My Writing heals the body of words unsaid. — Charlotte Akello
For Today's FROM THE OTHER SIDE with Philip Peace, I bring to you am Author, A Poet and a Writer in person of Charlotte Akello, an Ugandan Poet.
Can we meet you, Ma’am?
Guest: Thanks for this opportunity. I’m Charlotte Akello. A graduate of Makerere University. A literature enthusiast.
Tell us what you do.
Guest: Currently, I’m concentrating on writing only. I had to quit the job I had taken up mostly because it was taking much of my time and leaving me with a deficit. So I just wake up to write.
What genre of literature do you write?
Guest: Poetry. But I’m working on some short stories of late after a workshop with a writer’s organization called writivism.
Have you authored a book?
Guest: Nope. I’m sorry if you are disappointed. Yeah, I have a chapbook in a pdf form. But that’s not publishing. I was just trying to see how my works will be accepted by people and I’m glad the comments are positive.
Oh, alright. What is the title?
Guest: The chapbook is called LOST GIRLS.
Wait oh (☺), are you an Art student by department?
Wow! Science student writing…that’s great. Can you tell us what has driven your passion into writing?
Guest: It’s not rare to find a Science student writing. To me it’s actually the norm. I’ve always written, I can’t point out a single factor that made me wake up one day to the fact that ‘I am a writer.’ Maybe to answer that, I’m a shy person and it’s easier to express myself by writing.
Can you tell us what you’ve achieved quite far?
Guest: I was invited for a workshop on creative writing by Writivism after I sent them my first short story. My haiku also miraculously made it to the Babishai haiku contest shortlist 2017. I have 2 poems published in an anthology by FEMRITE titled ‘Wandering and Wondering of Hearts.’
What do you generally see as poetry?
Guest: Verse and imagery. Imagery influences a lot of what one can call a poem.
What are the things you think or love to see in poetry?
Guest: Imagery and depth. Maybe because I love challenges.
Do you have a mentor or Role Model?
Guest: Role models maybe
Guest: I like Nick Makoha and Warsan Shire for their deep poetry.
I learnt you are a good critic, what do you often have in mind what you are criticizing an art work?
Guest: I get hurt seeing badly written poetry. That’s why I’m always eager to correct where possible. I love progress.
What do you have to say about Poetry and Language?
Guest: Well, poetry needs to manipulate simple language in a unique way. No need to use very big words.
About your book, “Lost Girls”, what was the inspiration or heartache that led you to writing the book?
Guest: It is the struggle for identity that sees things in a different way than I see it. I don’t blame them. But society limits us a lot in all ways. From career to personal choices like marriage.
What and who do you categorize as Lost Girls?
Guest: Girls who have dreams to follow but have to bend to the norms of society.
Great! While writing, what kinds of figures of speech do you love to use?
Guest: I love metaphors more than anything.
Permit me to intrude your privacy. What is your family like?
Guest: I am the last born in the family of three boys and two girls.
Are they also in support of your Art Works?
Guest: No one really supports art at first. But they will adjust with time. For that, I’m sure because I’m working on it.
Writing has become a great feat these days, what do you see of Writers and Writing in the next decade?
Guest: If we don’t keep up the mediocrity, there will be more people to support us. Not necessarily writers.
What do you see of yourself in the next decade?
Guest: A published writer. Renown.
Why do you even write, Ma’am?
Guest: I write because it is my easiest means of getting what is inside me known.
For this purpose of this interview, can you tell us what you think about the Figure, Akinwale Peace Akindayo fondly called Philip Peace?
Guest: He’s an enthusiastic and dedicated poet.
Chuckles, if your works could be food, what would it be?
Guest: I don’t know if fresh juice counts as food. It saves any day. Anyone can take it. According to me, it’s therapeutic.
Do you have a word for depressed people or despondent beings?
Guest: Many people don’t understand you but it doesn’t mean that you give up.
What is the last thing you can give the world?
Guest: I don’t know. I there’s nothing.
What do you think your writing can do?
Guest: It heals the body of words unsaid.
Thank you for your time, My Lady. I’m humbled and honoured for your response in advance, thank you for allowing us to have you in the FROM THE OTHER SIDE interview today.
C'mon, don't go. If you need the book, LOST GIRLS by the Author, comment and send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll see to it.