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Poetry

This is Uganda in Three Minutes

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By Joel Basoga*

For God and my Country

These are words embodied in our nation’s Creed

But only right here in Uganda Does our government export electricity?

When 25 percent of our own do not have access to sustainable energy

Only right here in Uganda Do we send out Doctors to fight Ebola in West Africa

When our very own Mothers and sisters Cannot afford healthcare for a pregnant woman?

This is Uganda

Home of the Rich home to the wealthy Home of well paid But at the same time,

Uganda Is home to the poor,the deceived Home to the deceived and

home to Natural disasters That has left our People in Bududa in need.

Some say our Country is embodied in Hatred and tribalism

But there lies Kampala Kampala the City of Brotherly Love

Where regardless of one’s background A child can hope to make it.   4

This is Uganda

Home to the Yellow Bananas

Home to the green shatters and white picket fences

But my youthful people do not recognize the air that I breathe

They do not recognize the crested crane that is our emblem

Our Young people quote these power figures

They want to be like Barrack Obama Our ladies walk Like Kim Kardashian and talk like Michelle Obama

Forgetting the richness and purity of my Nation

This is my NATION UGANDA The Pearl of Africa. DSCN9283 DSCN9229DSCN1456 DSCN9227 DSCN9222 DSCN9161DSCN1644 DSCN9149 DSCN9127DSCN1435

Photographer: Ibrahim Batambuze 

*Mr. Joel Basoga is a well celebrated Poet and team leader of Azania club of music, arts and poetry based at Uganda Christian University (UCU). He performed the above poem at the just concluded Grand Azania event on February 27th at UCU which was well attended.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. luwagga

    March 5, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Reblogged this on LUWAGGA ALLAN.

  2. pmuhamya

    March 5, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Reblogged this on pmuhamya and commented:
    Uganda a country where the social media mosquitoes will bite #Mugabe for his age and weeks later the president appoints one who is older than #uncleBob for minister.
    A country referred to as Banana republic when few can really know what it takes to evade that name.
    Wait! Malaria also still kills people in Uganda!

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Poetry

CANCER

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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Lifestyle

Poetry as an instrument in Ugandan society

openmicuganda.org
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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Poetry

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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