‘Poetry in Session’ is a group of artists that hold poetry nights once a month in different restaurants around Kampala. I was lucky to be able to attend this month’s ‘Spoken Word Live’ event that was held at Yasigi Beer Garden. I have been to a few spoken word nights in college (shoutout to Shahrazad) and seen numerous Youtube videos of poetry competitions, but tonight blew me away. When we got to Yasigi at around 7pm, the supposed starting time of the performances, we found that we were still early and that there were not many people there. I’m told that most Ugandan events start an hour later than they say it will - it’s a cultural thing. We ordered dinner and some beers, which Yasigi is known for, being the first beer garden in Kampala. At around 7:30pm, more and more people started arriving and finally the spoken word night started.
It was a weird atmosphere for me in that I didn’t know how to relieve my hunger without seeming rude to the performers. The tables and chairs were positioned that I had my back the performers every time I ate. At first, I found myself eating quickly between performances, though eventually my stomach won and I just decided to eat and listen to their soothing voices. The night was a collaboration between the artists of Poetry in Session and guests from Nairobi. There were not only spoken poetry but also music performances with rapping, drumming, guitar-playing and singing. Checkmate Mido (one of the guests from Nairobi) blew me away with his spoken word, singing, beatboxing and drumming. I'd highly recommend. By the end of the night, after watching all of those performances, I was at the edge of my seat (literally, I kept sliding off of the bench).
As always, talk to you soon,