Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Comments Section Is Open!

I care about Ugandan writing, and especially good Ugandan writing. I'm relentless and even ruthless when it comes to defending it. I cannot stand pretenders, fakes, and postulating experts about a topic and part of life that is dear to me. Usually, I'm mild mannered, excessively polite and generally you would never think a swear word can escape my lips. It can, when you start to claim with no basis or little leg to stand on, certain things about Ugandan writing.

Scarlett Lion has been poking in such an area without her facts or much leg to stand on.

I have made some harsh and hard comments on Scarlett Lion's blog about her article "Ugandan Women Writers Shine, But Where Are The Men." About 15 comments back and forth later, we reach at...

"You may call it "negativity" others might look at it as "constructive criticism." The fact of the matter is that you wrote an article that purported to be a report on the current state of Ugandan writing and you had hardly prepared yourself for it. You did not read enough about and you certainly did not do enough research about it to make the bold claims you make in your article among which is that it is only Ugandan women who are leading the writing community here and that they have only begun to tell their stories when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

I find it sad that as a practicing journalist you can plead, "Look, if I don't know every last piece of Ugandan literary history, I'm sorry." Pleading ignorance as an excuse when your writing is going to form the perceptions of so many million minds is simply not acceptable. It is your duty and responsibility as a journalist who seems to take herself seriously to know as much as is there or available as she can before beginning to write. Your writing in that paper, whether you are aware of it or not, forms opinions and eventually stereotypes about what is going on in our Ugandan writing life.

The argument that, "I reported the story. I have my notes. You can see them. Everyone said absolutely everything that was in the story." Is another poor argument. Yes, you have the notes. But what about double-checking the facts? What about seeking the opinions of people who might not agree with your argument? Clearly Mr. Ejiet, you cannot argue, was not on your side of the argument. You did not report the story. You made the story confirm to your already made-up opinion. Or perhaps doesn't Ugandan journalism merit such high standards from you of reporting from both sides as you claim you were doing?

Hi, Dave? Sorry to take apart your girlfriend this way, but SHE IS VERY WRONG. 'Lion, the fact that Dave is your boyfriend of course already automatically disqualifies him to give you an impartial opinion as he already hinted when he was trying to defend you. I also wonder what kind of response you were expecting from Miss Nyeko apart from the one she gave you, considering that the article painted her in overwhelmingly positive light. This remains: YOUR ARTICLE WAS WOEFULLY RESEARCHED. It's not personal, it's about the work.


Savage said...

Ayi mama nze eki Firsties.

Now sing along ekimbewo style.

Eki Firsties kyange mama eki Firsties.x4

Steve nabuzza, ne Sarah nabuzza
Nti gundi obadde otya nga toteredde wotudde?
Nze nabaddamu nti njagala nyo Eki Firsties.

Savage said...

Clearly Scarlett lion's article aroused the beast in Iwaya.

Of all things I purpote to know, I can't saw I know jack about Ugandan writing; male, female or shemale.

All I have to say is that I am so loving this debate. It ought to continue.

The 27th Comrade said...

@Sav: For one ... I think the beast should go back and hide, since the message done come across. I hesitate to comment, though, because I would write a report with the same highs and lows as Scarlett's ... especially if it is `Africans Winning Olympic Medals; But Where are the Americans?' Or something of equal rhetoric. :o)

And I hope Lion don't come post here, because it is as unnecessary as it is a fan-flame. :o) We get the point already. From both sides.

cb said...

am loving this, more so because am passionate about writing, in addition to being a dedicated follower and 'piler' of every little information i can on ugandan writers.
let's face it, iwaya read the article well and has convincingly undressed the scarlet lion. let her defend herself for the beauty of good debate instead of trying to blindfold us into believing iwaya is making a personal attack on her.
having said that, the inaccuracies iwaya raises in her article have me wondering whether her piece would have survived gate keepers in the more professional newspapers in her country.
positively though, i thank the scarlet lion for awakening debate on uganda's literally scene...u just don't know how much i've learnt from all the exchange on your blog since that article was first published.

Samantha said...

Some the best male Ugandan writers are right here in the comments above. No doubt about that.

Samantha said...


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