Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a few poems

The taxi park is our city’s armpit.
The roads are built like boiled spaghetti
thrown in a higgledy-piggledly pile.

Sipi Falls, North-Eastern Uganda.
Your shadow wets the red coffee berries.
You make Mt. Elgon want to blush,
Women wash their clothes in your tears.

My thumbprint covers Burundi on the map.
Lake Tanganyika’s splashes cool the hot town
Poverty is a boat on Lake Tanganyika,
sailing like a boomerang.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Secrets about Lamwaka of the Caine Prize

L-A-M-W-A-K-A 2011 CAINE!!!!!!!!

She comes from Alokolum in Gulu and studied at Kangole Girls’ Primary School in Karamoja where she fled with her bitutwa (Bitutwa are plaits that look like black maggots) flying in the wind, as a result of the unrest in Gulu. Labeaty, is what her close friends call her. Her first email address was labeaty2001@yahoo.com. Do you remember when we first got email addresses which had years tagged to them? If you got your email address in 2012 then you were seemefly2012@hilarious.com. Labeaty was one of those people.
At FEMRITE, which she joined in 1999, while still an undergraduate at Makerere University, scrimmaging for literary abundance which was in plenty while Goretti still its Coordinator then, would dole out.
So anyway, Labeaty is one of those phlegmatics who does not really prescribe to the template of phlegs and she really likes eating bananas and taking tea with entangawizi. Why am I talking about Beatrice? She was shortlisted for the Caine Prize, she is my dear friend and I am the only interviewer so far who knew that she studied from Kangole Girls, which by the way is on the internet, mbu they used to wear cute short blue sleeveless dresses for uniform. Labeaty says that you pick the uniform from the school and leave them there. (Giggle giggle). So, she has been shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story, Butterfly Dreams which was published in 2010 in the anthology entitled Butterfly Dreams and other stories by CCC press in the UK.
We are certain the prize will come to East Africa again, because others on the short list are from SADC. Raise your glasses as we toast, raise your bananas as we boast, Beatrice Lamwaka.