Activities 0 comments on Ife Unplugged- Saturday 2nd August 7pm @Zion Train Buziga Road, Bunga Hill Kampala

Ife Unplugged- Saturday 2nd August 7pm @Zion Train Buziga Road, Bunga Hill Kampala


Inspired by Laba Art Festival 2014 when at the end of the night there was a campfire and no amplification. Artists sharing their thoughts and music, people listening, singing together as a group. So I’ve been thinking about how to distill the essence of what I do as a poet and a singer with an environmental message.  Ife Unplugged is the answer.  When I’m in nature I’m at my best. Surrounded by the natural elements of earth, fire, air and water I feel closest to my creativity. When i lived in London this is what i craved the most, to be able to be outside living close to the earth, observing her cycles in order to better understand myself. For 7 years a friend and I would  organise an event called Ancestral Gathering. It was our attempt to spend some quality time in nature in community. It started first in our homes and when we became too many we searched for venues that could cater to our needs of communal living, outdoor space for activities and of course trees we could hug! I think we were successful in bringing people closer to each other and themselves.  Through the process of organizing Ancestral Gathering it was possible to connect more with people when we are speaking and sitting close to one another, usually in a circle the energy once created continues to circulate through the people. We become co creators and initiators giving and receiving sound.


Sound has always been inspirational and healing for me which is why i make the music and write the poetry i do. I’m searching for connection, meaning and relevance. Today i read a quote from Wangari Mathai

‘All of us can reach a deeper appreciation of the fact that it is what is not human that ensures that we continue to exist. Without human beings, the creatures, plants and trees would flourish, but without those species human beings have no hope of survival. This is why in thinking about human rights we need to reach another level of conciousness to appreciate that these other species too have a right to their existence and their piece of the Earth’.

As the continent rushes towards ‘development’, infrastructure projects and consumerism, I want us to remember that we are all connected and the belief that the more we have the happier we’ll be is just an illusion.

The greatest joy is to love and be loved, share, laugh to sit under the trees and the sky, to see the beauty and appreciate all that nature has to offer us. To listen to stories and sweet voices.  Nature is the only thing that sustains us and we must do all we can to preserve it. I firmly believe that if Africa goes the way of Europe, the planet will be truly lost. No doubt Gaia will thrive as Wangari suggests without us but we on the other hand cannot survive without her.10264222_858643860827965_3062645189726469589_o

I look forward to welcoming you to Zion Train a beautiful community space filled with images of the continent and beautifully constructed buildings based on our Natural African Technology.

Activities 0 comments on True Stories

True Stories

Concluding the project Young Writers for Peace, initiated by Writing Our World. A group of us traveled to Gulu to hear the real life stories of people who had experienced the war in Northern Uganda. 10482490_632670660163191_973119631403529762_o

As a part of the field trip we wanted to practice, presence, active listening and speaking from the heart.  When we talk about conversations our minds immediately go to having something to say, seldom do we consider that great conversationalist listen more than they speak. Its also true that all people want to be seen and heard. Being able to listen totally to people as they relive sometimes very traumatic experiences is truly a gift to them.


The stories told to us were provoking and informative and eventually we moved to sharing our opinions about a range of subjects most of them related to African Development and what that really is.  Its always so enjoyable to have conversations with young people and to challenge them to think differently, to question. At the end of a conversation with a young man called Collins he stated he was tired. When i asked him why he said ‘there were a lot of things to think about and right now his mind was full’.

To be honest i was glad with this response because it does take a lot of energy to think and problem solve in order to find solutions. Its what keeps the brain and the mind, adaptable and flexible. So him being tired meant he had put some energy into his thinking processes which is a positive thing.


Our task upon returning to Kampala is to create fictional narratives for the anthology we want to publish. Its a daunting task and as always we will strive to find a creative means of representing our discoveries.

I was excited to meet DJ Phat who interviewed Sekandi Ronald and I on JAL Fresh a Gulu radio station.  He has invited me back to run a Drama workshop as a part of their premier ‘Cry for Help’ produced by United Youth Entertainment.

The event takes place at the TAKS Centre Gulu on Saturday 26th July 2014.

Its free and all are welcome

Activities 0 comments on Afrikan Yoga Classes for Women

Afrikan Yoga Classes for Women

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fitcliqueflyerStarting in January i will be running AY classes specifically for women as i feel the practice is particularly benefical for women.

