I let my inner goddess out
Member of Femrite since 2000, benefited from the networks that Femrite provides to women writers.
I joined Uganda Women Writers’ Association FEMRITE) as a member in the year 2000 and met the formidable Ugandan women writers who at that time, made me quake in my shoes: Goretti Kyomuhendo, whose book, The First Daughter, I had read; Susan Kiguli(now Dr.), whose poetry flows from her blood; Mary Karooro Okurut, fondly called Mother Hen; Ayeta Wangusa, who I had heard read from her novel earlier; Violet Barungi, author of the popular Cassandra.
Goretti Kyomuhendo, the then coordinator of FEMRITE was at the forefront of Ugandan literature and often allowed me to tag along with her at various events. Some of these were public readings at the residence of the American Ambassador, British Council, dinners with diplomats and high profile events at Alliance Française de Kampala. Through networking, my inner goddess began to grow and glow. I met so many writers on both the local and international scene and I was also nominated by FEMRITE on two occasions to attend two big literature festivals in Kenya in 2006.
It was at the first East Africa literary festival that I had a chance to read my poetry. Those close to me know that erotic form of poetry is my first passion and I have a large collection. There are several conservative sections of some societies that do not perceive this poetry too well. However, when I recited this poetry at that festival, I received such a huge welcome and the director of Kwani? Mr. Binyavanga Wainaina wanted to publish it in the Kwani? literary journal. So many people present at that festival approached me and I spent the evening distributing the collection to many people.
Later that same year, I was picked to attend the Summer Literary Festivalwhich was held in Nairobi and Lamu. This time, faculty from America read my poetry and for the first time, I was proud that my voice in erotic poetry was being accepted largely. Through networking again, my erotic poetry received further acceptance in Drumvoices Revue, a publication of Southern Illinois University. I was published alongside some of the greatest poets of our time like Maya Angelou, Quincy Troupe and Susan Kiguli.Through networking, my confidence as an erotic poetic writer has grown. Through networking, I have opened up the space for other erotic poets in Uganda as well. A sample poem is below.
I am an Al Qaeda.Metal scanners are my foes; my friends.
The scanner rubs me up and rubs me downIt makes a sound.
I take off my metallic belt willingly.
Your scanner rubs me up and rubs me down again.
This time it is my metallic bra.
Please help me undo the clasp.
Your scanner is glowing red.
As it rubs me up and rubs me down again.
The scanner makes a sound.It is the metal in my garters.
Your scanner begins to bulge.
You take me to a room.
The scanner beeps and beeps and beeps.
I am an Al Qaeda.
Metal scanners are my foes; my friends.
© Beverley Nambozo NsengiyunvaPublished in Kwani? 4 in 2006, an East African literary journal.