Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Flavia Zalwango Kabuye, Jeweller, Poet, Scientist

What is your name, profession and how would you describe yourself?

I am Flavia Kabuye, a Social Scientist. I am a social researcher, self-styled marketer and an artist with a passion for creative writing. I believe writing is a continuous process of release.

What year did you receive an award? What was your position and title of your poem? Mention the theme of the award that year.

I received an award in 2011. I won in 3rd place for my poem ‘Beads of Hope’. The theme of the award for 2011 was HOPE.

What was the writing process of this poem like?

This poem came at a time when I was determined to rejuvenate my writing. I had previously submitted for the BNPA and was not successful. Luckily for me I attended a workshop organized by Beverley where I received very constructive feedback on my previous submission and also participated in individual and group exercises which were beneficial. I decided to write about an experience that is shared by many women and girls today.

How did the award money and the other prizes you received, change your outlook towards writing?

The award money and other prizes were a bonus. I think I was transformed in my thinking and appreciated the power of poetry in bringing together like-minded people to celebrate its rebirth - with each poem that was recited. The truth is that most of the writing we do is behind the scenes. So behind the scenes I will write and come forth to the prized scene.

What do you think of the BNPA, now targeting Africa and including men? I am happy that BNPA is spreading its golden wings to include both men and women. It was like a debt, now it’s a date! I also appreciate the fact that BNPA is now the melting-pot for African poetry. I know it is getting bigger and better! I also feel that we as Ugandan writers we have to stand up to the challenge.

BNPA is starting a Scholarship Fund for female poets in primary schools in Uganda. How do you think this will influence their poetry?

I think this initiative is timely because it is an opportunity to identify talent at an early stage and nurture it. It is a step in the right direction. Early exposure usually leads to mastery and ‘mastery learning’ is better than ‘conventional instruction.’

However, this is a long-term goal that needs proper planning and monitoring in order for the students to balance writing and other school activities. The cooperation of the staff is paramount and it should be clear from the start how the school benefits from this endeavor.

What are you working on now, artistically?

I am writing a step by step guide to hand-made jewellery which I intend to translate into some of the local languages for the benefit of marginalized women and girls trying to lift themselves out of poverty through handiwork.

Any final thoughts?

Bravo BNPA!!!

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