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Slim Emcee (UG) talks Poetry

Kabubi Herman, known in the Poetry Fraternity as Slim Emcee [UG], is a Ugandan poet who was born in Kampala, Uganda in 1990.

He started reciting poetry at the tender age of 12 and his first poetry piece was called “Val for Val”. He is currently working on a Historical project “Celebrating 50 years of Uganda” centered around past, present and future Uganda.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a poet and why?

Ten years ago in 2002. I was 12 years old. I felt that the art of poetry was lacking and it needed resurrection.

How long does it take you to write a poem?

It depends on the kind of topic am going to tackle. But as a poet I write all the time so I move with notebook and pen. If I was doing a poem about a topic like Fistula it would take two days.

Where do you get your ideas for your poems?

To be able to be a writer, you have to be inspired. I read a lot of literature on topics I want to write about. At times I tackle topics about the daily life of a basic human being and since I’m an African and a Ugandan I tackle topics that affect Uganda in most of my poems.

How many poems have you written? Which is your favourite?

I’m not sure about the number of poems I have written because they are many but my favourite poem is always my latest piece and that is “Hope you tell your Neighbor” a piece I wrote to raise awareness about Obstetric Fistula.

Do you have any suggestions to help one become a better writer / poet?

You have to be very creative and very conscious of what runs in your community and in your country and be very inspired.

What kinds of things do you hear from your audience about your work?

They say I redefine the art of poetry in Uganda in a way that even somebody who is not willing to listen to poetry is forced to or is touched, or is moved by what I recite

What do you think makes a good poem?

The subject content: Is it inspirational? Does it touch someone? How does it make the listener feel? Are they moved? Do they feel inspired to move others or do something about their community through your poetry? This is what makes a good poem.

As a poet what differentiates you from all the other poets?

Rhythmic madness is what I bring to poetry in Uganda.

Lastly, what are some of the avenues where one can see and hear you recite?

Poetry in Session at Isha’s Gallery in Kamwokya once every month. That is every last Tuesday of the month but the dates are changed sometimes. Authors Forum every first Wednesday of the month at The National Theatre.

Slim Emcee can be contacted on +256 (0) 789 835593. His Facebook page is Slim Emcee [ug] the poet.

The Uganda National Theatre can be found here.

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