Today Kuchu Times Media Group-KTMG has today hosted Kuchu Times Writing Labs aimed at training us in safe communication and communication skills. All this began on the 19th of April 2022 when we put out a call for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Bisexual and Queer-LGBTIQ people to apply for an opportunity to engage with us. The call focused on LGBTIQ people interested in writing, storytelling or being communication consultants.
As soon as we put out the call, we received lots of responses from all over the country some coming from as far as our dear neighboring country Kenya! After lots of consideration, budgeting and pinching pennies we finally with lots of agony (because we got many that qualified but we couldn’t host them all because of logistics.) picked out the few that we could host for this one. We communicated with them on when and where the event would take place via email and phone calls. All our chosen participants agreed to spare us some time for the two day training and here we are learning from each other.
Time check, 8:00 am today found most of us in the training room and we got acquainted with each other. Today is really more like a get together because most of us know each other and haven’t seen each other since COVID-19 pandemic began. We hugged each other, updated each other on how life is treating us. We are glad to report that while most of us went through a hard time during lock down, we all seem to have returned to factory settings, participants are brilliant, alert and seem to be in a great mood. Everyone is teasing each other and it is so much joy to watch LGBTIQ Ugandans enjoying being “outside” aka wabweeru.
Today our guide into queer story telling Samantha Ainembabazi took us through the basics of writing using through creative non-fictional methods. Here we learned how to write a stories that will engage and inform our readers. What seemed like an easy task has opened a Pandora’s Box. LGBTIQ Ugandans can write the most hilarious, mind boggling true stories that leave one wondering; “How is this one still alive?”. Two stories that caught our eyes ended with one losing their shoes at an event while the other ended with another somehow entertaining their peers and earning one hundred thousand shillings. This was followed by us writing sample stories followed by peer review where we all constructively commented on each other’s stories, hoping to improve our writing skills with more actualization, characterization and story flow among other strategies.
As usual, of course we cannot get together and not eat, we had break tea that consisted of sweet cakes, vegetable rolls milk, tea and coffee. Before we caught a breather, lunch was announced, it was a buffet. If you have been to an LGBTQ event/gathering you surely must know how we serve up. For starch we had matooke, rice, plantain and irish potatoes. For sauce we had beef, chicken and fish pasted in groundnut sauce. To wash it all down we all got a soft drink. We haven’t yet gone for the second break tea which is in one and a half hours from now!
As Kuchu Times Media Group we are honored by our donors who have made this training possible for us. With your support, we have been able to have the most amazing get together and yet this is just a narration from the first three quarters of day one. We are excited to see where this journey will lead us!