According to Eckholt Tolle – Women are more inclined to enlightenment because they can transcend their pain body and evolve – New Earth

So sisters why not join me, get into shape and also get enlightened!!ife certified Go on treat yourself.

Tuesdays  from  4th March@ In Movement Art for Social Change Kansanga 6pm *all welcome

Saturdays from 8th March @ Bukoto *visit fitclique256 on Facebook* a woman only class



Activities, Workshop 0 comments on Triple C

Triple C

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A monthly evening of poetry, visual art and conversation which aims to develop new audiences for both venue and artists
Triple C represents a new era of Ugandan Culture offering a space for the general public and artists to meet, interact, and discuss their work. There is also the added value of experiencing Ugandan coffee from different regions. Following on the legacy of events such as ‘meet the artist’ at the National Theatre, Triple C is an evening of poets (2) reading extensively from their work and Visual Artists (1) exhibiting their work in a non traditional environment. The evening will be curated and MC’d by Ife Piankhi one of Kampala’s finest performers and creative facilitators.

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Shedule for the evening:

Meet and Greet: Based on the speed dating concept, the audience will be encouraged to have conversations with different people on a topic for a limited time. Just like Facebook people will get the opportunity to interact and share ideas/opinions but face to face!
Readings from 3 Poets: Unlike Poetry in Session and Kwivuga, poets will have the opportunity to recite extensively from their work, explain the content and take questions. Both English and Indigenious languages will be read and encouraged.

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Exhibitions: Ugandan artists will be invited to exhibit pieces of their work and during the break interact with the audience as a means of promoting Ugandan art and the development of an ‘art buying’ culture alongside Ugandans very successful craft market.
Partners: Over the last 4 years Ife Piankhi has strategically positioned herself within the Creative Community in Kampala as a performer, creative facilitator and organiser. She will call on the support of organisations such as; 32 Degrees East, In Movement-Art for Social Change, Poetry in Session, BN Poetry Award, Laba Art Festival, Writing our World, Makerere University, Goethe Centrum, Alliance Francaise, Femrite, Bonfire, Kinetic Entertainment, Lantern Meet of Poets, Luminous Sorrels in order to put on an event which is well advertised, interesting and diverse in its content.

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Activism, Activities, Articles, Diarie, History, Poetry, Workshop 0 comments on Watch ‘Someone Clap For Me’ – Engaging Short Film On Kampala’s Burgeoning Poetry Scene By TAMBAY A. OBENSON

Watch ‘Someone Clap For Me’ – Engaging Short Film On Kampala’s Burgeoning Poetry Scene By TAMBAY A. OBENSON

68297_10151120489741417_293269089_nA side of Uganda (specifically Kampala, the largest city and capital of Uganda) that we often don’t get to see here in the USA, and which I hope you will appreciate…

Poetry has become something of a phenomenon in Kampala in recent times, just as much as the political turmoil that tends to dominate headlines both locally, and internationally.

In the below 10-minute short film directed by the Qatari filmmaker Luciana Farah, titled Someone Clap For Me, learn about this so-called “Poetry Movement.” 

This film focuses on characters like Medals, the Born-Again Politician, from whose poem the documentary title is taken, and follows the poets’ daily lives, weekly performances and numerous interactions with live audiences throughout the city. 

It was actually made via Mira Nair’s Maisha Labs in Uganda, which we’ve told you about before. In 2004, Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay!, Mississipi Masala & others) founded Maisha Film Labs – a Uganda-based film training initiative (not-so unlike the Sundance Film Festival’s filmmaker labs, or the IFP’s filmmaker labs).

The goal of the Maisha Film Labs is to give aspiring filmmakers in the East African country the tools & knowledge to tell their own stories through film, which would then help foster a self-sustaining film industry in Uganda and vicinity, that will support and represent the interests of local audiences.

I should note that the director of Someone Clap For Me, Luciana Farah, is expanding the short film into a feature, as I type this. In December, the Doha Film Institute revealed 27 projects that would receive grants, as part of its autumn funding session, and Farah’s feature was one of them.

So we’ll be watching for the feature version of the below short in the coming year or two.

In the meantime, here’s the short version: