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Ann Linda Namuddu: On her poetic metaphors of love

Ann Linda Namuddu Mubeezi is a promising poet with an artistic streak who loves to write about love. In a space of two years, between 2012 and 2014, the 28-year old says she wrote 65 poems all of which were monothematic about love. Recently, she says, she has decided to switch theme to feminism, women’s rights and empowerment.

Kampala, Uganda | AGNES E NANTABA | “I want to work in women’s spaces and be part of formulating solutions for social problems affecting women through poetry,” she says.

Namuddu prides her mother, Robinah Namugenyi Ntaate, for nurturing her poetic instinct. She introduced reading to her when she was just two years old. When the youngster showed love for reading, her mother took advantage of her curiosity, nurtured her imaginativeness, and taught her to tell stories, and homeschooled her for three years. Namuddu says her mother was good at all that. Soon she started writing short stories and eventually poetry.

When she joined St Theresa Boarding Primary school, Namuddu’s unique use of words and expressions was admired by her teachers.

“I used to speak in metaphors and similes and some would call me funny,” says Namuddu, “It was a poetic way of speaking that now goes onto paper.”

In high school, she encountered poetry in the English literature classes. She was introduced to the structure of poetry and consumed even more poetry from books in the library.

At Makerere University, she studied Social Work and Social Administration. But she retained her poetry as a way of socialising. She joined a group of young thinkers at the Lantern Meet of Poets. They would meet to share ideas on poetry written on pieces of paper and use an anonymous system to critique each other.

Namuddu still goes to the Lantern Meet of Poets, writes, performs, and recites her poetry. She is critiqued, occasionally gets a standing ovation and bare knuckled criticism. She thrives on the ironies. She says her poems are reflections in which metaphor marries precision, morals bubble in amorous anger, simmer with charm and playfulness, or ooze a sensual sweetness; all of which are challenges in love.

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