Toronto, Canada/Nairobi, Kenya, November 5, 2017
And O the lofty blowing of the horns
At various stations of the homeward journey
When the horn-bearers suddenly –
Blared their message to the mountain
Sounded their object to the plains
Announced their cause to the sunset
Declared their purpose to the sunrise –
Signifying that in the sundry homesteads
Of the candidates returning from afar,
An impending deed was to be done –
That would never be undone or done again!
This is the apex of Wangusa’s poetic career to date. As a category, the work is characterised by being phenomenally rooted in indigenous culture. And besides being strongly lyrical, it is dynamic, dramatic poetry. There are here multiple voices, various personas in life’s problematic arena. It is poetry not to be just recited but to be performed for maximum effect.
What Others Say
“Simultaneously translated by the poet from LuMasaaba into English, this is an original work of high and compelling quality. The main motif of the poetry is the male circumcision rite of passage practiced among BaMasaaba of Mount Elgon. Equally central to the poetry is the Mountain itself which shapes and determines the rhythm of daily life. At play is Wangusa’s proven ability to vividly paint pictures in words as well as his characteristic wit and humour.” – Elizabeth Kharono, Development Consultant.
“This is mastery of the craft of poetry at its best. It is poetry of maturity, wisdom, and beauty – a work of “the best words in their best order”. The reader should find each poem, as I did, to be utterly engaging.” – Abel Wankuma-Kibbedi, Uganda Christian University