Kabaka Mwanga,  Gayaza High School Hand Coloured Lantern Slide. Courtesy of HIPUganda

The Bishop is Coming

Mainstream narratives omit to tell us that Bishop Hannington had been warned by his fellow missionaries who were already settled in Uganda. Minister Alexander MacKay, a Scottish Presbyterian missionary, sent canoes on Lake Nalubaale to Kavirondo to meet him, and to warn him that his life would be in danger, should he insist on taking the eastern route from Busoga. But Hannington proceeded through Busoga anyway, disregarding the warning.


Silent Voices: The Return of Serious Theatre

By Sophie Alal

“It is one of those very good plays that have taken a very long time to be shown in the National Theatre,” said Prof Dan Kisense. “We had balance in acting, stage setting, sound and lighting effects, and above all, the story.”

“It was touching on the psychology and reality of our times regarding Northern Uganda. The play goes through many dimensions. There are pleasant things that we don’t talk about, and that is a silent voice. There are bad things we don’t want to hear about, and that is a silent voice.”

Participants of the Caine Prize Workshop, 2012.

My Volmoed Journey

By Tendai Mwanaka

I really wanted to get into the waterfall or at the very least get close enough to touch it. When I got near it, I felt like I was a part of it. Below was a deep green pool. I was not sure how deep, but anything that appeared too deep has always scared me. So I could not begin to imagine what might lie inside. I imagined water animals that I’m not fond of: snakes, mermaids, and crocodiles. But, I was mostly scared of the Njuzu that day, so we enjoyed it from the outside. It’s not a joke, I am afraid of these aquatic half human creatures. In my culture and country, these creatures are associated with supernatural forces, for instance it is believed the most potent traditional healers is of the Njuzu calling. It is said that they were often people who had been abducted by a Njuzu and secreted deep inside caves, in the river’s pools, where they would be taught the trade. So growing up, we were always afraid of river pools that were said to have Njuzu in them. Afraid we might be abducted by these supernatural creatures. It is also believed that should people mourn for you after your abduction, these creatures would kill you. Thus you can understand my fear of these creatures at that instance.

Tendai Mwanaka Featured Image

Tendai Mwanaka

Among other writings, Mr Mwanaka is currently working on a book of creative non fiction titled Zimbabwe: The Urgency of Now. His work has appeared in several journals, anthologies and magazines in over 27 countries. Some of these works have been in translation, notably into French and Spanish.

The God of Death

The God of Death

By Sima Mittal

“Who should I take away from you this time?” The God of Death asked in a small voice, “How about your brother’s son?”

“That Uncle Manju is a beast. He beats up his wife,” Sunitha accused. “He doesn’t deserve to live, take him instead.”

Sima Mittal. Photo courtesy of the author.

Sima Mittal

Sima was born in India in 1974, and moved to Arusha, Tanzania in 1978. In 2002 she settled with her family in Dar es Salaam, where she has been a resident ever since. She studied in Tanzania, India and the USA and holds a Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science. Her love for writing grew…


Your Heart Should Skip A Beat

By Uzoma Ihejirika

“As you eat, you cannot help listening in on the banter of the other men. You listen to them recount stories: funny stories, scary stories, crazy stories, you-must-be-joking stories. A man laments the robbery he faced in the hands of traffic officials; another man narrates how he had sex with a ghost posing as a prostitute; another man recounts his ordeals with a female boss; yet another narrates how he had finished, wait for it, not one, not two, but seven cartons of beer.
Your phone rings. You retrieve it from your breast pocket and glance at the screen. Unknown number. The restaurant has become too loud to answer a call. You hurriedly wash your hands and go outside.”

Irene Ntale. Bow tie.

Ugandan Youth Authenticating African Fashion

Attitudes towards fashion are influenced by the ways in which a society appreciates aesthetics. For most teens, the imperative to define their identity happens through high school culture and celebrity fashion. At social gatherings like the Buzz Teeniez Awards, celebrities’ dress codes are taken very seriously. This implies that any celebrity who dresses in a sloppy manner could dent their social capital. And the desire of youths to emulate celebrities in turn boosts manufacturers in the fashion industry.