Monday, July 29, 2013

Birthday Wishes Riding Upon the Waves, poem by BNN

Birthday Wishes Riding Upon the Waves I want my birthday wish to open up the graves of my dreams To make my Daddy come back and for crocodiles To have the jaws of a thousand grains of corn, So that our fear is devoured by perception. I want the skin of the serpent to change into a mirror. I want us to look at our reflection in that mirror and See that we were the predators all along. And watch as the serpent sheds off its skin. I want my birthday wish to ride upon the waves of my life To be my surfboard; so I can play with my troubles And then burst them like bubbles. I want my birthday wish to make you come to me So that we can be Free to make love on a bed of our dirty thoughts And our repentant hearts Because life has taught us that there is nothing As incoherent as desire And nothing as liberating as you and me. If my birthday wish could cure me of cancer If chemotherapy could be a party of afros and models If consultation fees went into consultation If marrying me was your highest manifestation Then my birthday wish would ride upon the waves of my life. © Bev Nambozo Nsengiyunva, July 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


THE DAVID T. K. WONG FELLOWSHIP DEADLINE 13TH JANUARY 2013 AWARD £26, 000 A year-long residential fellowship with an award of £26,000. Applications will be considered from established published as well as unpublished writers of ANY AGE AND ANY NATIONALITY and will be awarded to a writer planning to produce a work of prose fiction in English which deals seriously with some aspect of life in the Far East. Applicants must submit 2,500 words of unpublished work which they plan to undertake during the fellowship. Application fee is £10.00. All application forms and full details are available at: [1]

Monday, July 8, 2013

Babishai Niwe Poetry Award 2013 in words and pictures

Celebration of words is so meaningful when many literary minds are together. That was the atmosphere during the 2013 BN Poetry Award ceremony. It took place on 28th June at the exquisite Biriyani House in Kampala. The Indian cuisine did far from disappoint. This year, being the 5th and final poetry award for Uganda was a launch into the next continental phase. Yes, the BN team is taking the poetry award around the continent and this time including men. That was the new that greeted the close to150 guests that evening. Amidst memorable, entertaining and reflective performances from Rehema Nanfuka, Harriet Anena, Gilly Willy and Slim MC, Ntakky Bright, Kushemererwa, Iga Zinunula who also the MC, Ife Piankhi, Rashida Namulondo and violinist Serubiri, U.G.L.Y MC, Susan Piwang (2012 winner) and Justice Ogoola, former Principal Judge, the event was a great 5th anniversary and award giving for the winners of 2013. Being a fundraiser, Honourable Flavia Kabahenda who was chief guest steered the auction well and bought a framed poem, Unjumping, by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva at 380,000/-. This set the auction going and Bev’s mum, Betty Mugoya, won an evening out with Ife Piankhi, the poet who sings. Ambassador Otunnu Olara, former Presidential candidate of the UPC party and literary lover, gave the audience a treat with his appearance. This year, unlike any other, was coupled with the compilation of poems for an anthology which will contain poems of all the winners of the past 5 years and poets from the rest of the continent. It was the most colourful, lively and fun-packed award ceremony by far and no one was more surprised than the winner herself, Rashida Namulondo, upon hearing her name. Her poem, Time, encapsulated the theme of Innovation so well with its unexpectedness, imagery and enchantment. Rashida won 500 US Dollars, and a fully paid trip to the Storymoja Hay festival in Nairobi. The second poem, A face like mine, written by Pamela Orogot, was soulful, deep, melancholic and almost sad, as people said. Clemence Taremwa was third for Innovation, which was a reflection of the new inspirations around us and how they have affected our individual and public lives. The second and third winners won 300 and 200 US Dollars respectively and will also join Rashida for a fully sponsored trip to the Nairobi Storymoja Hay Festival. Amongst the prizes were also autographed copies of Diaries of a Dead African, by Chuma Nwokolo Jr., Home Floats in a Distance, a bi-lingual poetry collection by Dr. Susan Kiguli (also in German), Tropical Fish by Doreen Baingana and Songs of Paradise by Justice James Ogoola. A big congratulations to the organizing committee, a huge appreciation to The High Commission of Trinidad and Tobago for sponsoring the dinner, to Prince Claus Fund for supporting the publication of the anthology, the media, well-wishers, financial contributors, poets and poetry groups and to big dreams.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Uganda's Jennifer Makumbi wins the Kwani? Manuscript prize

