This [September 6-8, 2013] weekend holds a lot of promise for the culture vulture with two not-to-be-missed treats at the National Theatre. Alumni of Namasagali College come together to relive their high school heyday when the “Sagali Production” was all the rage providing more than just an escape from upcountry Kamuli for a much needed weekend in Kampala. Back then, the annual trek also provided upper-palate Kampalans a chance to watch hybrid performing arts that fused fairy-tale drama with creative dance. It was head teacher Father Damian Grimes’ holistic education approach to making his students stand out from the rote-learning crowd a la elocution and poise skills that would stand them in good stead later on in life. That Golden Age lasted a quarter-a-century from 1978 to 2004 when the curtain fell on the last “proda” as they were famously known amongst Sagali contemporaries. The [Nile] riverside railway-port-turned-school maybe a shadow of its former classy red-frock-mini self. But in putting on Any Cow Will Do this Friday (one show only at 7pm), the alumni are living up to the “Striving Regardless” school motto while lavishing Father Grimes with charity that will fundraise for the aging padre’s educational interests.
The following day [Saturday 3pm & 7pm], the nubile damsels of Gayaza High School wax lyrical with a poetry recital that will mark their foray into the spoken word genre that is spurring a renewed interest in the literary arts. The Journey Begins will set you back by UGX10K if you are 18+ and for that pocket friendly fee, it should be a fun and intellectually stimulating experience from the elite school that gave us among others Uganda’s only two-time First Lady Mama Miria Kalule Obote. This generation is not that lost hedonistic MTV-watching bunch after all. Glad that they are doing poetry beyond a means to scoring high examination marks. Of course the loudest applause goes to the Lantern Meet of Poets that continues to sow these literary seeds, first in Nabisunsa and now in Gayaza. There had better be an anthology for collectors to carry away.
Text: MOSES SERUGO (email@example.com)