Could someone just rewind this week back to Monday so that the Writivism 2016 festival would be just beginning again? Or better still, could someone just fast forward to next year so it’d be Writivism festival again?
Because I’m not done. I don’t feel done. I am unable to deal with the fact that it has come to an end. But like all good things….
I could say I’ve learnt a lot at this festival but I’d be lying, because a lot is too little. From Monday all the way to Sunday it did not relent. The book launches – I never thought this possible – were so much fun; the readings had me going broke, scrambling for copies of these wonderful books (especially a certain amazing author whose name is Chuma Nwokolo, he just finished all my money. You people must buy How to Spell Naija in 100 stories and enjoy with me, I don’t want to be selfish with my joy). I met and got into interesting conversations with so many people, from readers to aspiring writers to writers to bloggers to authors to publishers to Greek gods and goddesses. This thing brings together so many beautiful minds and souls.
Also, this year, our Francophone brothers and sisters have been fully included in everything, from submissions to judging and the events themselves, which has made Writivism more wholesomely African by reaching out to more African nations. This particularly gives me so much joy as a lover and speaker of the French language.
The biggest lesson Writivism 2016 has taught me, however, is not one you’d quite expect: that partying is not a stage. You read that right. You might wonder how on earth partying came in, but yeah it did. Let me explain.
Have you ever had that friend (or are you yourself the kind of person) who doesn’t really go out clubbing, partying or drinking and generally doesn’t do any interesting stuff by Ugandan standards? People always say such a person is missing a stage and will one day wake up in their forties or fifties and crave the party life they didn’t live in their youth and begin hitting the clubs mixing with people half their age to kind of pay back a debt to the gods of youth. Well, I disagree. Partying is not a stage. What the stage is is that time of your youth when you enjoy your passions and explore your interests. Being at the Writivism festival this week has had me feeling some type of way, the way I imagine many of my agemates might feel after a good party or after great night out on the town. I am actually in a state of hangover; I didn’t think I would make it to the office today. I get my high off things like these. I feel like I need a few days of to digest all the Writivism bubbling around inside my brain.
And to crown it all: Acan Innocent Immaculate, who is a friend of mine (yes I must show off), won the fourth Writivism short story prize. Glory! Talk about friends who inspire! Talk about a great end to a great week!