While Phoebe Nekesa’s parents, Mr. Charles Elem Ogwal and Mrs. Adeline Elem Kushemererwa go about their work, the rising popularity of their teenage daughter in the world of podcasting and writing hasn’t probably dawned on them. The 18 year old whose hobbies include reading and writing poetry, listening to music and watching Japanese animations is a student at Mt. St. Mary’s College, Namagunga.
We took time to interview the amiable writer to give the readers our readers a sneak peek of what the future could actually hold for her. Whatever the future of writing, podcasting and publishing is, authors will always be at the core. And, It is today’s teen author community led by lads like Phoebe that will ultimately shape it, a community that we believe will inspire others and grow Uganda’s creative sector.
Hi Phoebe, great to have you here. We love reading and listening to your poetry, particularly because, as a young author, you offer a fresh view on writing and publishing. Is there something, in your opinion, that characterises a “teen author”? Something you, for example, would do very differently from your elder peers?
Thanks for having me on Trumpet News! One of the things I love the most about being an author my age is that I know there is a community of young people out there that need inspiration from their peers. Adults can look back on their experiences and give advice they wish they had heard when they were our age. Though I am too young to do that quite yet, I can talk about things as I experience them—the good, the bad, and the exciting.
Why and when did you begin writing poetry?
I began writing poetry in my senior two in Mt. St. Mary’s College Namagunga and I originally took up the art due to the influence of our school’s writers’ club and my friends.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration can come from anything around me; my friends and family, different situations that happen around me, fellow poets’ work and even my own emotions.
What made you want to start writing, not just reading?
As I said previously, my writing habit began due to the influence of my school’s writers’ club. We used to host various writers who would hold workshops and teach us the art as well as inspire us with their journeys in the profession. I guess hearing that real life people could live happy and successful lives earning solely from their work stirred something in me and I began to write also.
I suppose you like to read books from other poets, too. Have you got your favourite book? And who is your favourite poet?
Yes, I do. It is “LIGHT” by Rushongoza Begumya. My favourite poet is George the Poet.
What things have you read that especially helped your writing?
I read a lot about the different aspects of poetry and other forms of writing especially for my podcast and I believe it does help a lot with my use of poetic devices in my poetry.
I also read a lot of other poets’ work which greatly inspires my own.
Do you have a mentor for writing, and if so, how did you get that mentor?
Yes, I do. My mentor is Ms. Jane Langoya and I met her through my mother.
What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
I think the hardest thing about writing is being brave enough to put your writing out there. Anybody can write a piece but letting other people see your emotions and criticize them through your writing is a whole different story. A lot of times I’m sceptical to post my work because I’m fearful of how it will be perceived.
Do you feel like it was harder for you to get attention as a young poet?
I wouldn’t say it was particularly hard to get attention but my age did indeed present a challenge for me to prove that despite it I am able to produce quality content.
What do you wish you knew before you started?
I wish I knew how to edit my podcast episodes myself before I started. It’s something I had to teach myself in the long run to improve the quality.
What do your friends say about your writing habit?
My friends appreciate my work because its relatable because I write about dilemmas that any every day teenage goes through. As regards to my writing habit, I can’t say they have any particular comments but they often tell me how inspired they are by the fact that I’m chasing my dreams.
I must also ask this, what is your favourite dish and drink?
My favourite dish is pizza and my favourite drink is flavoured tea. (the irony)
How do you balance writing, school work and a social life?
I try my best to plan out my days properly so as to be able to do everything efficiently.
I have time for poetry and podcasting, my school work and rest.
How can readers listen and read your work?
They can click, http://linktr.ee/lnklives