Yesterday, my longing to attend a book launch at Writivism festival finally reached fever-pitch. The 7 pm thing just wasn’t working for me anymore. Work be damned I had to treat myself at least once. And what I I needed was some Sweet Medicine. I have been eyeing this book for quite some time and I was curious about the book cover. You see, it’s a girl dressed to kill in an interesting style and coupled with the ambiguous title is sure to attract book readers.

And when I saw Panashe Chigumadzi, my attendance was a foregone conclusion. She has this expansive aura when she talks that pulls you to her. And what panache she had when she got around to reading from her book. To have the author of a book you love read to you in their own voice, the way they saw the story in the recess of their mind is truly a moving experience.  And then there’s those Zimbabwean names us Ugandans cannot even begin to mouth. I still cannot pronounce Zvogbo even after hearing it more than 10 times. If not for Panashe, I would never have known how they sound.

Present at the launch were notable African authors; Zukiswa Wanner, Yewande Omotosho, Katlego Kai Kol-Kes,  Bob Kisiki, Harriet Anena, Emmanuel Sigauke, Duduzile Zamantunge Mabaso, Oduor Jagero, Maimouna Jallow, Sitawa Namwalie and Chuma Nwokolo and some whose names have skipped my mind.

I won’t speak for other attendees but I am at a loss for words to explain how I felt at that moment surrounded by all those literature lovers. I have been away too long from books and people like me with more than a passing fancy for these things. What can compare to Zukiswa’s’ boisterous laughter and Katlego’s fancy accent?

Launched in absentia was Grace Musila’s book A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder. How I wish she had been among us as well. While I have not read her book, I will rectify that oversight at the earliest opportunity. When the two books were good and launched, I sadly had to leave. You can read more about it on fellow blogger Kirabo’s blog>> <<