Hats and Feathers: The Fashionable Men of Karamoja

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.

The Darkness Behind My Book

During the launch of my first collection of short stories, A Killing in the Sun, one very irritating question kept coming up. What inspired you? It's the brother of that question every writer hates. Where did you get that idea? Alongside it came its sisters, how did you get into sci-fi? Why do you write sci-fi and fantasy? I always pause before answering these questions, because it's like asking me how I learnt how to breathe.


Why I Started a Literary Magazine

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.’

Seven Reasons Why Women Fear Commitment

Women are more afraid of commitment than men. They’ll end perfectly good relationships for no reason at all. Even when they seem perfectly happy in a relationship, so happy that the man is encouraged to buy a ring, the moment he proposes, things start to go downhill. Some of them become serial heartbreakers. They make men need them, and when he’s firmly in a girl’s grasp, when he starts to dream of having children with her, she gets scared and tells him, ‘You are too clingy.’ Well, no man has ever figured out what women want, but I think I have. You might think of the good old reasons, that they are pursuing a career, or that they want to travel and see the world, or that they fear children will make them shapeless, or that they were hurt once and so would rather stay single. Far from it.
 
A Labwor woman in Karenga. I wonder if she would fear commitment!
What reasons would she give to avoid getting hitched?

How to Enjoy A Holiday in Nigeria

Everything they told me about Nigeria turned out to be true. They are loud people. They talk as though they are quarreling, much like Indians and Nepalis. I have a theory that a combination of high temperatures, humidity, and eating too much pepper (piro in South Asia, pepe in Nigeria), gives one a big mouth and a hot temper.
A street food vendor in Lagos. The city is full of yellow and green.

Call for Actresses and Actors

Dilstories is in the pre-production for a TV comedy series, tentatively titled The Love Makanika. We are seeking actors and actresses for the lead roles in this offbeat comedy. We will not hold an open-call audition. Rather, interested persons should send us an email (see details below), and we shall then contact potential candidates to audition. The series will be filmed in Kampala, and so interested persons must be able to travel to, or reside within, this city.

The Total Agony of Being in Love

A few days back, my facebook status read: Dear God, please help me. I want to be funny, but the only jokes I can come up with have either sex or poop in them. I don't know why I'm fascinated with the two, but I also do not know why they are taboo. It's something everybody does, and both are vital to human life. Still, they do not seem to be something people want to talk about. Or joke about. So recently, I set out to make a series of funny videos, for distribution via youtube. In this series, I will try very hard to make only clean jokes that can be enjoyed around the family dinner table, in front of your children.

What I Disliked about Berlin

There is an African proverb that says a child who does not travel thinks his mother is the best cook. Well, a child who travels, and still thinks his mother is the best cook, has a point. I was in South Africa for a couple of weeks in 2008. Loved the place, the people, and have planned to go and live there ever since. I went to South Asia, lived there for two years until 2011. Great people. Colorful culture. Beautiful but violent, painfully ancient and slow to adapt to modern laws of happiness. In the end, I couldn't wait to get back home. I went to Europe for the first time, earlier this year, stayed in Berlin for about two weeks, and I don't think I was impressed. No, it's not a place I would ever want to live in!

I loved the trains, and the beautiful architecture.

A Statement On the Sex-Tape Hoax

This is a public apology to Mathew Nabwiso and Tibba Murungi Kabugu, whose reputation is suffering because of a misconception over a video I uploaded on YouTube, a few months ago. The video is being taken out of context. It is not porn, or a sex tape. I appeal to all media houses and tabloids in the country to desist from spreading the lies around this video.
Mathew and Tibba in a scene in The Felistas Fable

The Delights of Berlin

Early this month, I went to Europe, for the first time in my life. It's an overrated place. I never understand why people kill themselves to go there. All the time I was there, questions from a folk tale kept ringing in my head; anansi the spider went to paradise, but why did he not talk about what he saw there? More important, why did he return to earth? Before I offend my German friends with a list of why I hated their country, I'll tell you about the things I enjoyed. I was in Berlin, for about two weeks, hardly enough time to form an opinion of a place, only enough time for me to learn four words, nein, tanka, nikut and kut. Or they sounded like that. I checked with google translate, and the words are probably nein (no), danke (thank), nix gut (no good) and gut (good).
Grafitti art on the East Side Gallery, on what once was the Berlin Wall

The Liebster Blog Awards

Sometime towards the end of last year, Matt Ewens nominated my blog for the Liebster Blog Awards. Yay! It humbled me, for this guy, Matt, who I hardly know, but who I met in a google plus writing group,  thought my blog is worth a read. You can see list of nominees here. http://mattrobertewens.wordpress.com/ There are rules for accepting the Liebster Blog Award. You can read them below. I have to accept the award by answering questions he has asked, and in turn nominate eleven blogs that I think are worth a read. Well, I'll start by answering questions that Matt asked.
What is the meaning of life?