By Lorna Mwebaza

Public holidays are when we normally break routine, loosen up a little and catch an extra hour or two of sleep. Everyone looks forward to them, except when you are a curious bookworm and land on an advert on social media calling you to attend a literary event organized, attended and moderated by women.

To celebrate Women’s Month, EA Scene, Goethe Zentrum Kampala and Alliance Française Kampala organized a writer’s workshop. On said date, I had planned to sleep in, then meet with a couple of friends later on in the day to chill and share a meal- but when I saw the poster, the plan completely changed.

The writing workshop was specifically for but not exempted to women?(we did have some men in attendance and they were equally warmly welcomed) I was excited to meet like-minded people! It gets difficult to introduce one’s self as a writer. Many, if not most times, I find myself feeling utterly misunderstood, or even as one that’s telling practical jokes. A space in which to meet people who understand what my heart beats for makes me safe, any day, any time. Surrounded by these women, I felt safe.

EA Scene writer Natasha Khaddijah Sebunya gives her presentation.

I arrived right on time and I knew that this would be fun because I met so many friendly people. In as much as I was excited to network, I know that creatives are sometimes difficult to connect with especially because most usually have their insecurities they are fighting and it gets easier to put up such a wall. Luckily, I found some familiar faces at the event and easily blended. As the session went on, the room continued to fill up more and more. Khadijja Natasha Sebunya, a writer with the EA Scene and one of the moderators shared an insightful presentation about the historic and systematic erasure of women in Literature.

The conversation got more intense and the passion and heart within each person in the room began to show as people raised their views on the different matters that came to life. We got to talk about the challenges of women in the literary world, and most importantly we got to delve deep into analyzing the role of women in the past, present and future of literature. The discussion got even more heated when the conversation about characterization of women and Africans is problematic.

The excitement was short-lived for me as I had to take my leave quite early but to this day, I cannot help but wonder where the conversation ended. I look forward to similar spaces and conversations in the future and I secretly hope that when it happens, someone can volunteer to break down what I missed after 3.30 pm when I walked out of the room.

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