The Writivism Festival 2016 launched with a bang at the National Museum in Kampala, Uganda on 23rd August 2016.
The Writivism Festival has been marketed over the last few months with a huge social media push since last year and the official opening ceremony was upon us. This year unlike in previous iterations of the festival all events would be hosted at the Uganda Museum.
The evening emceed by Sumayya Lee started off with board member Zukiswa Wanner giving a speech about how the festival started by her meeting Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, then called Brian, at the National Theatre in Kampala. They worked hard and started a festival with humble beginnings to the well-known one we all know today on the African literary scene.
Her speech was followed by current festival director Kyomuheendo Ateenyi who welcomed the guests and wished that all had a great time in Kampala at the festival this year. As he sat down, some those who were around started singing the international “Happy Birthday” song and everyone joined in singing for the man on his special day. This was followed hilariously by first the Kenyans singing their own Happy birthday song followed by a few West African joining with their own version. It was great fun all round.
Following this there were speeches by people who have supported like the Miles Morland Foundation which was represented by Michela Wrong, Universities of Bristol and Sussex and the like. Many of these were also speaking about how their relationship started in this festival with the aforementioned Bwesigye. Bwesigye is set to leave the initiative he founded with thanks for being the man who set the spark that started it all.
With the speeches done and dusted, the delegates could now go about the serious business that brought them to Uganda’s capital city. Book launches, film and theatre presentations, panels with some of the continents leading literary minds, school visits to get the next generation of readers and writers, and much much more. It will be epic.