

I sat down and thought
A dead year wouldn’t hurt so much
And I could always save or just inflate my fees,
She thought it was a fine idea
One that could apparently give us more time together

She loved the BEACH and the GREEN TUSKER;
A little bit of MUCHOMO and was addicted to new shoes..
I gave it all to her, plus more that she didn’t ask for.
But I was wrong, my roommates always said;
Now I can see it, I was wrong.

Friday, September 5, 2008


In celebration of one of east Africa’s greatest literary minds; yours truly the esatafricanpoet will run a series of poems or songs as he fondly referred to them from the great OKOT P’BITEK.
The best and most attractive aspect of a genuine P’BITEK classic is his raw simplicity and language so easy to understand that his ‘songs’ could be understood and enjoyed by virtually anyone who has love for poetry.
But simplicity is complexity in its own way and the simplest of poems are usually the most complex; any poetry lover will attest to this, yours truly included. a friend of mine tells me that ,‘the simplest and the most easily understood of concepts took the greatest effort to put together’
This piece is the first of the OKOT P’BITEK series. enjoy.

Song of lawino

We sang the faith of the messengers
Like parrots
I did not understand it all!
I thought about it
In my own head
But I could get nowhere,
And there was nobody to turn to
The padre and the nun are the same,
They only quarrel
They are angry with me
As if it was I
Who prevented them marrying.

To them the good children
Are those
Who ask no questions
Who accept everything
Like the tomb
Which does not reject
Even the dead leper!
Who accept everything
Like the rubbish pit,
Like the pit latrine
Which does not reject
Even dysentery
And those good children
Who ask no questions
Are liked
They are given oranges
And guavas and bananas
They take a ride
In the padres car
The nun pats them on their backs
And says my son you are good!

the morning after:

I woke up to the rich smell of talcum powder
‘Johnson’s and Johnson’, I knew it too well,
I tried to revamp my memory
But all I could remember was the smoking
And the vodka that made me smile a lot.
I was double-stoned and eagle high.
Stoned from the smoke,
High from the bitter shots
And so thoroughly love stoned by those nails;
I always had a thing for exquisite manicures
And soft sensitive footsteps under a fragile gait.
Now I smelled of love but reeked of self-disgust.
What was her name? Her age? And how was she?
None of them mattered..
All I could recollect was that
I loved the flowers on the skirt
And the stringy straps on the blouse
Plus she smelled so good,
Something like a wild flower bush.
Plus her eyes bounced a lot
And her skin was almost baby like..
But I could not remember her
So I scratched my hair till the scalp itched
Still I could not find her.
She had smiled and drugged me with ease,
Now she was gone, it wasn’t her debut act.
But I knew she would be back
Maybe after 5 years like last night.

gentle poetry:

One of the best poetry pieces ever told on east African soil, this is by Ralph Bitamazire.
Poetry cannot get gentler than this...

I love you my gentle one:

I love you my gentle one,
My love is the fresh milk in the rubindi
Which you drank on the wedding day;
My love is the butter we were smeared with
To seal fidelity in our hearts.
You are the cattle bird’s egg,
For those who saw you are wealthy.
You are the papyrus reed of the lake
That they pull with both hands
And I sing for you with tears
Because you posses my heart:
I love you my gentle one.

a poem that no name be-fits..

I’m told a poem without a name is like a child who owns no name; it clearly shows that the parents do not care about him. Maybe I don’t care about this piece here, but all I know is that no name befits this here..

I heard them tell it raw
And without a flaw
That if he gorged your eye to the floor,
You ought to do so too, or even more.
But an eye for an eye
Left us asking why?
We couldn’t see again
We now groped around blind
And had to re-learn how to re-live
Re-live life afresh without eyes..
Someone told us about Sisimonda,
It wasn’t your every day African tale
It was different,
Beautifully and divinely different.
That she gave her own blood
To whoever was in a need so bad.
And a motherly love glowed of her skin,
But most of all she touched
Those who suckled of her breast
Those who fed of her experienced hands
Those who got soothed by her hugs and love
And those who got spoiled by her unselfishness.

