Friday, May 21, 2010

Donors: I hate not loving you

In October last year 2009, I met Claudia Fontes, an evaluator of Doen Foundation, which is an organization in The Netherlands that supports cultural projects in developing countries. She came to Uganda to evaluate the art projects and as a member of FEMRITE, and founder of the first award for Ugandan poetry targeting women. Well, Claudia seemed to pretty cool and genuinely interested in the development of the work sponsored by Doen Foundation. The highlight for me was having a real in-depth discussion about me for me and towards my progress. And also, to passionately talk about poetry for poetry’s sake. Lovely. I ate into the whole day. I met interesting people like Ugly MC. Yes, that’s his name, Ugly MC, who is in charge of the regular Bonfire night of spoken word performances especially in the local lingua.

Generally, we decided on which projects have actually benefited and individual progress in the arts. During this round, we all submitted our stories of how we had done greatness in the arts. Hee Hee! The second time round in April, I was called upon with others for the final round. Apparently, Doen felt I was worthy of another chat. This time round, I actually got to meet the local faculty who have been kind of monitoring Doen projects in the country. David Kaiza, forgot to mention him before. He came again. He is amongst the most singular fantastic literary critics of our time.

Anyway, this time I kind of represented Ugandan poetry at a whole new level. There were other artistes, movie makers, playwrights, publishers, and of course Claudia and the Doen Faculty. It was such a pleasure to meet them. They made all of us look into ourselves and our art at all angles. From the sake of art as art, to its commercial sense, nationalistic and holistic sense etc… There is almost nothing as discussing art at every angle, mincing the hard parts, chewing out the stones and digesting the stew together with a bunch of other quacks (read artistes) over cups of tea. Delicious! Well, of course I picked interest in Down because it is not every day that development partners take keen sincere interest in their recipients. I am also glad to know that The Beverley Nambozo Poetry Award is actually not a waste of time. It actually has potential to fly. And we shall fly, thanks to you, you and you.

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