Daniel Omara: Writing And Performing Luoetry.

Daniel Omara is one of the new poets worth note in Uganda. He has ably mastered the art of documenting, by writing, and performing what he calls Luoetry. Omara will be performing his one man show, Luoetry, on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at the National Theater’s Cultural Village, in Kampala, Uganda. He is interviewed for Turn The Page, by The Poetry Shrine’s Peter Kagayi.

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Daniel Omara.

TPS: Briefly tell us about your time at SMACK (St. Mary’s College Kisubi)
Omara: At SMACK, I was the Minister of Information, Culture and Entertainment, the Deputy Editor in Chief of Eagle Magazine 2016, and the founder and first President of the Eagles Poetry Club.

TPS: What does it mean to you to write/perform such poetry in our society today?
Omara: Writing Luoems and performing them ignites and sustains the reality of originality which is paramount. Luoetry minimizes tendencies to alienate poetry that should be speaking to our people and the day-to-day situations in our society.
It is important to respect the conventional poetic devices beforehand, but it’s progressive to apply these devices only to enhance the literary blessings of our indigenous societies; our proverbs, riddles, legends, norms, taboos. In them lie great poetic stories to tell. Luoetry tells the stories of the Luo.

TPS: How different is Luoetry from other kinds of poetry?
Omara: Luoetry prioritizes the need to explore our indigenous literary heritage while other forms of poetry tend to stereotype poetic concepts from foreign communities leaving our own heritage either alienated or neglected altogether.

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Daniel Omara will be performing his one man show, Luoetry, at the National Theater’s Cultural Village, in Kampala, on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

TPS: You have been performing poetry for a while now. How significant is this particular show to you?
Omara: Luoetry is a milestone of self-discovery to me. It is the first of my personal efforts to recognize that cultural heritage ought to be celebrated.
Luoetry is a statement to poets that understanding one’s culture inspires a sense of belonging which is a foundation for all forms of literary expression.
“Know thyself that you may know you walk among the greats.”
The audience should expect to appreciate the application of contemporary poetic devices to explore and harness Luorature. As a Luoet, the Luoems that will be shared at the show will challenge you to ask how much you know about your people’s literary heritage.
When all is spoken and heard, the audience will expect to say Amen in Luo.

Odufa: A Lover’s Tale – Othuke Ominiabohs

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The cover image of Odufa: A Lover’s Tale, a novel by Othuke Ominiabohs.

The writer of the Song of Songs book of the Bible makes a profound statement in the sixth verse of the books eighth chapter. He says, “… love is as strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” Love, and jealousy, are the two central themes of Othuke Ominiabohs’ book titled Odufa: A Lover’s Tale.

Tony, the protagonist, is a closet romantic who after having plenty plenty flings with girls in school because of a heartbreak, falls head over heels in love with a girl a couple of years older than him. The girl, Odufa, gives his romantic nature such expression that he willingly endures ridicule and disapproval of her by his friends and family. Although she is undoubtedly beautiful, reasons such as the reputation of women from her tribe and her being older and more worldly wise than him, are given for their disapproval of her.

Tony is undeterred by his people’s disapproval and vows to love and protect Odufa forever. He writes her poems and oft reads them aloud to her on the phone and in person, holding her in his arms. I the early days of their romance, Odufa, receives the poems with the requisite oohs and aahs saying how lucky she is to be loved by him.

However, as their relationship gets deeper and more intimate, Tony discovers a dark and violent side of Odufa borne of jealousy which consequently also ignites violence from him that he did not know he was capable of. In fact, Odufa gets so angry at one time that she sets on fire a book of poems Tony had compiled for her. This particular action serves to drive a serious rift between the lovers as Tony believes this means that Odufa does not truly know, understand and love him as she constantly claims.

Like any average girl, every once in a while I like to read a good love story with a happy ending. I was, thus, somewhat disappointed, as far as that is concerned, by Odufa: A Lover’s Tale. Othuke’s writing of this love story is poignant and much too close to the realities of relationships and therefore belies the novel’s title.

Nonetheless, in this his first published novel, Othuke exhibits his applaudable gifts of imagination and expression as he takes the reader on a bumpy journey, quite like one on any of Africa’s numerous untarred roads, through Tony and Odufa’s love life.

In all, then, this novel gets two stars ? ? on the Edward O’Brien scale from me. Bravo Othuke!

Odufa: A Lover’s Tale is a novel, written by Othuke Ominiabohs and published, in 2015, by Nigeria’s TND Press.

This review, of Odufa: A Lover’s Tale, was written by Lynn Turyatemba.

Copies of this book, and other books are available for purchase through Turn The Page’s online bookshop. Visit us at books.alextwino.com

#TTPBookMeet Resumes With Homegrown Love

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The cover image of Evelyn Karungi and Elma Asio’s Homegrown Love, #TTPBookMeet’s common text for the month of February.

While we are invested in making books available to readers though our bookshop, we, also, strongly believe that it is necessary to have conversations around and/or about books and more.

Please do join #TTPBookMeet, on Friday, February 10, 2017, as we resume our book club meetings for the year.
We will be joined by Elma Asio and Evelyn Karungi, the authors of Homegrown Love, a recently launched title for an interactive conversation.

We will meet in Hive Colab, which is on the fourth floor of Kanjokya House, and on Kanjokya Street, starting from 17:30.

For better preparation, please buy yourself a copy in anticipation of the meet.