Celebrating Wangusa@80: Poet, Novelist and Teacher



The Department of Literature in collaboration with MAK@100 is organising a half day literary event codenamed: Celebrating Wangusa@80: Poet, Novelist and Teacher. This academic event is aimed at recognizing, celebrating and debating Wangusa as one of Makerere’s literary luminaries that has contributed to her indisputable literary iconicity.


Timothy Wangusa is, first and foremost a  seminal writer in Makerere University and Uganda’s history. He is also  widely celebrated beyond Uganda’s borders. Wangusa is a pivotal figure in the life of the Depart//ment of Literature and Makerere University where he served selflessly and in an exemplary manner from 1969-2001 in addition to being an alumnus. Wangusa was one of the professors who never went into exile during Uganda’s turbulent years. He, therefore, is one of the rare figures that intimately  knows Makerere’s history in both in good and turbulent times.


Wangusa was also the first Ph.D graduate in the Department of Literature  after Makerere became an independent university in 1970. Having graduated in 1975, he is a trailblazer, putting  forth the argument that the future of African poetry lay in its realization  that orality was key in Africa’s literary practice. This argument has proved to be of crucial importance in the development of poetic form in Africa and also resonates with the foundational work by Pio Zririmu and Austin Bukenya on the notion of Orature. The term Orature that is closely associated with the Department of Literature and the Makerere university is widely used  in scholarship across different continents. Apart from these achievements Wangusa has also started writing in Lumasaaba his language of origin which further strengthens his earlier arguments on working from one’s contexts.


It is well known that Wangusa is a household name on Uganda’s literary scene. His works are part of different curricular over the years for both secondary school and university programs. It is therefore it is fitting that as Makerere University celebrates a 100 years of existence, we also celebrate 80 sterling  years of one of her iconic sons, who not only has contributed to the life of the university as an academic, but also a practitioner of the literary and creative arts in Uganda and beyond.


The celebration is in recognition of the importance of Wangusa’s service to Makerere and his outstanding contribution to Uganda, East Africa and to Africa’s literary history. The Department,  in collaboration with Mak@100, views this event as an opportunity to promote critical debate and advance awareness of homegrown talent and outstanding service to humanity.


Below are some of his published works:



Salutations: Poems; 1965-1975

A Pattern of Dust: Selected Poems 1965-1990

Anthem for Africa, 1995

Africa’s New Brood, 2006

Bilomelele Bye Lukingi Masaaba ( Poems of Mount Elgon),2017

The State is my Shepherd  and other selected Poems, 2022



 Upon this Mountain, 1989

Betwixt  Mountain and Wilderness, 2017


Critical Work and Textbooks

Essentials of Research Methodology in Humanities and Social Sciences

I love you Beast


In the spirit of drawing attention to our own work and accomplishments at Makerere University Community at 100 years, the Department of Literature in collaboration with Mak@100 will showcase oral performances, readings, a keynote address by Mwalimu Austin Bukenya and a panel discussion of Wangusa Scholars culminating in the launch of Mwambu’s Cradle Publications on 8th July, 2022 between 1:30 - 6:00pm in the Makerere University Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF2 Auditorium) Most of the activities of the day will be carried out by students from the Department of Literature in a bid to inspire them to think of the importance of following the work of our own scholars and practitioners.


As part of this celebration the department is planning to publish a collection of  critical essays on Wangusa’ work by the end of 2022. This effort aims at focusing on Wangusa’s monumental achievement and promoting  creative writing, critical debate and cultural production within Makerere University, Uganda and beyond.


Our Partners


Makerere University
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
P.O Box 7062 Kampala
Email: pr@chuss.mak.ac.ug
Website: https://chuss.mak.ac.ug



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