"Maybe I was too black to be allowed in the theater!" In this episode, Kagayi Ngobi talks about his personal experiences as an artist touring around the world. He also talks about his personal encounter with racism in Germany during one of his theater tours. He makes it clear that racism is a global problem and tells how it is also reflected in his home country Uganda in East Africa.
Short biography - Kagayi Ngobi
Kagayi Ngobi is a lawyer, author, performance poet, theater practitioner, teacher, and publisher. Together with four other friends, he founded Kitara Nation Publishing, which has published 21 titles to date. He is also the founding editor of the Kitara Nation Poetry Series. Kagayi almost became a lawyer full-time, but that life decision changed when he attended a Lantern Meet Of Poets poetry concert at the National Theater in 2008. Kagayi then joined this poetry association and helped establish poetry clubs in secondary schools. In 2014, he was elected president of Lantern Meet of Poets and spearheaded the publication of the poetry collection What Shall We Name This Child.
Kagayi was born in eastern Uganda, specifically in the region where the source of the Nile River is said to be located. He belongs to the Soga people and comes from the district of Kamuli (the flower).
Kagayi tries to write in a language that is spoken and understood by everyone, including the people on the street in his homeland. His goal is to document the reality of the society he deals with in his poetry. He has written four books of poetry: "The New Headline that Morning" (2016), second edition (2021), "Pupu Poems" (2018), "For My Negativity" (2019), and "No Speaking Vernacular" (2020). In addition, his poems appear in anthologies such as 'Rhymes, Metaphors and I' and 'With Pens That Shout and Mouths That Shut,' published by Kitara Nation; 'Streetlights At Noon Eclipse,' 'Broken Voices of The Revolution,' and 'What Shall We Name This Child? ' - published by Lantern Meet of Poets; 'Go Tell Home' and 'Wandering and Wonderings' published by FEMRITE; 'Fire on the Mountain' published by Danson Kahyana and 'Dear Nev, Contemporary East African Writing' published by African Writers Trust.
His poems have been adapted for a number of theatrical productions including 'The Audience Must Say Amen' performed at Kampala International Theatre Festival (KITF), Story Moja Festival (Nairobi) and AfriCologne Theatre Festival (Cologne); 'Arrest The Poem' performed at Bayimba Festival, Uganda National Theatre (shortly before it was banned there) and KITF; 'For My Negativity' and 'No Speaking Vernacular' both premiered at Uganda National Theatre. His poems were also featured in "Ground Control," a play at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin. He has also appeared in other plays such as "Romeo & Juliet in Kampala" (Africologne Theatre Festival) and "Footprints of Memory" (Writivism Festival).
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