A master of his art, a writer, and a creative in all forms of mental creativity that refers to himself as just a guy who promotes African Literature in all spheres, and Co-founder of an organization that fronts African Literature, promotes the arts through criticism.
So who is Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire?
This is always a hard question to answer. I will just say that I am one of three co-founders of the Centre for African Cultural Excellence, a nonprofit that promotes the arts, especially African literature, through Writivism.
When did it occur to you that you are a writer?
I am hesitant to identify myself as a writer. A writer of academic and journalistic work, yes, a creative writer, no. Writers are human beings who have novels, plays, and collections of poetry published. I have none of those. I am only a promoter of African Literature who sometimes writes academic essays and journalistic reviews and interviews writers.
Where does your inspiration lie?
Problems that beg for solutions, which means all problems are inspiring. They give one a reason to work.
They say that if you want to hide something from and Africa hide it in a book. Do you think this is still the case?
It has never been the case. I want to look at a book as an image for a story. Stories are not all written. There are oral stories. There are written stories. And there are stories that are both written and oral. Africans, Ugandans, human beings have always consumed literature, stories in whatever form, written or oral.
Writivism what does it even mean? Tell us more about this initiative.
Writivism is about the promotion of African Literature produced and consumed on the continent. We hold workshops in various cities on the continent, connect emerging writers to established ones to be mentored, run an annual short story prize, publish annual anthologies, run a schools programme and an annual literary festival in Kampala.
There is a lot of information being written. How shall we make Ugandans read all this information with all the things competing for their attention?
We need to stop thinking of reading as the only way to consume information. Film is important. Music is as well. Oral literature is as important as written literature.
What is your message to Ugandan writers?
They should be pro-active. There are many opportunities, they should grab them. They should work hard too. Take writing as seriously as lawyering, doctoring, engineering and other professions and vocations are treated. Then it will pay. If taken as a part-time, side-kick, it won’t work. Imagine if being a lawyer, doctor, engineer etc. was considered as a side thing, it would not pay as much. Our work, us who promote writing and writers will be easier when we have excellent work being produced, to promote.