African Writers Trust and the British Council Mentoring Scheme
African Writers Trust has been running creative writing and mentoring workshops for Ugandan university students and independent writers since 2009. The workshops are led by established African writers in the Diaspora who offer professional writing skills and practical creative writing guidance to the participants. However, African Writers Trust is keen to extend the impact of the workshops beyond the week-long trainings. As such, the workshop facilitators continue to mentor the participants by offering them critical feedback on their works via email.
The scheme is supported by British Council Uganda and currently, 16 Ugandan writers and poets (mentees) have been paired to 4 established writers (mentors) based in the UK. The main objective of the programme is to challenge and inspire emerging writers to produce good literature by focusing on professional writing skills development, and to facilitate the participants to develop as writers. The scheme was designed to run for six months: March to August 2012. Congratulations to the mentors and mentees who have accomplished this goal.
Here’s a poem from one of the participating fellows, Davina Kawuma.
Headphones edged with brio,
bulging over skirted sofas.
Sport is the new sex.
Dogs versus coyotes on the tight
end of the stereo.
Hazard lights stitch footsubishis and TV
chicken into seams of Nokia eleven hundred housing.
In loose sprays, cracked for patches
of grey I save English names one cocktail
at a time. Tusky Big Brother Africa house
mates sniff my lemon bracts. I’m middle
middle-class with a chance of un|dress
codes. Raglan sleeves, push-up bras, harem
culottes, wine-glass heels and a backpack full
of silence. I will never wear myself out
trying to get rich.
Hash Tag, YouCantThreatenThePoor
How about it, then?
Shall I serve a late helping of morning;
slop poached pinks and yolky yellows
onto thick slices of doughy landscape?
Shall I take the day off and a bus buried
by a loud pedal to a faded scrawl?
Invite your size-six Adam’s apple to my capacity
Shall I slaughter a mannequin?
Upload the video on YouTube?—YouGroup?—YouThink?
Shall I read you some bumper sticker advice,
im|press you with my flaky fonts and American’t accent?
Save you fifty on a bootlegged DVD?
Hash Tag, TheSystemIsStupid