While I was still at University(Uganda Christian University) back in 2007, I always felt that the Education system wasn’t adequate in equipping or preparing a student for life outside the school environment. University and the real world were parallel, what I was required to do at University scarcely intersected with what was required of me when I joined the professional world as a young professional. Aware of that while still in my first year, I decided to take a couple of initiatives to punctuate and interrupt our education with meaningful breaks that made the journey worthwhile. With the help of a couple of friends, I pioneered 2 initiatives in this direction; Azania and T.R.U.T.H Debate
Azania was that platform for self expression. Its where we went to chill and unwind after all the stress accumulated from academic work. At Azania we celebrated and nourished Artistry. From Poetry, Music and various forms of Art we met once every month with people reciting poetry others singing and showcasing different art forms. We also profiled various artists as a source of inspiration.
Once every quarter, we organised the Grand Azania. This is where we had a performance based show, Poets had to qualify to recite at the Grand Azania. We also invited Poets from other Poetry Associations like the Lantern Meet, Poetry In Session, Open Mic among others. We also invited key Influencers in the Ugandan Arts Sphere like Beverley Nambozo, Isaac Tibasiima, Slime Emcee, Jason Ntaro among others
One of the cultures at Azania is that we celebrated the birthdays of our members monthly with Cupcakes and Candy – It was a beautiful tradition.
While we were there, There are a couple of individuals who made things happen without whom there would have been no Azania
Asiimwe Ron Chester
When I and a couple of friends were done with school, Zacharia Tiberindwa took over and ran Azania. He then handed over to Theodorah who did an amazing job during her tenure. Both Zack and Theo were absolutely Amazing and Azania wouldn’t have gone as far without them.
Later in 2013, due to a couple of administrative and transitional hurdles, Azania isn’t as vibrant as it was but it still runs albeit on a low scale. Even though currently on Haitus, at some date in 2015 I hope to regroup with the major stakeholders so as to find a way of keeping the tradition of Artistry.