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi wins Kwani? Manuscript Prize (From Kwani? website) Date: 01/07/2013 Uganda’s Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi has won the Kwani? Manuscript Project, a new literary prize for unpublished fiction by African writers, for her novel The Kintu Saga. 2nd place has been awarded to Liberia’s Saah Millimono for One Day I Will Write About This War and 3rd place to Kenya’s Timothy Kiprop Kimutai for The Water Spirits. The winners were selected from a shortlist of seven by a high-profile panel of judges chaired by award-winning Sudanese novelist Jamal Mahjoub and including Deputy Editor of Granta magazine Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, leading scholar of African literature Professor Simon Gikandi, Chairman of Kenyatta University’s Literature Department Dr. Mbugua wa Mungai, editor of Zimbabwe’s Weaver Press Irene Staunton and internationally renowned Nigerian writer Helon Habila. Chair of Judges, Jamal Mahjoub said: “All three titles chosen by the judges display an urge to engage with the complexities of modern day Africa. They tackle issues such as civil war, the struggle against poverty, and the continent’s historical heritage, among other themes. As a manuscript award this prize naturally seeks to focus less on finding a perfect finished product than work which shows literary promise as well as a breadth and depth of vision. The winner and two runners up all reflect these values. The winner, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi‘s The Kintu Saga, is an ambitious attempt to bring the history of Uganda into the present lives of the novel’s protagonists. Through successive generations, the author sketches out the continued relevance of the past in the present. In 2nd place, Saah Millimono’s One Day I Will Write About This War provides a moving portrait of a young boy in Liberia who finds the hardships of his life relieved by the family of a girl he meets at school. Their lives are turned upside down with the arrival of the civil war. In 3rd place, Timothy Kiprop Kimutai’s The Water Spirits shows great maturity in its depiction of characters and the relationships between a single mother and her two children. The author deftly manages to tread a fine line between the state of the mind and the world of the imagination.” The winner will receive 300,000 Kenyan Shillings (equivalent $3500), with 2nd place receiving 150,000 KShs and 3rd place 75,000 KShs. Judge, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey said: "Reading the entries for the Kwani Manuscript Project afforded the greatest of luxuries - a sneak peek at the publishing possibilities of a continent, the novels that will, all good things permitting, find their way to readers in the near future. There were historical novels, domestic-focused dramas, tales of war and of love. Even a steam-punk narrative that especially delighted this reader's heart. The aim had been to prod the ambitions of writers across Africa and her diaspora and the ambition, talent and skill exhibited in the long list was exhilarating. Even beyond the very deserving winner and the two runners-up, there are books on the longlist that deserve to find their readers in the wider world. It was a unique experiment, that will, I believe, culminate in reading pleasure for many, on the continent and beyond." The Kwani? Manuscript Project was launched in April 2012 and called for the submission of unpublished novel manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the diaspora. The prize received over 280 qualifying submissions from 19 African countries. In 12th April 2013 a longlist of 30 was announced and on 17th June a shortlist of seven was announced. Also shortlisted for the prize were: Ayobami Adebayo, Stay with Me (Nigeria) Ayesha Harruna Attah, Saturday’s People (Ghana / US) Stanley Gazemba, Ghettoboy (Kenya) Toni Kan, The Carnivorous City (Nigeria) Kwani Trust’s Managing Editor, Billy Kahora said, "In reviewing the shortlisted stories, I’m blown away by the potential these manuscripts hold, the different styles, concerns and voices that they bring to new contemporary African literature, and further add to Kwani’s fiction list. We can’t wait to bring them out as novels in the region and partner with publishing houses across the continent to make them available across Africa." Kwani Trust plans to publish the winners, as well as additional manuscripts from across the shortlist and the longlist , with the first titles planned for publication in April 2014. The Trust will also be partnering with regional and global agents and publishing houses to secure high profile international co-publication opportunities. We wish to thank the following organisations for their support, advice and help launching this new literary prize: Africa Book Club, African Books Collective, African Writers Trust, Arterial Network, Association of Nigerian Authors, Bakwa Magazine, Black Book News, Book Slam, British Council, Caine Prize, Cassava Republic Chimurenga, Commonwealth Foundation, Femrite, Ghana Association of Writers, Ghana Book Publishers Association, Goethe Institut, Granta, Jungle Jim, Malawi Writers Union, Mazwi, Pambazuka, PEN Sierra Leone, Royal Africa Society, Samandari, Saraba Magazine, Sea Breeze Journal, Spoken Word Rwanda, Storymoja, The Star, Uganda Modern Literary Digest, Wamathai, Wasafari, Writers Association of Botswana, Writers International Network Zimbabwe, Writers’ Project for Ghana, Zambia Women Writers Association, Zimbabwe Women Writers. Kwani Trust is also indebted to Lambent Foundation for financial support towards the administration of this project, as well as the Prince Claus Fund for a Euros 25,000 prize in recognition of the Trust’s work that acted as seed money for this project.