In Conversation with: Nsubuga Mohammed

Nsubuga - Ugandan poet

Nsubuga Mohammed is my name, commonly known as Meddie and I’m a 22-year-old Ugandan. I’m a Luganda writer and performance poet with Kitara nation, and my stage name is NZE. I’m a marketing executive with FRAD design studio, and I also own a crafts business under the name, NzeCrafts.

Where did your passion for writing come from?

I began writing as early as primary, I was a prefect, so I had to practice writing, secondary I was a news reader and information prefect during ordinary level, in my advanced level I was part of the writers’ club. So, we had to write magazine articles, news and other pieces of information.

My first official poem was during a school competition, where my poem that I’d written jokingly, was chosen to represent my class, (form 5), having beaten the other poems and yet I was doing sciences.

Why did you choose poetry in particular?

Well, I think poetry chose me instead. I think it was always part of me, much as I kept running away from it. So, when I look back, I can say poetry chose me instead I just accepted the calling. And on top of that, I find poetry being the most relatable form of expression.

Which writers inspire you the most?

I’m going to separate international and local writers.

First of all, my mentor, Ssebo Lule.

He’s the reason I am writing in Luganda, and I credit my poetry success to him. I met him at a poetry show, and him of all poets, was doing poetry in Luganda, which was unique.

Other local writers that inspire me are Jason Ntaro, Kagayi Ngobi, Okot P’Btek, Wake the poet, Devis the poet, Isabirye Godfrey Mich, Agaba Ivan.

Internationally, my all-time favourites are J.K Rowling, Wole Soyinka, Charles Dickens, Chinua Achebe.

What do you hope people will get from reading your work?

I find my style being more of “self-realisation.” I write about socially related issues about African heritage I think when people read my work, they will appreciate the gifts we Africans have in terms of culture, moral, beliefs, mention but a few.

How did come to be part of Kitara nation?

I joined Kitara nation when it had already been formed. However, it was formed by enthusiastic poets, who set out to promote poetry in schools and among other poets. It was also formed to break the barrier between page and stage poetry, and these are missions we still follow up to date.

Nsubuga - Ugandan creative

Where can people find your work?

My works can be found on the Kitara nation website www.kitaranation.com. These are mainly videos of different productions I’ve been part of. I’m also working on a poetry book, slated to be published next year. Still, it will also be accessible through the same website.

How did you get into crafts and where can people buy what you make?

This one began as a pass time, I remember. I’d visited some friends of mine at their hostel, and they were making these bracelets. I told them they were selling them at low costs, so I offered to help market them. When I shared them on my page, orders kept flying in. So, my friends taught me how to make them, and I also started.

When I stopped going to campus because of tuition, I went and learnt more jewellery making at a certain Craftshop. Since then, I’ve not looked back. Currently, I maximize my social media, which is my primary market, then I also do deliveries around Kampala. I have an active Facebook page, Nze Crafts, where my works can be found.

Tell us more about Kwebuga poetry platform

Kwebuga started as a dream, I’d carried it for almost one and a half. I shared it with some friends of mine at Kyambogo University, who bought into the idea and we began it. It’s a poetry platform, whose sole aim is to promote poetry within Kyambogo University. Our nights are free of charge.

What is the soundtrack to your life?

Life is never a straight line, so I can’t name a particular soundtrack.

However, I love Juices by the late Notorious B.I.G. It speaks volumes.

What is the best advice that you have ever been given?

Poetically, I’ve gotten lots of advice, however, Kagayi Ngobi, always shows that commitment is very important. So, never give up would fit.

What are you most proud of about being Ugandan?

Uganda is a beautiful country full of people who never stop amusing.

How would you like to be remembered?

I love setting a legacy as well as team working. I’d love to be remembered as someone who conserved their mother tongue.

Social media

Facebook: NZE for my poetry, Nze Crafts for my crafts.

Twitter: @Nzensubuga

Instagram: Nze_nsubuga

Facebook Kwebuga at Kyambogo

Twitter: @kwebuga

Instagram: @kwebuga

WordPress: nzensubuga.wordpress.com

Email: [email protected]

Blog: www.kitaranation.com

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