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Painting Soulless Kampala | Samuel Kamugisha

A Poem from Uganda

Kampala. Courtesy Photo

Help me paint a picture of a soulless city
in Africa’s sunrise whose sun its gloom
has swallowed. Draw it as dark as darkness
itself. Paint the walking shells of humans
who have sold to the supermarket of souls
their hearts. Paint them soulless, eating
white aid meant for AIDS patients on deathbeds.

paint them playing with guns, shooting at
stubborn lesser humans for fun. Paint them
selling the city, stacking the loot in Swiss banks.
Paint them looting the city. Paint the city
in desolation. Paint millions of slim commoners
singing the soulless humans’ praises: lining
for their daily bread, lucky to have a meal a day.

About the Poet

Samuel Kamugisha is a Ugandan journalist, poet and fiction writer. A Journalism and Communication graduate, his poetry and short stories are inspired by his work as a journalist and as an observer of events in his country.

Kamugisha’s poem, ‘The Honourable Weevil,’ was published in Wondering and Wondering of Hearts: A Collection of Poems from Uganda, while his two poems, ‘Flying Papers’ and ‘Priorities’ were long listed for the 2016 Babishai Niwe Poetry Award.

His other prose and poetry have been published by Brittle Paper, Parousia Magazine, DwartOnline, Praxis Magazine, and Africa Crayons, among other places.  You can read more of Samuel Kamugisha’s journalism, prose and poetry work on

* This poem was first published by Brittle Paper in 2017.

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