Writivism: Partying is not a stage

Writivism

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?

Anyone?

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!

Virus

#UgBloggers7days

Another Ebola headline. Boring. Why was she watching CNN anyway? A quick flick of the remote and she was on the next channel. BBC. Which had yet another Ebola headline. She rolled her eyes in deliberate slow motion and turned to the local television stations, resigned to the fact that she wasn’t going to watch international news channels without Ebola being shoved in her face. Couldn’t a girl watch a little news to keep up with the world and go back to the Food Network in peace, without being forced to think about crazy virus infections? Eh? She was even starting to believe that these big news networks exaggerated the extent of the infections to keep people glued to them. But she was above that sort of emotional manipulation.

On second thought, perhaps it was better to watch something else altogether. She threw herself into the couch in a lying position, one leg up on the arm rest and the other down, grazing the velvety maroon carpet. She stretched one arm to her laptop to log out of Twitter and turn the computer off before it began its normal routine of freezing like it too had a case of Computer Ebola. Just as she began to click, though, something caught her eye. A tweet mentioning that Marburg was apparently back in the country. She sat up and in the process almost slid and fell from the shiny leather of the sofa. The news was all over. How is it that it had come back right when Ebola was in full gear across Africa? Did these viruses sit down in a secret meeting and plan to all come at once? Somehow, though, this one made her scared. It was close to home and it spoke to her subconscious in a way she couldn’t quite explain.  All thoughts of watching TV vanished, not with the speed with which her fingers were flying across the keyboard. She hit Enter and Google brought it all forth. Cases. Warnings. Uncertainty. Virus beginning to spread. But the words “Mengo Hospital” stood out like a sore thumb.

In the next two minutes she flew off the couch and halfway around the house to look for her phone while at the same time trying to remember where she had left it. When she found it on top of the microwave, she speed-dialed her father as smoothly as her fidgeting hands would let her.

“Dad! Where are you? Where did you say you were going today after work?”

“Why?”

“Just tell me,”

“I told you I’ll be visiting your uncle in Mengo. You should even be coming with me but you children don’t care about you family members and-”

“Dad, are you already there? Are you inside the hospital?”

“I’m actually getting out now. I’m almost at the gate. They’re acting all funny here and chasing out all the visitors……”

“Marburg,”

“What?”

“Marburg, Daddy,”

“Let me get out as fast as I can,” Continue reading