Telling the story of a nation through books

Saturday October 6 2012

Okot p’Bitek (L) and Doreen Baingana (R)

Okot p’Bitek (L) and Doreen Baingana (R) 

Over My Dead Body [Violet Barungi]
This play was was inspired by Barungi’s deep concern for girls who are lured into early marriages to rich men before they finish their education. For this play, she won the British Council International New Playwriting for Africa and the Middle East Region prize in 1997.

Cassandra [Violet Barungi]
Cassandra is a story of an independent-minded, self confident and ambitious girl, who is determined to reach the top without using men’s influence to do so. This story will keep you awake beyond your bed time.

The Blue Marble [Jackee Budesta Batanda]
This children’s story was short listed for the 2004 Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa, which recognizes unpublished African fiction for children and young people. The story revolves around three young sisters’ struggle to get an education.

A Woman’s Voice [Edited by Mary Karooro Okurut]
This is Uganda’s first an anthology of short stories by twelve Ugandan women. The stories illuminate the courage and endurance of Ugandan women in the face of hardships and social injustice.

A Season of Mirth [Regina Amollo]
Amollo highlights social vices like domestic violence, male chauvinism, backward and degenerate superstitions. She emphasizes the essence educating the girl child, as the only way of empowering her and pulling her out of the cultural norms that enslave her.

The People’s Bachelor [Austin Bukenya]
Bukenya, satirically and in an honest tone attacks the pretentiousness of African campus life and as he compares it with the harsh African realities.

The Bride [Austin Bukenya]
The play is a criticism of outdated and myopic African traditions that have rendered Africa immobile to the progressive change of Western Education. Reading this play is like watching a movie.

Shadows of Time [Victor Byabamazima]
Tells one woman’s story of her various experiences as she attempts to get her first job. This is an easy to read and follow story.

For The Fairess [Ulysses Chuka II]
This novel won the national award for best fiction 1993 and was reviewed on the BBC. Chuka describes himself as a writer who is hanging in there. He wrote this story in 1980 and it got published in 1991.

Kosiya Kifefe [Prof Arthur Gakwandi]
Gakwandi is concerned about human vanity, the impact of social change on individual lives and damnation through the exercise of power.

Silent Patient [Jane Kaberuka]
The novel is a denunciation of social injustice. Kaberuka says she writes “to educate, to give hope to those who suffer and to make sense of social justice”.

Bury Me in a Simple Grave [Godfrey Kalimugogo]
This is a heartbreaking tale that manages to provide some good teachings on Christianity and life in general.

Going Solo [Hope Keshubi]
This is a story about how Doreen uncovers the exploitation and corruption of two headmasters, and meets many complications, though never loses her energy and humour.

The African Saga [Dr Susan Kiguli]
Kiguli is one of the most famous Ugandan poets. She has performed her poetry in Uganda and other countries. She is interested in protest poetry and she describes herself as an “observer poet that responds to events that happen around me and in the world.”

First Daughter [Goretti Kyomuhendo]
This novel is used in many schools as a supplementary reader. The story is based on the life of a young girl growing up in a rural community during the post colonial era.

Secrets No More [Goretti Kyomuhendo]
The plot is set in Rwanda and Uganda during the genocide. It is a tale of so many disappointments and betrayal but in the end, love overcomes all.

In Defense of Lawino [Taban lo Liyong]
This is a translation of Song of Lawino by Okot p’Bitek which Taban says was not well done. There is a whole whole chapter missing in the English version.

The Rape of the Pearl [Joseph Magala Nyago]
This is a fictional story based on Idi Amin.

30 Years of Bananas [Alex Mukulu]
Through the experiences of the narrator, a refugee from Rwanda called Kaleekeezi, Mukulu takes a satirical view of what Uganda has celebrated, suffered, and lost over the three decades of its independence.

A Time of Fire[Charles Mulekwa]
The play reveals both the depths of brutality and potential for humanity left in life lived against the odds.

The Seasons of Thomas Tebo [John Nagenda]
The novel is about Thomas Tebo, a magical youth, who becomes dangerously involved in politics, and is eventually forced into exile.

