Chole Richard

Unveiling “A Child is a Seedling”

This Poetry Anthology is outcome of experiential learning of my students at PMM Girls’ School in Jinja,
Uganda, before I left classroom work for other pursuits in 2019. Taking my literature lessons beyond the
usual combing of books for passing impeding tests and examinations provided grounds for my students
to explore and realize their potentials in literary creativity. Before long, the students were churning
loads of poems which I realized needed serious audience and readership. I was very impressed and
amazed at their creativity and dexterity in language, relative to their age and literary experience. Many
of the poems had the feel of authenticity and youthful freshness untainted by the schooling along which
we often align and critique poetry. As Kaigo Betty, the editor would later put it:
“Their poetry is raw … not tempered with the staleness that can mute emotions in the name of learnt

I was now crazy enough to embark on a self-publication of an anthology of the poems. It became my
major part-time preoccupation throughout the COVID-19 Lockdown. Twenty-one of the poems were
selected for graphic interpretation using oil paint, thanks to one artist, Muleke Alex, a student in
Kyambogo University, Kampala. Him, together with Kaigo Betty collaborated remotely with me
throughout the pandemic.

And now, I am delighted to share with everyone else the prime experiences and imagination of sixteen
budding poets and one fine artist in the published A CHILD IS A SEEDLING.

A unique aspect of this anthology is that the poets live(d) in Uganda but are of diverse nationalities:
Indians, Pakistani, Somali, Kenyans and of course Ugandans. Most of the poets are now grown young
adults finding their place in public sphere and thankfully, several of them have taken on the craft of
writing more ambitiously, making their own footprints.

Many girls and women will relate very well with what the poems convey. Hopefully, many young readers
will be challenged enough to leap out of their comfort zones and self-doubts to start shading their
imaginations with words. Teachers of literature will love them for their freshness. For the rest of us,
they provide inroad to appreciate young people and a book off the shelf to further enrich our lives.
If you are in Uganda, for only 25,000 Uganda Shillings (About 7USD), a copy can be yours. A small charge
for transportation may apply for far flung places. We’re still placing means to reach interested parties
beyond Uganda.



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