Poetry is one art form that has always been in a middle of debate; apparently, some people consuming the art believe the form should not be performed but rather read as it was traditionally.
They believe that performing poetry is killing parts of the art.
Last Tuesday, Peter Kagayi staged his The Audience Must Say Amen, a poetry production where he recited more than ten poems from his debut anthology, The Headline That Morning.
The anthology that came with an audio CD of fifteen poems was a perfect climax to all the hullabaloo of poems being better off read than performed, and Kagayi does it really well, he notes that he writes poems not for stage but those that will be heard as they are read.
Which could partly explain why his The Audience Must Say Amen easily adopted his book to the dot; in the production, the poet takes us through different chapters of his seventy seven page book traversing topics about childhood, poetry and mostly politics.
It was a break from the norm that has had poetry breathing and smelling erotica; this time, there were no soothing words but rather reflection and of course very dark undertone messages.
Since each chapter in Kagayi’s The Audience Must Say Amen comes with a different feel and of course message, to drive his political message he had to mostly exploit one, The Headline That Morning which is also the title of the book.
The production predicted that Uganda would be hitting even harder political rocks with such stories like In 2065 and 2031 in History Channel.
In 2065 seems to predict that besides people growing, a lot of Uganda’s politics may remain the same, the attitude of the people will be the same and the government may still be as corrupt.
The poem got people chanting especially when he recited a verse; “The president will be the president we have today, And in a wheel chair he will give the Nation Address/Only his son, then a Field Marshall, will read it on his behalf…”
He says he wrote the poem two years back but has been surprised how pieces of the poem have come to manifest themselves in the society.
The Headline That Morning is the first publication by Sooo Many Stories, a publication company that’s looking at giving different Ugandan authors a chance.