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Voices to be Heard

A Showcasing of African Creatives

At Queer African Voices, it is important that contributions made by African creatives are not only championed, but highlighted. Learn more about the positive impact African creatives have and join Queer African Voices in uplifting their voices.

Friends of Queer African Voices

Collaborative & Innovative

Meet Mugabi Byenkya

Mugabi Augustine Ateenyi Olatokumbo Byenkya was born in Nigeria to Ugandan parents. He spent his life across Africa, Asia and North America. Currently, he is based between Kampala and Toronto. Mugabi is a writer, poet, teacher and rapper who has honed his craft through writing workshops, poetry slams, cyphers and open mics from across North America and East Africa. Mugabi was longlisted for the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award in 2015 and his writing is used to teach international high school English reading comprehension. Mugabi’s poetry and writing appears in numerous zines, online publications, journals and anthologies, such as: Soo Many Stories; The Mighty; The Good Men Project, Bi Arts Zine, CRUSH! and Land Use Policy. He has been featured as a spoken word artist across East Africa and North America, including: Kampala, Toronto, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. An advocate for the intersection of arts, chronic illness and social justice, and literacy, Mugabi leads workshops in effective writing, poetry, performance, vulnerability, mental illness and chronic illness for youth and adults.


A Dear in "Dear Philomena"

"Dear Philomena, is the story of two strokes, one boy, one girl and a whole lot of magical realism. July 1991, Leocardia Byenkya underwent an ultrasound that informed her to expect a baby girl. She chose the name Philomena. January 16 1992, her baby was born as a boy. Filled with shock and surprise, Leocardia named her baby boy Mugabi. December 2014, Mugabi suffered from two strokes within a week of each other. Mugabi was 22 years old. 'Dear Philomena,' is a series of thoughts and conversations between Mugabi and Philomena (the girl he was supposed to be) about the year he was supposed to die but somehow lived through."


Projects to Look Out For

I am currently in the process of planning a second leg of my North American Tour in support of my debut novel 'Dear Philomena,'. I recently concluded, a 42 show, 28 city tour in support of the novel and received an excellent response to it so I am looking to go on a second leg of the tour to perform and speak at places I didn't get the chance to the first time around. I perform poetry inspired by my novel, read from the novel, speak on my novel and spread love, light and laughter during the tour.


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