The inaugural issue of the Ugandan journal The Weganda Review is out and it is absolutely stunning. Featuring fiction, poetry, essays, art and more, the journal does an incredible job representing emerging African writers.
The Weganda Review is a Ugandan literary journal founded by the managing editor Rodney Muhumuza. Founded in 2023 as a project of the cultural nonprofit Weganda Foundation, it is a platform for writers, researchers, academics, artists and others whose works deliver deep truths with “honesty, intelligence, authority, and a desire to be understood.”
Although its roots are in Uganda, TWR is a Pan-African journal and invites contributions from across Africa and the Black diaspora. The journal publishes short fiction, poetry, art portfolios, photography, diaries, reviews and, especially, essays as cultural criticism. Four print issues of TWR come out in January, April, July and October.
The inaugural issue of the The Weganda Review runs from July to September 2003 and is not a themed issue, although the synopsis states that the general theme is “existence.” The stunning cover art is done by Sheila Nakitende and photograph by Martin Kharumwa.
The issue features essays ranging from “dissecting the fear of witchcraft to . . . exploring the existential hopes and fears of the children of Uganda’s revolutionary leaders, . . . the spiritual lives of poachers, a tribute to Aggrey Awori, and a paean to small bars.” There is also a short story by Asinde Regina, poetry by DevisThePoet and Keturah Sheebah Naluyange, and the private diary of a ‘gateman’ just outside Kampala by Collins Adiga.
Our favorite parts of this journal are definitely the inclusion of often-ignored genres such as diary entries and art portfolios by Sheila Nakitende and Farouq Ssebaggala including an insightful discussion of their art. The Q of the Q section or “Quote of the Quarter” is also an interesting addition. This issue’s quote is extracted from Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow.
We are thrilled with this rise of emerging African literary journals since journals are often the main way emerging writers can get published and make their way into the literary industry. Props to The Weganda Review on this exciting initiative!
Check out The Weganda Review here. Read more about the inaugural issue below.
Table of Contents
The Weganda Imperative: Founder’s Manifesto
Sons of the Resistance by Risdel Kasasira
A Charmed Life by Rodney Muhumuza
Among the Poachers by Ivan Mugyenzi Ashaba
Office of the Aunt by Jan Ajwang
Awori’s Choice by Emmanuel Martin Mutaizibwa
Rendezvous by Hassan Higenyi
Akello; Tears at My Funeral; Shit; The Day After the Killings: Four poems by DevisThePoet
Hit and Run; Insane: Two poems by Keturah Sheebah Naluyange
Miloth by Asinde Regina
Pushing the Gate by Collins Adiga, with an introduction by TWR
Q of the Q
Saul Bellow via Humboldt’s Gift
Money Goes by Farouq Ssebaggala, with an introduction by TWR
Abaana ba Kintu by Sheila Nakitende, with an introduction by TWR
Weganda Expression, a documentary photo by TWR
Weganda Cartoon by Joseph Mugume