WINNIE APIOWinnie holds a bachelor’s degree in community psychology and is currently working for the Straight Talk Foundation’s radio show. She is part of the Open Mic Uganda poetry and spoken word platform. She likes to see herself as a Christian young lady and emotionally expressive poet. She writes about love in all its facets and forms, inspired by her passion to her love for God. She believes that poetry is a language understood by hearts, more than by minds and that is how she likes to embrace her writing and performing. Winnie started performing 2 years ago, inspired by Rudy Francisco’s piece Scars. She has performed on several stages and recitals such as the Lantern Meet of Poets, the Nuvo Arts Festival or the Jali Festival.
Winnie Apio on Open Mic Uganda
BATANDA MURRAY SHIRAZ A.K.A. BLACK POETBatanda Murray Shiraz was born in Kampala, Uganda in 1988. He studied in Uganda before moving to Ohio, Trenton, for high school studies. He did a creative writing course at Edgewood High School, Trenton, and started writing his own texts before returning home. He has worked for a human rights organization (IHD), and is very passionate about protecting and promoting Human Rights. Currently Batanda Murray is working with a poetry foundation called Open Mic Uganda as Operations Manager. Besides that, he has written over 50 poems, performed on different poetry platforms and at the Open Mic Uganda event Fusion 360.
RONALD ‘ROSHAN’ WALUGEMBE A.K.A. SHANRonald ‘RoShan’ Walugembe was born in 1987; currently lives in Kampala and works for Teen Challenge Uganda. "I am labeled as 'the silent one' as my words are few. By the art of poetry I have a way to release what I feel, my pain and other’s pain into words that can create a picture and draw out a story. To me poetry is a movement of freedom..."
MARITZA BYOGAMaritza is a beautiful young woman who brings energy into any situation. Her passion for Theatre Arts and enthusiasm for learning has led her to working in two different fields; besides being a spoken word artist, she is also a Law student at Cavendish University Uganda. Her interest in poetry did not surface until her late teen years when she started writing only for her journal. Only recently she discovered Spoken Word poetry when she watched Marshal Jones perform "Spelling Father". After performing that very poem her first time on stage in May 2012, the Mic has become Maritza's new found love.
Maritza Byoga on Open Mic Uganda
RASHIDA NAMULONDOBorn in 1988 and raised among boys she started reading at an early age, rewriting stories to suit her version. She discovered her love for poetry with twelve, when she started writing for her brothers to pursue their girlfriends. She is known as a performing poet at platforms like Poetry in Session and the Kwivuga poetry night. She is a storyteller, expressing thoughts, emotions, and moods. She is a life skill coach, trying to reach out to promote self-love, understanding and personal growth. She is a dancer and an actress and is keen on promoting unity, peace and community development through performing. Rashida Namulondo is the winner of the 2013 BN Poetry Award. Currently she is working on the project Art 4 change, promoting self-awareness and assertiveness for secondary school children.
Rashida Namulondo on Facebook
NATASHA EMILY NAKKEShe is a spoken word poet and a small business owner. At the age of ten she wrote a letter to the newspapers, addressing the African child. She sets the beginning of her writing with the publication of this letter. Since then she carried on writings about youths, women, politics, life, nature, cultures and traditions. In 2010 she became a member of the spoken word movement Open Mic Uganda, Kampala. With her exquisite performances she has been featured on various occasions and festivals such as the International Women’s Day, Open Mic Fusion 360 and Poetry in Session. Over the years, she has become more and more aware of how powerful writing and verbal communication can be to our earthly home.
REHEMA NANFUKARehema Nanfuka is a news presenter and editor at Radiocity. Besides that, she is a theatre and film actress because it is her real passion. She picked up directing and producing because she considers them a necessary passion. She is a writer and poet because she sees it as a freedom to express her views, to pay homage to love and life, and to speak truth to power – all this with her fingers crossed hoping someone is listening. Rehema won the 2012 BN Poetry Award for her debut poem “Ms xylophone about her lifemate” and she hasn't looked back since. Her ultimate goal is to be defined using one word: Artivist. She wants to fight for freedom using her pen, her lens, her voice, her body and her imagination.
Rehema Nanfuka on Facebook
MARK GORDONBorn 1986 in Kampala, Slam Poet Mark Gordon always had a thing for public speaking and discovered poetry performance as a way to hide his poor singing and dancing skills in high school. With a group of friends he formed a platform today known as Open Mic Fusion 360. He sees spoken word as an opportunity to be intellectual and real at the same time, as much as to communicate a message to the societies we live in and the world. He has performed poetry of his own and poetry written by people who inspire him. He is a freelance PR practitioner, broadcast media programmer, spoken word coach and a teacher for primary and high school literature, his subjects being prose and poetry.
Mark Gordon on Facebook
KABUBI HERMAN (SLIM MC)Slim Emcee aka Kabubi Herman was born in Kampala, Uganda where he began writing poetry, singing, and dancing at an early age. His first poem, “Val for Val” paved way for his writing carreer as well as for becoming one of the pioneers of performance poetry in Uganda, supporting each and every poetry night in Kampala. He writes poetry, sings, backs up other artists, writes songs, works as an MC. He performs at festivals, workshops, forums, open MICS, family gatherings, Hip-Hop summits and various poetry sessions. As a prolific writer his work echoes the shifting allegiance of African natives from their roots to popular Western cultures and how these experiences are translated into a hybrid society.
Kabubi Herman on Facebook
TINAH P’OCHANTinah P’Ochan is a Sapphic romantic poet, a dedicated human rights defender, feminist and mother. Born Atim Christine Ocan, in 1983 in Entebbe, Tinah has written many poems and short stories, but has trashed them because of the content: eroticism, spirituality, sexual identity and dynamics; all deemed radical, thus her prior performances were limited to private community events and her circle of friends. She studied Sociology and Gender studies at Makerere University and graduated with a bachelor in social sciences. Last year, at Poetry in Session, she was granted the permission to perform one of her controversial poems on her life as a queer living in Uganda.
Tinah P’Ochan on Wordpress