RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Writing to transform society


Just where does she get the time? It was the question on the lips of many when Gender, Labour and Social Development minister and Bushenyi District Woman MP, Mary Karooro Okurut, launched yet another novel, in Kampala, at the weekend.
Mary 'Mother-Hen' Karooro Okurut
To this, she answered simply, “I love telling stories, and it’s not difficult to find time to tell stories.”
Potiphar’s Granddaughter, published by Totem Publishers, is her latest story; summed up as “a tale of love, forgiveness, and resilience amidst the pain that follows betrayal and suffering”.

The writer assured guests that “once you take this book into your hands, it’s difficult to put it down!” Only those who have read the 271-page volume have the right to question the veracity of her claim.
But jab Karooro with a needle, words are bound to pop out instead of blood.

Before she linked up with Goretti Kyomuhendo to found the Uganda Female Writers Association (Femrite), Karooro was already an accepted and admired author of The Official Wife (1994), The Invisible Weevil (1994) and the play: The Curse of the Sacred Cow (1994). She has also authored short stories, children’s fiction and newspaper articles to cement her position as one of Uganda’s most prolific women writers.

No man has a better grasp of her obsession with literature than John Nagenda, an enviable wordsmith himself. At the launch of Potiphar’s Granddaughter where Nagenda was chief guest, he revealed that when President Museveni first sought his advice on appointing Karooro Presidential Press Secretary, Nagenda opposed the move, afraid that politics would keep Karooro away fro
m writing. He was wrong.

“Mother Hen,” as she’s fondly labelled by Femrites, kept writing, and has more eggs to hatch. In fact, Potiphar’s Granddaughter will be followed by The Switch, which will be about female genital mutilation, and The Man with the Olive Branch, which draws from the life and times of President Museveni.

Why she writes
Karooro writes to “change our realities into a better reality and for the generations to come. She is also inspired by Uganda’s dismal reading culture and wants to create relevant reading material that would impel school-goers and other Ugandans to read ravenously.

“We (writers) act as cultural ambassadors; we tell our story,” she says.

According to John Nagenda, there is everything to love about words. “God is a very wise creator; it’s a miracle to me that people can speak, and writing is so fantastic,” he said. “When you get to a point when people are writing exciting stuff, then you know you are in the presence of beauty!”

He advised up-and-coming writers to read widely and measure themselves against the best writers.

--Saturday Monitor, February 1, 2014