Five Stories from Uganda

Writivism Shortlist

All the shortlisted writers have clips on Youtube

Participants at the Writivism Mentorship Programme in Uganda.
Participants at the Writivism Mentorship Programme in Uganda.

We are featuring all five of the Writivism Shorlisted stories. Read, enjoy; then visit the Writivism website to vote for your favorite story. We find this initiative to be important in discovering more African writing talent. While the main focus of this initiative was Uganda, it has partnered with Story Day Africa, which ran another contest. There is an increase in initiatives like this on the African continent, projects whose focus is to nurture talent both on the continent and in the Diaspora, to create a balance.

The panel of three judges, Zukiswa Wanner (Chair), Ayodelle Morroco-Clarke and Ernest Bazanye announced a shortlist of five stories on Friday 2nd August 2013. From these five stories, the public shall vote the story that engages them most on the themes of Diversity, Equality and Identity. All the fourteen longlisted writers will also vote for their favorite and the judges will also announce their favorite during the Writivism Festival (15-19, August, 2013).

Here are the profiles of the featured writers. Follow the link to each story’s page and enjoy!


The Shortlisted Writers

bisiikwa3Emmeline Bisiikwa Aged 22, Emmeline Bisiikwa has a voracious interest in literature and the arts in general which her selected short story, The Shadow depicts.




I dug my fingers into the sides of the tiger print love seat, trying to ease my breathing. Betrayal was a bitter syrup especially when served by the one you loved. When he returned with his car keys and headed for the door, I impulsively ran to the door and blocked his exit. ‘You expect me to take this lying down? We built a life together. You can’t throw it away for some other bitch!’ Read the full Story…



kazibwe2Kathryn Kazibwe is a twenty-something year old final year student of Computer Science at Makerere University, a columnist with The Reader’s Cafe Africa blog, an ardent Facebooker and recovering Twitter addict. Kathryn is passionate about everything to do with books, and is eager to spread this passion to everyone, especially school-going children. She views CACE’s Writivism opportunity as a golden way to do that. Writing is a gift she inherited from her mother, who remains the chief-encourager for all of Kathryn’s work. When she is not solving world problems, you will find Kathryn sleeping, cooking or eating.

Mixed feelings whirl around within me as I step into my sister’s living room. I am swamped by nostalgia so potent I can almost hear the laughter.

My sister is nestled in the red leather loveseat to my right, humming to a fat baby in her arms. The receding rays of the sun from the French window behind her form a soft halo round her. It is a scene of perfection, mother looking down at her spitting image, just like me and my Zawadi. I clutch the lapels of my jacket tightly to my chest. I feel my heart beating frantically and I take a few deep breaths. It will not do to cry before I even say a word. Read the full story…

kisakye2Paul Kisakye:  A professional chef, Kisakye writes, reads and cooks. His submission for the contest was Emotional Roller Coaster . He hopes to become a professional writer one day.



A string of obscenities escaped my lips. This was not the first time Sanyu had told me about Jimmy’s unfaithfulness but I had not imagined that Jimmy could stoop so low as to raise his hand and hit a girl. I had advised her over and over again to leave him. That guy is lucky that I have not met him yet, I thought. Otherwise his neck would have had a dislocated bone by now. 

Read the full story..


PaeloPaelo Anthea Writer of the story Picture Frames, Paelo Anthea is pursuing a Masters in Development Economics, student in South Africa and a Mandela-Rhodes Scholar.





The picture frame stood empty on the bedside. Rose had been staring at it for the last half hour, tears running down her face. She held a picture of her husband. He was a big man: tall, fat and strong. The thick glasses he wore barely concealed his bushy eyebrows. The lady seated next to him carried a child. She was much smaller than the man beside her. Her features were delicate and she wore her hair combed out in an afro. The cameraman had caught the slight smile on her face as she gazed at the baby.

Read the full story…

nassanga2Rashidah Sarah Nassanga   Nassanga is a 21 year old student of Land Economics at Makerere University, with a passion for writing and reading, participating in the writivism project to nurture her literary ambition. Her short story, The Sidewalk, is one of the outstanding pieces selected by the judges in the competition.


It had begun that morning when albino Kima got up from what had been her bed for a year. The sun was already peeping out from behind the clouds over the top of a two-storied building. That was her cue; she was late.

“Timmy! We need to go!”

She gently shook awake her little brother while she cleared the effects of the night off her own face. She then folded their packing crate cardboard bed and stashed it more unobtrusively under the wooden steps leading to a phone shop under which they had slept for two weeks now. Timmy was up already. Kima smoothed down her tattered dress and said “let’s go.’’ In just two steps, with Timmy clinging onto her arm, they were on the sidewalk, joining the brisk early morning pedestrians. Read the full story…

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