Mmegi Blogs :: Writers You Should Know: Jackee Budesta Batanda
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Monday 15 July 2019, 09:49 am.
Banners
Writers You Should Know: Jackee Budesta Batanda

The first story I read written by Ugandan writer, Jackee Budesta Batanda was Dora’s Turn, which was highly commended in the old Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Competition (CBA).
By Lauri Kubuitsile Fri 06 May 2016, 11:41 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Writers You Should Know: Jackee Budesta Batanda








It’s about two girls, friends, who are child soldiers.  I read it nearly 10 years ago and still I think of it often, such a powerful story written in under 600 words.

Jackee has gone on to win many writing awards since then. The most prominent, at least for her fiction, would be winning the 2003 Commonwealth Short Story Competition for African Region. She said winning that award was one of the most exciting things to happen to her as a writer. 

“I was still an undergrad at the time of winning. That was the affirmation I needed to keep on writing at a young age.

I believe all young writers need that kind of validation, if only to tell them, that they are doing fine and they need to keep on.”

Jackee is a journalist, author, speaker and senior managing partner with SuccessSpark Brand Limited, a communications and educational company specialising in media relations, content creation, digital communications and educational programmes. 

They are best known for their writing workshops and mentoring programmes.  Jackee has had her writing published around the world in publications such as The New York Times, Boston Globe, Latitude News, The Global Post, The Star - Africa Edition, The Mail & Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Independent, The Guardian, The Sunday Vision and The Sunday Monitor, as well as in numerous anthologies. 

She’s a recipient of the Ugandan 2010 Young Achievers Awards and was among 39 writers under 40 chosen as most likely to shape the future of literature on the continent. Her story is included in Africa39 an anthology with short fiction from those 39 writers.

In 2012 she was featured in The London Times alongside 19 women shaping the future of Africa. That same year she was a finalist in the 2012 Trust Women Journalism Awards hosted by Thomson Reuters Foundation and International Herald Tribune.

She holds an MA in Forced Migration Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, a BA in Communication Studies from Makerere University, and a Diploma in Education from Kyambogo University.

I asked her about her novel, A Lesson of Forgetting, that I’d heard she was working on.  She said, “It follows the life of a former spy chief in a dictatorial regime who is released after 25 years in

Banners

life imprisonment.

His return reawakens a country’s amnesia of the past and explores how nations and their people helplessly deal with the mechanisms set up to handle past atrocities and heal wrongs. It also sees how he tries to reconcile with his family.

It is still a work in progress and has been on the back burner as I focus on revising, Our Time of Sorrow, about an apocalyptic cult murder based on a true incident in Uganda March 2000, where members of a cult were burnt to death as they waited for the end of the world”.

Writers living, writing, and publishing in Africa face many challenges. I asked Jackee what she thinks the single biggest problem facing writers in Uganda and on the continent is.

“A vibrant publishing industry. Most of the companies are small and lack funds to adequately market the works and produce good quality works. Of course there are so few opportunities for new writers, and the established outlets, suffer from cronyism, where only a small circle of writers benefit,” she said.

For us in Southern Africa, you find that South Africa acts like a mecca to writers, as a place with more publishing opportunities. I asked Jackee what the climate was like in East Africa, if they had a mecca too. 

“In East Africa, Kenya would be the mecca, with more publishing opportunities for writers. However, there is a shift with more young writers opening up publishing houses. They are in their nascent stages so we are yet to see their impact,” she said.

And what about integration and cooperation between writers in East Africa?  “There are a numbers of festivals and initiatives coming up which offer an opportunity for writers to interact.

"Examples are The StoryMoja Festival, Writivism Festival, Kahini Writers Festival, Babishai Niwe Poetry Festival, FEMRITE writers’ annual residency and the African Writers’ Trust Conference.”

Jackee has accomplished so much, but I asked her in a perfect world where would she want to be as a writer and she said, “I would be published, preferably, by a group of African publishers, and have my books read all over the continent.   I would be running more writing workshops around the continent. The two things I am passionate about are writing and teaching about writing”.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Banners
Banners
Banners


Its all I write
Fri 06 May 2016, 11:41 am
Fri 22 Apr 2016, 11:17 am
Fri 08 Apr 2016, 15:41 pm
Fri 01 Apr 2016, 16:10 pm
Thu 24 Mar 2016, 12:46 pm
Fri 18 Mar 2016, 16:11 pm
Fri 11 Mar 2016, 13:39 pm
Fri 04 Mar 2016, 12:42 pm
Fri 26 Feb 2016, 17:35 pm
Fri 19 Feb 2016, 15:32 pm
Fri 12 Feb 2016, 12:41 pm
Fri 05 Feb 2016, 14:39 pm
Fri 29 Jan 2016, 15:36 pm
Fri 22 Jan 2016, 15:46 pm
Fri 15 Jan 2016, 14:45 pm
Fri 08 Jan 2016, 14:38 pm
Fri 11 Dec 2015, 15:02 pm
Fri 27 Nov 2015, 14:17 pm
Fri 20 Nov 2015, 15:25 pm
Fri 13 Nov 2015, 15:23 pm
Fri 30 Oct 2015, 15:12 pm
Fri 23 Oct 2015, 17:48 pm
Fri 16 Oct 2015, 14:43 pm
Fri 09 Oct 2015, 12:24 pm
Fri 02 Oct 2015, 11:34 am
Banners
Banners
Subscribe to our Newsletter
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Tuesday 16 Jul - Tuesday 16 Jul :::
  • Previous
    X-Men: Dark Phoenix
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Monday 17 Jun - Saturday 17 Jun :::
    X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • Previous
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Tuesday 16 Jul - Tuesday 16 Jul :::
Selefu
BDF UDC BDP
Banners

gramstalker

Banners