But she was evil to someone else
One who didn’t see the beautiful soul
And who knew her tribe came before her,
One who painfully fast-forwarded her pilgrimage to heaven..
There’s a Sisimonda that we all lost
The one that made us lose it all
All except our own minds,
The faith, the pride, the sense of belonging;
The feeling of a soul at complete rest.
We all lost something
While they get ferried to 5-star hotels
For a press conference
To address the ‘underlying causes of the conflict.’
But there’s no underlying, or hidden or open thing;
It’s so plain true that it hurts..
Go on making one superior and another inferior
Then the clash occurs.
Take the pauper’s lone lamb
Then melt it into the rich man’s herd
And you’ve got yourself a bloody pasture.
Plain simple.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


WEDNESDAY 24th September 2008

For all poetry lovers, the place to be is the AFRIART GALLERY located at the UMA (Uganda Manufacturers’ Association) showground located in LUGOGO.
Poetry readings will take place and they will be spruced up by wine.
From 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Art paintings and different local fashion designs will be on sale. So carry some cash.
Entry is free.



Let’s talk theatre, theatre and some more theatre;
I’m an arts fanatic and in a way I’m proud of it. Today with a little help from fellow fanatics I’ll tell all I can about the finest theatres in the lovely heart of the pearl of Africa.


This is the most reliable arts headquarters in Kampala, and has been that way for the last 50 or so years. We don’t call it the National theatre for lack of no concrete reason; this fine place boasts of lots of rehearsal space, dance studios, a recording studio, professional theatre lighting and of course the trump doors.
The place has something artistic happening almost every single day of the week, check this:
Mondays host THE JAM SESSION at MUSICIANS’ CLUB ’89 and entry is free of charge.
Tuesdays are best spent at the DANCE FLOOR where PERCUSSION DISCUSSION blesses the night. Entry is at sh.3,000
Thursday is all about hearty laughs; its COMEDY NIGHT and it all takes place in THE UPPER GARDENS and is run by THE THEATRE FACTORY. Entry is sh.5,000
There are drama productions on most weekends and entrance to the auditorium averages sh.10,000.
The auditorium sits about 330 people.

Besides art, the national theatre gardens are also popular with wedding receptions.


This by far the finest of the fine theatres in Kampala but the least talked about, maybe it’s because the clientele is majorly of Indian origin and most of the shows are children’s shows. The entry also averages over sh.10,000
This fine jewel boasts of the largest auditorium in the country, of about 1,355.It also contains folding seats which are really comfortable and allow enough leg space. But the shine in this jewel is the sound system which provides world class theatre sound.
The auditorium also slants and this allows even the patrons on the last seats to have a proper and comfortable view of the stage, plus the air conditioning is brilliant.

Definitely the type of theatre we all wish we had in our backyards.

Ask me about a place where you can catch finely roasted maize and cassava during a theatrical performance and I’ll tell you NDERE CENTRE.
This place is not all about theatre but culture as well; actually an entrance sign reads HOME OF CULTURES. It also boasts of the only amphitheatre in the country and an auditorium that hosts the shows incase of rain.

Its events table reads something like this:

Wednesdays are spent with the NDERE TROUPE members who teach the patrons all about traditional meals (preparation and serving), there’s also plenty of jazz music. Entry is at sh.10,000
Sunday family show is the pride of NDERE CENTRE; there are plenty of traditional performances and games for the young ones and those young at heart. Entry is at sh.10,000
The end of the month hosts the KWETU INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL.

NDERE CENTRE is also a great venue for private functions.


Whenever I think about this place I see bats and I have a phobia for bats, (bat-o-phobia?)..
It hosts a number of drama groups and musicians but is home to the AFRI-TALENT DRAMA GROUP.
This here is a theatre that grows, a number of radical changes have taken place in it but the most prominent, I’m told is all about the new auditorium seats, which are never quite enough. In case you don’t get a chance to get one of these, you have to make do with the hard back benches.
Bat valley theatre remains busy all week because of the attached bar; RED NITE PUB. The finest day in the pub is the very popular embagga y’embaata. Entrance is sh.2,000

Drama is weekend business and the place closes down after midnight.


This the new kid on the block when it comes to the Kampala theatres, and home to THE EBONIES.
Only two years young but attracting massive audiences, LA BONITA owes all these to positive public hype and its central location. It sits about 800 fans but the corridor becomes part of the theatre during premier shows (this shows how popular it is).
It also provides a full package since it has an attached café, bar and restaurant.
Entrance is sh.10,000(general), sh.15,000(VIP) and sh.25,000(royal circle).
The biggest let down is the very bad lighting.

These five are the best and most happening of the Kampala theatres,the opinions in here are strictly mine and are subject to criticism.
Go to a theatre today and support local art.