A young man walks onto the stage and boldly proclaims that he is a rapist. At the audience’s shocked gasp, he reiterates, “Yes, I am a rapist!”
And then he proceeds to blame everyone else but him, as rapists are wont to do. The way she dressed, his own upbringing and society at large. He even blames biology. And then he walks off the stage and the audience is left in shock. Such was the caliber of the poetry in this show.
Tears of a Baby Maker was a poetry show I attended a couple of weeks ago that was organised by Yamba, a group of young people who, as their name suggests, want to help. The show was a fundraising effort for the pregnant teenage mothers in Masaka, a district in Uganda.
The show featured various poets and had a consistent story line throughout. Love and all it’s problems. From the feelings of infatuation. One with a priest, another with her first love. There was poetry about cheesy love and puppy love. Frustration about high school girls and how that love goes. And then it got darker, touching on the pain of being a woman and the heartbreak found in life.
The show featured on a myriad of topics that affect women today. From infatuation, to love, to sex, to abortion and domestic violence. The two hours I spent were not wasted at all. And the money I paid was way too little.
One of the most powerful performances of the day was the poem that showed the path of two different girls who grew up together. One wealthy, the other poor. One goes off to school and the other is married off. That pain, that struggle, and the guilt the wealthy one has for leaving her friend behind is well conveyed by Loretta and Hindu. It was an emotional poem that has stuck with me two weeks after watching the show. These young poets are going places.
Interspersed within the poetry performances were musical performances by up and coming artists. Sort of like interludes from all the emotion on the stage.
The show was produced by Loretta Kansiime and as she gave the closing speech she asked, “what if we all did too much?”
And indeed, what if we all did too much, wouldn’t the world be a much better place? What if we all woke up and asked the question, what can I do today to make someone’s day better?
The show’s proceeds benefitted the mothers who became mothers way before their time. And if you want to help these mothers, get in touch with Loretta. Let’s all do too much.