|In Paris, reading the sci-fi story, Lights on Water|
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The perk of being a hardworking writer, especially if you put out a good piece of work like A Killing in the Sun, is that you get to go on these fully sponsored trips. Last month, I traveled to South Africa, to attend Time of the Writer festival, in Durban, and also to be part of the Literary Crossroads at the Geothe Institute in Jo'burg. I was with the amazing Napo Masheane, in a discussion moderated by the vibrant Niq Mhlongo. I'm not a good public speaker, I often squirm in front of an audience, but the reading I had turned out to be one of the best ever, maybe because Napo and Niq made me feel comfortable and welcome.
|The Jo'burg skyline, as seen from the Melville koppie|
Every time I visit Karamoja, it feels like I've stepped into another world. I particularly like the colorful attire, which reminds me of Nepal, in many ways, (strange that they both love colorful clothing, and they both worship cattle). The one thing I can't get enough of while in Karamoja, however, is hats, especially those with feathers attached. I can't keep my fingers off the camera each time I see one, and I am never able to capture what it is that fascinates me about this fashion. I keep wondering if they adopted it in the recent past, or if it is something that evolved from ancient days. I would sure love to investigate it with an afro-futuristic lens.
Many say it’s madness to start a literary magazine. Such a venture, especially one that focuses on African literature, can’t make money because, they say, there is no market to sustain literature on the continent. When I mooted the idea of Lawino to a friend, her advice was, ‘Don’t start it. All work and no pay makes Ojok a poor boy.’ It was discouraging, hearing that I would have to put a lot of energy into the magazine, and maybe never get paid for it. Still, I had this burning urge, for I wanted a journal to promote new writing from Africa, with particular focus on Uganda. ‘Haha,’ this friend laughed. ‘Promote Ugandan writers? You are wasting your time. They never submit their work.’