I am Kaigo Betty. I have been working at Luigi Giussani High School as a teacher of English language, Literature in English, and General Paper (GP) for six years. I am currently the assistant Director of Studies (D.O.S).
From the time I was in Form 2, I had a dream of becoming an author. I started writing short novels which were really mimics of books I had read. My turning point came when I was in Form 5. My former primary school teacher of English directed me to Uganda Women Writers’ Association (FEMRITE) because she believed I had it in me to become a writer. This is how I joined the literary community in Uganda. Over the years, through FEMRITE, I have met many people who have mentored and inspired me so much that I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Education with Arts (in Literature and English). I graduated in 2013 from Kyambogo University. I was compelled to become a teacher so I could inspire young people who wanted to have careers related to the Arts and Humanities. In line with this, I am doing action research on how we can direct the effective teaching of creative writing at our school as part of my post-graduate certificate in Education Leadership and Management which I am pursuing at Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education (in partnership with Strathmore University, Nairobi).
Working with young people is rejuvenating. Therefore, when Chole Richard asked me to work as an editor with him on an anthology of poetry by the alumnae of PMM Girls’ School, I was delighted. I had previous experience of editing poetry. I worked with Ivan Mathias Mulumba on his two poetry collections – Rumblings of a Tree, and Poetry in Motion (Revised Edition). As I read and edited the over fifty poems of these young women from PMM Girls’ School, I realized they have a story to tell. Their poetry is raw. This is good because it is not tempered with the staleness that can mute emotions in the name of learnt ‘craft’. Some of the images they use are very powerful and fresh from their own environment, both physical and social. Some of the poets, though emerging, have surpassed my expectations; they are very promising! I encourage them to keep writing irrespective of the careers they choose. This is possible if they get into creative spaces. Though writing in Uganda doesn’t necessarily put bread on the table, it is a channel through which to stay alive – to meet great people and release emotions. It is a vocation through which you share life, experiences, and even personal imaginations with the rest of the world.
As I continue my writing journey, I am currently working on two collections: one of poetry and another of short stories.