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.
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.
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.