There was a festive mood in Kampala as poet Kagayi Peter launched his debut poetry collection The Headline That Morning on 8th June 2016.
The National Theatre in Kampala was the site for the launch for the debut collection of Kagayi Peter last Wednesday. It was also the day that the Museveni government was fulfilling one of its responsibilities to the Ugandan people as its finance minister read the annual budget alongside other East African nations. This means that the city of Kampala was a closely guarded space which must have meant something where the attendance of this event was concerned. It was set to happen from 5-6:30pm so there had to have been something for the organisers to worry about especially as the Serena where the speeches were happening were nearby. They really shouldn’t have.
The auditorium was filled with literary enthusiasts who had all had an encounter with the poet in one way or another. He is popular with many for his stint as they president of the Lantern Meet of Poets as well as performing his poetry at many events and venues, especially schools. For those who want to think of the closest poet from the Western part of our continent that he reminds this blogger of it is Efe Paul Azino. Kagayi is to Writivism Festival as Efe Paul Azino is to Ake Festival. They both give high octane and instantly classic performances of poetry whenever they get a stage.
The evening saw performances from several but it was Kagayi who was at the centre of the attention as he should have been. The new collection published by Sooo Many Stories’ Nyana Kakoma, who was also doubling as emcee, is called and it has some of the better poetry to come out of Uganda in a long while.
After the official event, the party went onto the National theatre courtyard where the newest poetry author was flooded by dozens of fans who were seeking out his autograph. In the audience, there spotted people like Jackie Batanda, Dilman Dila, Beverley Nambozo, Kwezi Tabaro and many more.
At the end of it all, we are told that 80 books were sold in all on launch day; not bad at all for a debutante.
You can check out more images from the launch at this Facebook page.