By Sydney Mugerwa
Originally published at She Made Me Do It.
Let the Games Begin! And May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor ~Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
What better quote to kick start the ever colourful Writivism Festival than the Hunger Games. The 5 shortlisted Writivism Short Story Prize contestants travelling from as far as Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Uganda are all equally hungering for top honours. The week-long festival currently in its fourth year is an initiative of the Center for African Cultural Excellence – CACE.
On Monday, the 22nd August, the Writivism 2016 Festival officially begun in earnest. As a platform showcasing African literature, hundreds of copies of books written about African stories and those by contemporary African writers are on sale right at the entrance of the Uganda Museum, this year’s venue. You will finds books by Oduor Jagero, Theophilus Abbah, Chuma Nwokolo, Michela Wrong, Doreen Baingana, Chimeka Garricks, Nakisanze Segawa, Juliane Okot Bitek and her sister Jane Okot p’Bitek, Donald Molosi, Yewande Omotoso, Grace Musila, Dilman Dila, Peter Kagayi, Harriet Anena, Sumayya Lee, Zukiswa Wanner and so much more.
Past Writivism anthologies are also on sale including Picture Frames, Fire in the Night and Roses for Betty. There is poetry in Luganda by the super-talented Xenson; there is music and literature brought to you by the one and only Ruyonga. And last but not least, Duc in Altum, Simuda Nyuma, The Photographer, All the Tricks, Uhuru…should I go on? I am not reciting an incantation from a book of spells. These are thousands of words, condensed into dozens of historical pictures. Some things can only be seen with one’s own eyes and felt between thumb and forefinger.
Pardon me, I got carried away. So back to Monday, the day that was. At the core of the Writivism Festival is the desire to mentor young minds. In this spirit, various writers daily visit Kampala schools and interact with students. Back at the Museum, Kate Haines moderated the Arts Management and Career Literary Entrepreneurs Workshop for applicants dealing with managing a literary festival alongside Drs. Madhu Krishnan and Ruth Bush.
Also on the agenda was the inaugural Kampala Short Film Festival Night, a two-hour screening of 10 short films overseen by Moses Serugo. Oh, before I forget. We also had a panel discussion by Andrea Stultiens, Rebecca Rwakabukoza, Dr. Connie Nshemereirwe, Eria Nsubuga following the launch of Duc in Altum photography exhibition.
I would go into details and tell you how I loved each session, but frankly, where’s the fun in that if you can be there and make your own memories. Literature and art lovers will feel at home in this place. I know I do.
And it’s now a new day. Come to the museum.