It was an evening of inspiration, entertainment and fraternizing at Kahwa2go, Ntinda Complex as the cream of Kampala poets showcased some of their special works to the eager spectators.
Organized by Open Mic Uganda and dubbed “My Uganda”, the gig was aimed at using spoken word to tell the Ugandan story or as Ernest Dennis Sesanga and Murray Shiraz Eaik, the directors put it – “to pleasantly deliver a message on what it means to be Ugandan.”
A mere glance at the theme of the night – My Uganda – one would think the eve was going to be dominated by political talk, and yes that was the organizers idea … but with narrators like Devis the Poet, who say “I use literature to make people feel good” something had to change.
Devis’ poems were mainly about love. One of his poems – “I love you” was created as “a birthday message to my girlfriend and it is only on her permission that” he uses it.
The other, “Mind Rape”, which at least tried to balance both the theme and his intentions, “tells” women images that are running through a man’s mind on seeing a lady wearing a mini skirt.
Developed after the proposed miniskirt directive, Devis believes sensitive information like that can be politely delivered to people through “incomparable” tools like art.
And of course, Devis was not the only ‘eccentric’ figure, other poets like Ivan Agaba who prefers being called Zombie recited “High School Love” and “Thoughts about you”, Patience Laker performed “Sensation” and “When you Realize He Knows”.
Laker, in her poetry wants to cast off some of the misconceptions society tends to have about certain aspects of life, for instance in “Sensation”, she wishes you to know that not everyone goes out chasing for mates, rather a wide range of reasons – “sometimes it could be just blowing off some steam”.
Recitations were punctuated with music mixes and presentations from Instrumentalist cum Music Composer Young Face who staged sensational jams like “Mpa Enamba”, “Okuseka” and “Ewa Etamera Muddo”.
The night’s emcee was Murray Shiraz Eaik alias Black Poet who ensured the audience kept lively with some witty conversations.
Though not highly attended, the little turn-up was treated to conversational, funny, and profound oral art that was laced with topics on environment, politics, society and general social skills.
For Daniel Omara, his poem, “What Did you Do?” focuses on the NRM’s 10-point program. And 30 years later, he rhetorically asks everyone what they did when he (Museveni) said whatever he promised as he was swearing in.
“My poem is just an analogy of then and now,” Omara told me in an interaction after his first performance.
Renowned lyrist Jason Ntaro after observing how leaders have misled us to the Promised Land, his poem – One Day Someday will be this Day – seeks to keep us hopeful.
Miti Miti, on his part, wants society especially mainstream media to stop misinterpreting the ghetto community but focus on understanding them and how much they can be of an impact to society giving an example of Bobi Wine’s current victory to parliament.
Through literature, Miti believes, we can actively educate the public about the good side of living in a Ghetto.
Until you attend any poetry reading, it might be hard to make sense of how much poetry can be refreshing to the mind and soul.
But it goes without saying that it’s through combined efforts that we can make the poetry world grow just as we have revolutionized comedy and music in the country. The two were once less productive ventures in the Pearl of Africa.
Other performers of the night were Patrick kabayo, Alvin Karuhanga alias Boy from Kiruhura, Lus Aziz Ali, Heights the Preacher, Bash Mutumba, Lillian Mutiny and Achelam.