Thursday, March 06, 2014

Interview with Ugandan poet Denis Gadfly Muwoung:

Interview with poet Denis Gadfly Muwoung:

Denis Gadfly Muwoung from Kampala, Uganda is an avid writer of poetry, short stories and essays. His poetry reflects a sensitive spirit aware and participating in his world. Denis, a practicing Christian, states his political view in line with Jesus commandment “Love Thy Neighbor.”  Denis’ writing strikes me as honest and pertinent to his relationships and views of the world. Much of his work is autobiographical.  His writing is a historically relevant record of his family, life and culture. That said, I’ve only read Denis’ writing on Facebook and hope he will publish a collection one day.

Glenda: Denis, if there is one thing I’ve noticed about your poetry; it’s that it brings out discussion. You express your thoughts, family and often culture and beliefs seemingly without worry of what others may think. What do you believe gets the most discussion from you poems?

Denis: It depends on the current affairs....if there is a rape case somewhere, a corruption scandal a cold in blood murder case etc, and you write about , people will greatly write current affairs dictate the discussions of the day.
I love writing about African culture to portray how it can cope with globalization, i love to show how we love, how we live and all that, but still current affairs always tend to over write all this.

Glenda: Uganda is bordered by countries that are often in upheaval and from what I understand are primarily Muslim. Does this prove as a problem for Christians in your area? How much do you feel the unrest may spill over into your beloved homeland?

Denis: Uganda has both Muslims and Christians. During the colonialism time when Christianity came in, we had wars...especially in Buganda....people learnt from those wars that its useful to fight religious wars...they can debate and argue and sometimes get rough but not serious for the neighboring countries, it’s just Sudan that has many Muslims, but they have been too busy fighting racial wars, to even notice that they have religions.

Glenda:  The following is one of your poems that I feel shows the depth of your understanding of the need for love and the need to fulfill love for others which follows your philosophy.

October 16, 2013 at 7:52am
He has an acrid body odor
that’s so pungent that it
makes a skunk’s friendlier;

The look on his face
would make a mirror break
if he ever looked into it;

When he tries to talk
he roars and makes all
hearts to skip bits;

And yet with all this
this here beauty-fool
eloped with that beast;

Sometimes things happen
for reasons that onlookers
can never ever as certain;
   Denis Gadfly Muwoung

There was a time, before television and internet when poetry and story-telling served as time honored forms of communication and speaking to the hearts of others. Do you feel poetry like the one above, if shared more often, would have a positive effect on people as a whole, or does it fall flat for too many who simply don’t care?

Denis:  Poetry can have a lot of impact. Everyone loves poetry but they just don’t know it. Music is poetry too, and many love it. People always talk their way into other people hearts, and they scold them cold when irked...all that is poetry...If written in a rich but simplest of form, I believe that everyone can not only enjoy it but also learn from it.




October 16, 2013 at 7:49am

Every civilization has had
Their set of touching stories
That talk of human beings
Ranging from villains to
Heroes that turned into gods;

Our ancestors of old that
Did many a thing that
Left an indelible mark                                                                     
In our lives are numerous
In this here earth we walk;

There was this prince that was
Expected to arrive on a white horse
With a risen sword to save
An abducted beautiful princess
But all in most painful of vain;

Valhalla was a place where
Heroes lived with gods
And they used the stars
To map out destinies of mortals
So that they can read them;

Apollo the god of the sun
Protected the Greeks
From the most formidable
Of foes that they ever had
For a gazillions of years;

Kibuuka the Ganda war god
Gipiri and Labongo the Luos
Are among the heathen
Men of oldthat need
No explanation to any one;

When our story is written
People of generations to come
will be very heart broken
and no kind of glue will ever
patch their hearts up;

 As I stated earlier much of your poetry seems philosophical, how we affect the world and how the world we live in touches our lives. Would you mind telling me and my readers how poems like the one above present a message that you would like to pass down to your children and grandchildren?

Denis: Our Really Ill Legacy, is a poem that shows that all the people that walk the world have their sets of beliefs....yet despite the differences, they all have stories which talk about good being rewarded, or good men becoming gods, or good winning over’s one that has to show that there has never been and there will never be room for evil in society, despite the differences in beliefs.

It strikes me how similar we are as people. We have crime and honor, love and hate, Christianity and Muslim, wars and peace, crime and justice much the same as our friends half way around the globe. It doesn’t matter how far Denis may live, He is still my neighbor. I share Denis Biblical philosophy of “Love thy neighbor.” I wait for the day when Denis decides to publish a collection of his poetry.