BOOK REVIEW : writivism’s “ODOKONYERO”

Hey beautiful people.
I hope this finds us dancing to the tune of happiness. Our review has been long coming,blame the jam on these Kampala roads.
But hey… here we are and so let’s get right into it.

Book Review : ODOKONYERO

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Title: Odokonyero Anthology
Author:Budding Ugandan Writers

I think I finally have a favorite team, No, I am not talking about World Cup. It’s the seventeen talented Ugandan writers that come together to give birth to writivism’s 2018 anthology “Odokonyero.”
The title is unique, it’s one that screams “witness me” and you find yourself helplessly obeying.
The word “Odokonyero ” has It’s roots from Acoli (see why I am excited) and means “it has become laughter.”
This anthology is a child born with a silver spoon between her jaws and so she doesn’t cry, but maybe she makes you cry. Maybe the fluidity of language she breathes catches your eye or just maybe you are awestruck by her style and the many things she forces you to question.
Reading through the book for me was like traveling a dark tunnel, you never know who you will meet or what you’ll stumble upon. Only you will find yourself joining many conversations. You will find issues from love, marriage, culture, privilege, post war trauma among others raised.
The anthology encompasses many social issues and seeks to debunk stereotypes and tell stories you have probably never heard.

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The authors of the anthology

George Ogen sets the engines a blaze as we are ushered into this bumpy ride.
His story My Name is Ojwiny plays out in post colonial Uganda and paints a shade of white privilege and supremacy complex. He leaves you wondering about so many other things, like what makes one Ugandan.

Are you unfamiliar with the good the bad the ugly that surround inheritance in Uganda?  Twasiima Patricia Bigirwa tells you about Muhanguzi’s Daughters and
Aber Racheal Aboda expounds on The Beautyful Tradition.
The two stories merge at the culture of inheritance in Uganda and then go their on way after that.
One questions the idea of women not inheriting property as the other places the law and the culture on inheritance of  property on a weighing scale.

Charlotte Akello’s  story Odokonyero is very close to the mind. Bred at the end of the war in Northern Uganda It is a collage of the Trauma of war, violence and returning home.

Have you ever been Lost? Brian Oduti knows a thing or two about this and shares in his story. His tale dramatizes the July twin bombings of 2010 and it’s effects on a Somali immigrant with crazy dreams.

I didn’t want to tell you about the writing prowess of the individual writers in this anthology but If I Hadn’t Said It how would you know?
Auma Dilish Priscilia tells you about following crazy dreams and speaking up.

Which Season is This? Kakinda Maria Birungi is asking and marriage is answering. Hers is a story of forbidden loves and marriage woes. I love that she brings up the idea of same clan marriages and so much more. I am struggling not to spoil this for you dear reader.

I must admit that I really enjoyed reading The Woman with Warm Chest by
Okello Isaac Apen. It reminded me of some of the tales my grandmother loves to go on about. You’ve probably heard about the woman whose chest kills but have you heard about how she thrives in spite of everything?

It’s Confession time and Father Epidu has something to confess. This is not my story to tell, Marjorie Nassolo has all the juice.

A trek to Atube by Abalo Irene Otto
is the Revolution of daughters. She beautifully pens womens’ struggle to keep their land which involves a whole new form of protest.

Do you know what is worse than dating a grieving man? It is getting intertwined in a labyrinth of secrets. Shelah Owino introduces us to a man that has a secret, only this time it’s a person, in her story He Blames Me.

My love for God or his love for me is a public secret so naturally this story caught my eye. Do Not Dare God by
Gladys Oroma is a story of many twists. It reminded me of a Nollywood movie I found myself watching. She is calm and collected as she lays bare the fate of a woman married into a matriarchal family. And did I mention that Lagulu, her mother in-law, is such a boss (you need to read the book to copy)

Let Me Write to Dad by Jacob Katumusiime is another personal favorite. Jacob raises quite a number of issues in his story. He presents to the reader the struggles of a man raised by a single mother in understanding manhood. To a lesser extent he explores the issue of bride price and class disparity as a barricade for marriage.

I probably forgot to mention that this anthology review is a sumptuous meal that I’d advice you have with a sip of patience and love.
Speaking of love, Do you know how to fall out of love?
Esther Mirembe has a thing or two to share in her story Tendo but this is probably for students and their lecturers. Esther takes us through the whole process from when love holds you to the gallows to how you walk out.

Candano by Mugisha Fred Sunday addresses the issues of land wrangles and how far people are willing to go to protect what they believe is theirs.

We are all on a journey of Finding Freedom but what is freedom?
Edna Ninsiima gives us a glimpse into the world of a go -getter “Nyangoma.” Not even Nyangoma is prepared for the drastic turn of events in this short story.

Is the Power Back On? I see you nodding. The issue of load shedding and the expense of hydro electricity is not News in Uganda. We are all too familiar with how businesses go on a standstill without electricity. But Semakula Emmanuel wants to give you tips on how to deal with your landlord.

Godiva Akullo’s story will give you breathing complications. This is probably a plan to let you rest in pieces in the book forever.

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All in all the diversity in this anthology is unmatched. You will find yourself landing face first on many stories because you cannot be prepared for this kind of unbridled originality.
The stories give you a chance to meet the characters and the writers all at the same time.
Some of the ideas presented in the anthology are provocative, you almost find yourself holding endless conversations in your head.
That said it is a beautiful book that a reader is guaranteed to enjoy.
MUST READ.

You can get yourself a copy of Odokonyero from Amazon , the book point and aristoc book stores and Turn the Page Africa which delivers allover over Africa.

I hope you enjoyed this review.. Do leave me a thought. Also what books are you reading? I am piling a list for my July read in.

Other wise I hope we are all well
*The images in this post were sourced from Writivism*
Bellows of love
©Tales of a curious mind

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