Poets speak their minds in contest

Thursday October 3 2013

By Bamuturaki Musinguzi

Ten Ugandan poets converged on Goethe Institut in Kampala’s Nakasero area last week with verse that covered a wide range of social topics to contest The Spoken Word poetry competition.

The youthful artistes offered flowing commentaries on racism, war, death, torture and even politicians. Natasha Emilly Nakke, Namulondo Rashida, Tinah P’Ochan, Rehema Nanfuka, Maritza, Slam Poet Mark Gordon, Slim Emcee (UG) the Poet, Black Poet, Apio Winnie and Shan also tackled love, compassion and care.

Nanfuka won the competition with her poem A Traumatised Generation. As part of the prize, she will spend a week in Nairobi, mid this month as part of The Spoken Word Project journey that features eight African countries.

Slim Emcee won second place with In the Moment while Maritza came third with her poem Speaking Out.

A Traumatised Generation is about a country recovering from war. But the poet does not seem to notice the difference between the war and post-war days, as the social ills that existed continue to thrive.

Nanfuka says she was inspired to write it by Uganda’s wars. “What stands out about President Museveni’s regime is that they have not let go of the past. They keep reminding us of the wars we have gone through,” she said.

The competition was organised by the Goethe-Zentrum Kampala in conjunction with the Ugandan German Cultural Society.

The Spoken Word Project initiated by the Goethe Institut South Africa connects artistes all over the African continent.

It started in May in Johannesburg and went to Antananarivo (Madagascar), Yaoundé (Cameroon) and Luanda (Angola). The winner of each city travels to the next station. After Kampala, they will be in Nairobi on October 16, then Bamako, Mali, in November and Abidjan, Ivory Coast on December 5.