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MAD DASH Moments

A perspective on Book Dash, March 2016 – thanks Nancy.

Lucky enough to have witnessed the recent BOOK DASH at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town, where in just one day, a whole bunch of ‘creatives’ wrote, illustrated, edited, designed and produced no fewer than 12 uniquely African storybooks for children – thought I’d share some of the moments…..
The Writers Circle 003 - Copy
The Overview 006 - Copy
The Old School Equipment009
The New School Equipment 038
The Brainstorm 014
The Buzz 016
The Rubbing Out 029
The Colouring In 031
The Lunch Read 033
The Chaos 036
The Order 048
The Madness 052
The Magic 056 - Copy
The Proud Parents054
Great work guys! Loved it xx
There will be more Book Dashes – elsewhere in the country, soon. But for all the info, check their site:

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‘Little known’ tourism treasures in eastern Uganda

Edward Echwalu - Documentary Photographer

Well, lets start it this way.

“Uganda, was declared” Best Tourist Destination 2012” by Lonely Planet, the Leading and largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world.”UNDP-1

“NIGHT FISHING on Lake Victoria. For generations, people on the shores of Lake Victoria in East Africa have been using kerosene lamps for night fishing according to Wisions. The fishermen begin work at 6pm in the evening and finish at 6am in the morning braving the long cold nights.

“Kidepo Valley National Park has been voted the third best tourist attraction on the African continent by CNN Travel 2013.”

“Uganda was declared Africa’s preferred Birding Destination in 2013 by Africa Bird Club swelling with 1050 bird species- more than three-quarters of all the birds ever recorded in sub-Saharan Africa.”UNDP-2

“World War II grave yard in Jinja”. The Daily Monitor in a recent article describes the cemetery as a “Well kept “piece” of England…

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Mabira Forest’s ‘Tiny’ Generation

Some beautiful pictures from Mabira forest in Uganda!

2016 Africa Reading Challenge

2016 Africa Reading Challenge

Kinna Reads

Welcome to the Africa Reading Challenge.

This will be the fourth time that I’m hosting the Africa Reading Challenge.  Details and requirements are the same this year as for the 2012 Africa Reading Challenge, which started with: “I have absolutely no reason for hosting nor urging you to participate in this challenge save for the joy of discovering and reading African literature!” Here are the details:

Challenge Period

January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016


The entire African continent, including its island-states, which are often overlooked. Please refer to this Wikipedia “list of sovereign states and dependent territories in Africa”. Pre-colonial empires and regions are also included.

Reading Goal

5 books.  That’s it.  There will be no other levels.  Of course, participants are encouraged to read more than 5 books.  Eligible books include those which are written by African writers, or take place in Africa, or are…

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TBR Dare

Source: TBR Dare

“Power” by Audre Lorde

“Power” by Audre Lorde

In this difficult time with violence birthing violence, with those who could refusing to listen, with all the things that batter my soul at a very personal and very global level, I am searching for words to express myself… Today Kinna and Audre will do it for me

Kinna Reads

Audre Lorde 2

Audre Lorde died on this day 23 years ago.


The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
instead of your children.

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.

A policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens
stood over the boy with his cop…

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12th OAU Summit – 1975


In 1975 Uganda hosted the 12th summit of the OAU.   It was an exciting time for us.  I was in P6 (in primary school).  For a while our curriculum, and the games we played, focused on general knowledge about the continent.  We had to learn the names of all the countries in Africa, their capital cities, recognise their flags, their presidents – we were all caught up in the preparations. As part of those preparations Government decided that certain primary and secondary schools would take part in a ceremony at Nakivubo Stadium.  The secondary schools would take part in marching and gymnastic displays.  The primary schools would be part of creating huge, colourful murals as a back ground to the older schools.  If you school was involved it was compulsory for all P5, 6 and 7 pupils.  If you were absent you would be expelled.  At least, that is what I heard – and being expelled was not an option.

Weeks, maybe months before the ceremony we would go daily to Nakivubo to practice.  It was always overwhelming!  There were crowds and crowds of children, and soldiers.  Our parents dropped us quite a distance away from the entrance and we had to somehow find our way to our school group.  I was afraid of large crowds and even more afraid of the soldiers so those few minutes while I looked for my school group were always excruciating.  Once we were all together we would go to the stands, opposite the main VIP building.  Each school had particular rows assigned to them and each pupil a row and seat number.  There were hundreds of us!  We were each handed a large A3 book with your row and seat number.  It was made of cardboard with brightly coloured, numbered pages.  Our job was to turn the pages at a particular time and thus create the murals.  Our ‘conductor’ was positioned behind the seats of the VIPs, and they would signal to which page we should turn and exactly when we should turn.  We practiced until we could turn them as if we were one person.  Each time we turned a page the mural would change, in synch with the marching and gymnastic activities on the field below.  We worked every day, all day, in the sun, and hid under the stalls if it rained.

As the days went by we got to know the other children who were there.  We began to make friends with the children near to us.  We also began also to recognise the secondary schools and other role players.  There was one group that stood out  – the recruits to the army, or Kurutus as they were being called.  I was terrified of them – even though they were not really Army men.  Over the weeks we began to notice a kind of rivalry between the ‘Kurutus’ and the boys from one of the local high schools.  It must have been Kololo High or Kampala High.  They always seemed to be taunting each other.

One day, as we ate lunch the taunting became worse.  One minute they were jeering each other, the next there was a fight on the field.  Boys fighting with young men in army fatigues. Boys running away from the Kurutus.  Blows being exchanged.  And then the Kurutus picked up the big sticks that they had been using as guns in their marching and started chasing the boys and beating them up… Some of the boys were hiding behind a stack of cases of Soda and they started throwing soda-bottle-missiles to the Kurutus.  We ran screaming under the stands huddled together, watching in horror as the Kurutus circled a few boys and BEAT them up.  I believe that one of the boys died – I don’t know for sure – but he was beaten up so badly that an ambulance took him away.

That was the first time I saw the army unleashed on civilians.

We went home shaken that day. My parents told me that I should stop going but my fear of being absent was far greater than my fear of what happened.   I thought that the powers that be would come home and take me, or hurt my parents, and nothing would put me at ease.  I was hysterical at the thought of being absent.  And so I went back, as did many of the other children – and whenever I saw a soldier or a Kurutu, I would take the longer way to wherever I was going.

On the day of our performance we were all there bright and early.  Clean uniforms, polished shoes and sunburnt faces and arms peeling, our hearts still bruised with the loss of our innocence. We watched them arrive in the new Mercedes Benzs, guessing by the flag who was arriving.  Our performance for the Heads of State went well – they were so impressed, and none of them knew the what it cost us to be there.

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