Gulu #2: Okot p’Bitek

Gulu is also the town where Okot p’Bitek was born. A friend from Zambia (hey there!, you know who you are 😉 ) recently introduced me to his best-known book, The Song of Lawino (1966). It’s a wonderful lament of a wife about her all-too European husband. He, Ocol, will respond later, in The Song of Ocol (1970). Very interesting author and scholar – read more here and here in German.

Settling in with hotel life

I may write more about the two poems soon.

The TAKS (Through All Keep Smiling), an arts centre, recently commemorated p’Bitek’s death 15 years ago.

The TAKS art centre in Gulu

The TAKS art centre in Gulu

To my medievalist colleagues, I couldn’t help thinking of The Wife’s Lament, or Wulf and Eadwacer, even though there are no immediate parallels. At least not yet. Perhaps I’ll find out what triggered the association in me!

Gulu main market. I loved her shop arrangement and especially that sign: Don’t despise my job, yours doesn’t feed me. Had to think of Lawino

 

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