Richard Ali

Richard Ali standing in for Chika Unigwe

So what did you do on Friday? Well many people work sluggishly all day then at closing they will flee to the nearest bar. At the Writivism Festival 2015, Friday seemed to know that folks might not be as responsive so there was less of an intensive program. Either that or they opted to have more events on Saturday as more folks are free.

The keynote address, I love the daily keynote by the way, was delivered by… OK it was supposed to be given by Chika Unigwe. It was What do oil resources mean to African Writers? Her address would make perfect sense as she is a former winner of the Nigerian Literature Prize which has oil as its funders. The keynote was to be introduced by Prof Joe Oloka Onyango in conversation with Catherine Byaruhanga. Unfortunately she was unavailable on the day, so her place was taken by publisher and writer Richard Ali who read the address on her behalf. You can read the whole address here.

If you don’t have the energy, lazy you, the short of it is that it is sad that folks would ask for oil companies to avoid funding the arts when it is our money they use when we buy fuel. We need everyone who can support the arts involved even them. Especially with governments spending so little on this vital sector.
If you don’t have the energy, lazy you, the short of it is that it is sad that folks would ask for oil companies to avoid funding the arts when it is our money they use when we buy fuel. We need everyone who can support the arts involved even them. Especially with governments spending so little on this vital sector.

The master classes included Speculative Fiction facilitated by Rachel Zadok and Writing for Social Justice facilitated by Paula Akugizibwe and Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah.

There were panels but this humble blogger was nowhere near them having bunked from the festival. This was because of excessive drinking on the Thursday night; those writing people can drink you under the table and then wake up at 9am the next morning fresh as a daisy. For those who could make it, one was, Is it time to change the content of the African Literature syllabus? This one had Beatrice Lamwaka, Aaron Bady, Hilda Twongyeirwe and Wale Okediran.

Another one included Donald Molosi who after he’s Today Its Me play had one with Tezra Lutaaya and Aida Mbowa.