Poetry has found a fertile ground in Uganda, with its popularity soaring over the past decade. Numerous initiatives have sprung up to promote this expressive art form, encouraging young people to embrace poetry as a means of self-expression. Recognizing the significant role of poetry in enhancing social consciousness and civic engagement, KQ and Kitara Nation joined hands to organize a remarkable event – The 2023 Poets Dinner. Held at the Millennium Terrace Hotel on 20th April 2023, the dinner brought together talented poets from across Uganda to celebrate their contributions to the growth of poetry culture and deliberate on the role of poetry in society.
Fostering Connection and Reflection: One of the primary objectives of the Poets Dinner was to foster networking among poets. The event provided a unique platform for poets to connect with each other, share their experiences, and build meaningful relationships. As they exchanged ideas and inspirations, the poets found solace in the understanding and support of their peers, igniting a sense of community within the poetry landscape.
The dinner also aimed to initiate insightful discussions on the state and future of poetry in Uganda. By bringing together poets from diverse backgrounds and affiliations, the event created a rich tapestry of perspectives. Each poet had the opportunity to share their thoughts on the current landscape of poetry and discuss their visions for its future. The conversations delved into various aspects, including the challenges faced by poets, the influence of poetry in schools, the empowerment of women through poetry, and the healing power of poetry within refugee communities.
To guide the discussions, three thought-provoking themes were selected, each led by an esteemed poet. Obed Obedgiu explored the role of poetry in building confidence among youth in schools. Hawa Kimbugwe delved into poetry as a platform for women’s voices in society, addressing the unique experiences and challenges they face. Mugay Gideon shed light on the transformative power of poetry in healing and empowering refugee communities. These themes sparked passionate conversations, with poets sharing personal anecdotes and insights.
The Poets Dinner brought together an impressive roster of talented poets, both male and female. Notable names such as Mickey the Poet, Mugay Gideon, and Hawa Kimbugwe captivated the audience with their evocative verses and powerful performances. The presence of emerging poets like Caroline Afroetry and Bwire Charity added a fresh perspective to the poetic discourse. The diverse voices represented a true reflection of Uganda’s rich poetic tapestry.
The 2023 Poets Dinner was a remarkable celebration of the power of words and the transformative potential of poetry. It served as a testament to the growing influence of poets in Uganda and their role in promoting civic engagement and social consciousness. By providing a platform for connection, reflection, and dialogue, the event strengthened the unity and shared purpose among poets. As the echoes of the poetic verses reverberated through the Millennium Terrace Hotel, the dinner left an indelible mark, inspiring the poets to continue using their words to shape and transform their communities.