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FEMRITE Helps Foster Uganda’s New Generation of Female Writers

Tropical Fish Beyond the DanceFEMRITE, Uganda Women Writers’ Association, has helped to create a new generation of female writers in Uganda, writes Elizabeth Day for The Observer.

Day spoke to Doreen Baingana, co-facilitator of the 4th FEMRITE Regional Women Writers’ Residence along with Zukiswa Wanner this year, who refers to FEMRITE as her “literary home”. Baingana, whose book Tropical Fish won the 2006 Commonwealth Writers prize for best debut, commented that “we expect the African story to be one of tragedy and despair and how people overcame suffering…In fact, there are other stories”.

Day writes that, “The act of putting words on a page, of telling the truth through fiction, is a brave one for women in Uganda”. In 2009 FEMRITE travelled through Uganda collecting stories of women who had been circumcised and compiling them in the anthology Beyond the Dance. FEMRITE volunteer Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva spoke about women holding back from telling their stories, “In the villages, they feel it’s a form of betrayal to express themselves because they’re so used to silence, to just nodding without argument”. Nsengiyunva commented on the article in The Observer, saying that she was glad to have been interviewed for it but that she “wanted to add that not all is dire amongst Ugandan writers”.

Beatrice Lamwaka was not yet a teenager when her 13-year-old brother, Richard, was abducted as a child soldier. The family lived in Alokolum, a town in northern Uganda, an area riven by civil war and brutal uprisings since the late 1980s, and Richard was snatched by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a militia group under the fanatical control of the murderous Joseph Kony. Under Kony’s rule, child soldiers such as Richard were given automatic weapons and trained to kill. They were forced to commit atrocities against their friends and siblings. Those who attempted to escape were murdered.

Book details

  • Beyond the Dance: Voices of women on female genital mutilation edited by Violet Barungi, Hilda Twongyeirwe
    EAN: 9789970700196
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">tiah</a>
    June 13th, 2013 @17:28 #

    The cover to Beyond the Dance is stunning.


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