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Of becoming a Man

When I was a child,
There was little I knew about how I came into existence
Little did I know about what it takes to exist,
I simply became me and thought not much about my being,
I only knew that I was being and Mum and Dad were the closest elderly beings to me.

Used with Permission

Used with Permission

It was innocent for me to see mum share a room with dad
for that was normal and  besides its what I found being,
I recalled of days when mother’s nutritious warm embrace was my moment of relief from hunger,
Only until when my other siblings came along,
That I was served less of her glass of warm motherly embrace.

With time, my crawling siblings grew to walk and joined my club,
So we walked the whole house with a mandate of breaking glass and collecting spoil,
We mastered the corners of the house, and left no table unturned
Playing games and watching TV as the Ugandan broadcasters willed,
We loved the animations not forgetting pingu and the laughters of DIdi the comedian.

On becoming boys, we loved and learnt the house of music,
We sung the do ray me far saw… in memory of the lullabies mother sung to us,
We played hide and seek in holidays as we counted down the days to school,
Leaving home was always dreaded for it separated us from the mother’s spontaneous love,
Not forgetting Dad’s reprimand and discipline sessions that sent us seeking mum’s embrace.

The embrace was there but not all time, mum sometimes denied us for dad to grill,
Cause a spanking will groom us for the great destiny up ahead,
And the wise man had spoken that spare the rod and spoil the child
So they acted like the manual of raising a man had directed,
And we were spanked amidst hidden smiles of love beheld by them  in the heart.

Used with Permission

Used with Permission

Little did we know that time had been faithful,
We had grown beards and the girls amidst had turned beautiful with breasts,
The men spoke with voices that scared thunder in a rain storm,
As the girls sweetly softly seduced all manly creatures that surrounded.
We in no time realised that we had to leave the nest.

So dad, the alpha male in the home wished us good byes of no return to his mansion,
Saying that men, you have become men,
Beards you have grown and deep thundering voices you have attained,
An education I have availed with resources to support till the harvest, And boys, you have become men for you are now fit to fend for yourselves.

I shall see you gladly vacate my mansion with destiny and vision,
For you have confidently attained an identity and peace of self confidence,
You can clearly spell and pronounce your names both in the native and foreign,
And I am glad to say that I have raised a man right from tender hood,
Please walk out, find a wife and behold another child that you should gladly raise,
You have now gladly become a man.

Used with Permission

Used with Permission



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  1. Pingback: Of Becoming a Lady | Halfway There!

  2. Dennis

    March 16, 2015 at 5:47 pm


  3. Tuusah

    April 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Shawn brother this is a master piece sounding like my own story. We share the same story and thanks for the poetry

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CANCER-POEMOf sugar and smoke-who is to blame,

I’ll blame the sugar while you blame the smoke

There’s a cancer epidemic and we need someone to blame

Blame the sugar as I front the smoke

Should I chain the sugar as you chain the smoke!?

The cancer is now a pandemic and we need someone to blame.

All children and the old are prey to this cancer

As it spares none but devours all

It strikes the young threatening that they should not grow old

As it feeds on the bones and flesh of both old and young.

Cancer devours all, leaving no share for tomorrow;

It denies nations more leaders for tomorrow;

One soul at a time, it slowly sends to the grave

Who is to blame for the late screening, detection and prevention?

Who shall I blame?

I blame sugar!

I blame the smoke?

I blame you?

Nations black or white; it devours

Ages young and old; it does not segregate?

Who shall I blame?

I blame sugar!

I blame the smoke?

I blame you?

Sights have been blurred,

Visions have been torn,

Tissues are now rendered wasted,

As the glands are no longer useful,

I hear a time bomb they have become as per the doctor’s diagnosis.

Who shall I blame?

The cheeks have been swollen,

The brains have not been spared either,

Bones have become feeble and brittle to walk

With blood thin as air;

Could that be leukaemia?

Who shall I blame?

I shall not blame the sugar nor the smoke.

Is it lifestyle to blame or you who has done nothing;

I blame me for I have not taken action to prevent, promote and protect.

Her genitals were not spared

While his foot is rotting with a cancer slowly crawling

As the babies lungs fail to function- he is in need of a transplant.

Who shall we blame?

We should blame us the community

For we have not joined hands well enough to fight the pandemic

As a community to prevent, promote and protect.

The young child knows not about the burden and cause of this pandemic,

I shall blame me the community for I have not taught

That the sugar they crave in all its sweetness is food for the cancer

And that the lifestyles they take can expose them too to the cancer.

Let’s join hands as the community,

And save the lives that have been struck by this cancer,

And prevent it from feeding on our community

And that there will be no more blaming

But gratefulness for a work well done as the community.



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Poetry as an instrument in Ugandan society
Murray Shiraz aka "Black Poet" performing one of his poems at open mic Uganda- a re-known spoken word poetry platform in Kampala.

Poetry must not be used for social change but CAN be used for social change.

Poetry is the best words arranged in the order to clearly define the poet’s heart based on inspiration, whether hidden or open. Poetry to some has been known as a means to preserving daily life experiences in society. Its  like a day to day diary of a writer though not so many people have the talent and passion to scribble down beautiful words in poetic ink.

Writers should have the liberty to express themselves in the best words possible to define their heart, but should welcome criticism of their work.

Lantern Meet cast during a recent poetry recital dubbed "moving on"

Lantern Meet cast during a recent poetry recital dubbed “moving on”

Poetry is everywhere in every  tradition and culture, and is not considered for elites alone. Ugandans just need to work hard like Shakespeare in spreading it and making it something phenomenal by each person regardless of who they are or where they come from.

The lessons for the poets

Poets need to learn the tools of the trade before they go out to claim that they are poets.

Ugandan poets need to know that they are vital people in our society and help us reflect who we are as Ugandans besides helping us to creatively preserve unique societal experiences in living words frozen in ink that speaks.

As Ugandan poets, we need to market poetry to our neighboring countries to kill the monotony of having the same faces at every poetry event, and having  a few foreign faces every now and then.

The societies and platforms

There are local poets who have graced Uganda like Paul Kafero, Henry Barlow, Okot P’Bitek, and we who have come after feel that we are on the right track on carrying this torch.

We just need to support the poetry societies that groom writers such as the Lantern Meet of Poets, Femrite, Luminous Sorrels, Bonfire Uganda.

And the poetry performance platforms that give poets a monthly opportunity to showcase their spoken word like Open Mic Uganda, Poetry in Session, Kwivuga and Poetry Shrine.

Let’s support the Ugandan poetry platforms in whatever way possible now that its one of the avenues left to preserve our culture and make Ugandan history to be read by the future generations.



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Let’s make love and not war

Let’s make love and not war

Even when we are all guilty of change,

The kids want to see the sun tomorrow,

They also want to hear the birds sing

Let’s save them the sirens and bullets flying about.

How shall we look into their teary innocent eyes

And tell them that they have to run for dear life,

That mama will not be able to tuck them in at night

Or that tata will not be bringing fish anymore

Let’s make love and not war

Little sister and little brother are just learning to spell their names

They know nothing of violence but everything of peace

Let’s teach them peace and love That their hearts might be of gold tomorrow

Let’s make love and not war.



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