In a Brown Mantle [Peter Nazareth]
This novel prophesised the expulsion of Asians in 1972. Nine days after it was launched in Kampala on July 29, Idi Amin announced the expulsion of Asians from Uganda.

The Alien Woman [Laury Lawrence Ocen]
In this novel, Ocen is concerned with ethnic prejudice that has undermined our identity as humans with common strengths and weaknesses.

Song of Farewell [Jane Okot p’Bitek]
This is a song of a newly married and pregnant woman whose husband has answered the call of war, six weeks before their baby is born. Jane’s writing is influenced by her father, the literary icon, Okot p’ Bitek, “I admire his style in putting across his thoughts and ideas,” she said.

Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol [Okot p’ Bitek]
First written in Acholi, Wer Pa Lawino is the best known literary work come out of Uganda. Lawino has become an icon of African cultural authenticity. P’ Bitek succeeded in giving a Ugandan woman a voice at a time when it was lacking.

The Burdens and The Floods [John Ruganda]
These plays have become a regular part of curriculum in Literature classes in secondary schools. Ruganda’s plays reflect the reality of the East African sociopolitical situation after independence.

The Invasions [Stephen Atwooki Rwagweri]
This was one of the first books published in 1997 that deal with the Aids scourge. The novel contains strong metaphors and diction.

Come Good Rain [George Seremba]
An adaptation of this play was aired on CBS’s Vanishing Point in 1993. This play is about a young student’s coming of age in the political turmoil. The tale mixes mythology, ideology and storytelling and one young boy’s ability to survive and later discover that a community can flourish under even the bloodiest regimes.

Renga Moi [Robert Serumaga]
He is well known for this play which broke new ground in bringing a clear African aestrhetic to the modern stage. He founded Abafumi Theatre Company which performed some of his plays around Uganda and also toured extensively in Europe, Latin America and Africa before ceasing operations in 1978.

The Naked Hostage [Alan Tacca]
In this novel, through vivid images, tightly controlled rhythm, tense and drama, Tacca weaves the theme of obedience and revolt in a man’s quest for freedom.

Recipe for Disaster [Lillian Tindyebwa]
The story is about Hellen Ntale, a secondary schoolgirl, who is enchanted by the riches and pleasures of this world. She succumbs, encouraged by her best friend to enjoy the easy pleasures that lead her to an unexpected end. This novel is used as a supplementary reader in secondary schools.

Memoirs of a Mother [Ayeta Wangusa]
This fictional biography that tells the deeply moving story of a Ugandan woman forced to trade the romantic idealism of her youth for a marriage. Wangusa uses poetic language to portray family life in modern Uganda.

Upon This Mountain [Timothy Wangusa]
The story is set around Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda and it shows life when communities were drawn together through special religious and cultural occasions like baptism and circumcision.

Tropical Fish: Tales From Entebbe [Doreen Baingana]
This collection of short stories explores the coming of age of three sisters in Entebbe. Each chapter develops the theme of discovery as the sisters mature. The collection won the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 2007. Two of short stories were shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.

OTHERS
Uganda Since Independence [Prof. Phares Mutiibwa]
Crisis and Decline in Bunyoro [Shane Doyle]
Political Power in Precolonial Buganda [Richard Reid
The Origins of Social Violence in Uganda [Prof. ABK Kasozi]
Abyssinian Chronicles [Moses Isegawa]
State of Blood [Henry Kyemba]
Ekitabo kya Bassekabaka be’Buganda [Sir Apollo Kaggwa]
Desecration of My Kingdom [Sir Edward Muteesa II]
The Roots of Instability in Uganda [ Prof.Samwiri Karugire]
Mwanga II [Prof. Samwiri Karugire]
Painted Voices: A Collage of Art and Poetry [Edited by Sophie Bamwoyeraki]
Sowing the mustard seed: the struggle for freedom and democracy in Uganda [Yoweri Museveni]
Child Soldier [China Keitesi]
My Life’s Journey [Janet Museveni]

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