What you need to know:
Agrippa Byayesu Musingunzi a Mengo resident is a poet, a student at Makerere University, a teacher trainee in Literature and English but is also pursuing a diploma in law at Law Development Centre. He recently published a poetry book titled “At the crossroads". Godfrey Lugaaju had a one on one with him and here are the excerpts.
Who is Agrippa Byayesu Musingunzi?
I am a poet but also the director of the Ray of Hope charity foundation initiative (ROH) aimed at meeting up with vulnerable slum dwellers to extend basic needs, and lobby scholarships to study and improve their lives.
Who inspired you to write?
I love reading poems been reading poems so I always wanted to have a book with my name on it. I believe I was my inspiration since I was born in the ghetto without any privileges so I always wanted to do something recognisable and here we are, I authored a book that has taken me places.
Which is your favourite poem from the book and why?
It's called "Now Watch Me Rise" a self-motivation poem that shows the world that a ghetto born rise from grass to grace. It helps me empower kids born in the ghetto with the knowledge that helps show that one can do anything if one focuses.
Did you meet any challenges when trying to publish this book?
I did and on several occasions. Some people say criticize my content saying that I write a lot about alcohol and drugs but this is the life I have grown up in but it is what made me who I am today. Some publishers say my grammar is and my work lacks editing but I tell them it's work in progress.
How many copies did you sell so far?
I have so far sold 512 copies but I hope to sell up to a million copies and beyond.
What are your future plans?
To build a school and teach the ghetto kids writing and reading, to continue lobbying for scholarships for the less fortunate children. I also hope to build a home for the poor that facilities their basic needs in a gazetted homestead.
Any advice for upcoming writers?
I encourage upcoming writers to read extensively and also channel their writing to helping the people facing challenges because people need help, especially in slums.