Festival Take Five : Eileen Lynette Ninsiima

By Jennifer Chinenye Emelife
It is a month to the #Writivism2016 festival. As we look forward to hosting readers, writers, publishers, academics and other players in the literary sector, we present short Q & As with previous and current festival staff. Today’s interview is with Eileen Lynette Ninsiima, who joined us as a communications volunteer in 2014 and in 2015 played a more prominent role as team leader for marketing and advertising.
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Eileen at the 2014 Writivism Festival
1. What pushed you to get involved in #Writivism 2014 and 2015 as part of the organising team?

The greatest thing that pushed me initially, was to be around and be surrounded by a community that loves writing and reading, but as time went on I began to realize that I felt at home because I was one of them too, and I needed somewhere to belong to help me grow. 2. What fond memories do you have of the festival?‎

Oh, those are many. ‎I loved the days towards the festival,especially the week before. How slowly events would start unfolding, the airport pick ups, this writer has arrived, this one is yet to, the interview here, this isn’t yet ready. I loved the rush and excitement to get the festival running.  But of course that also came with stress and challenges which I gladly learnt from. 3. Thinking back now, what could you have done better, regarding the plans and execution of #Writivism 2014 and 2015 festivals?

1) Involving the entire team right from the beginning of the preparations, from the holding of workshops in different cities to the end of the festival, so as to help the other team members to understand what is at stake.

2) Specialization and team work.: Sometimes I didn’t trust  my colleagues enough and I’d end up doing something inferior to the team’s expectations, and this happened to many of us. The best way to have worked was to be a family or team through it all, but at times the specialization would come in more, and we would  forget our objectives.
3) Creativity: As festival organizers, we could have stepped out of the box more and learnt what exactly could capture the Ugandan writer or reader, engaging the Ugandan literature environment a little bit more, and at the same time using this information to create innovative ways to attract a wider audience.
Eileen at the 2015 festival

 4. How would you measure the growth of this festival in three years?

The festival has grown in three ways; it has grown deeper, bigger and is better. Deeper in the sense that as it grows, it starts to handle and touch the burning issues, challenges and appreciative notes of the writer and the reader, and that’s key. Bigger in terms of the numbers. I remember in 2014, the biggest turn up was only over the weekends, but  we saw quite a change in 2015. Better in terms of the events and the topics of discussion for example key note addresses and workshops for writers.

 5. Are you proud of this baby you nurtured?
Oh yes I am, always will be. I’m proud to be associated with Writivism.
We are grateful to Eileen for all that she offered to the organisation that has greatly contributed to its growth. Join us on Monday August 22 to Sunday August 28, 2016 for the fourth Writivism Festival holding at the Uganda Museum, on Kira Road. Events on Monday to Thursday start at 6pm and on Friday to Sunday start at midday till 10pm.