After university, I moved to Tooro region and started engaging in community development work. In the field we faced challenges on certain issues in the development programs we were implementing and we started researching on a number of development issues as they affect community and it’s where I got the inspiration to write my second book.
There were certain constraints to participation in development in the community which were determined by traditions and history of the communities and these are the issues that inspired me to write an anthropological book on the communities in Tooro region so that the community can adopt positive attitudes to development.In the book, I wrote on how communities started in Tooro over the years and how they moved on changing and adapting to situations and how they evolved. We were trying to find an explanation why communities behave the way they behave, respond the way they respond. I was trying to explain the people today using their sociological evolution, background, history, origins, interactions and their experiences overtime which was a sociological approach to a social issue.
A lot of people mainly researchers always come to me to look for the book and a number of times have quoted it. Tourists who want to know more about our communities have also bought many copies. You will hear very few ordinary people reading it; I have tried using both writing and radio methods of communication but radio has been more effective for to my target audience.
I tried writing a monthly magazine called Tooro Negamba discussing social and cultural issues which were the same issues presented on radio and the reaction was different. Radio discussions would always rise a reaction in the public and same messages wrote in the magazine would not generate anything; people would just see photos and keep it. This de-motivates the writing spirit among authors but, I am not saying that people should not write because we should promote a culture of reading overtime. Writing has got its own advantages because your message is kept on record and referred to, after generations.
Writing is about communicating a message
Writing is not just a talent, you write because you have an urge to communicate something and at times you want to see immediate results communicated, because if you write a book and keep it in your cupboard, it ceases to be a book because the interest, the urge of any writer is to communicate and writers get the satisfaction when they feel their messages have been communicated effectively, there are clear indicators which shows effective communication like feedback from the target readers.
Reaction doesn’t need to be positive, you can be abused and disagreed with. If you write because you want to communicate and you find people not bothered about your messages because of a poor culture of reading, then you get discouraged.
My reasons for writing have always been very practical reasons to give my opinion and guidance about a very practical and immediate situation and if I find through writing that I can’t communicate and influence then I get discouraged.
Writing on Inter-generational transfer of knowledge
I have continued writing on topics for academic utility, intellectual utility and research purposes for scholars, tourists and future generation reflections.
I am writing a book on inter-generational transfer of knowledge looking at the mechanisms of intergenerational transfer of information, knowledge, and wealth in the traditional past and how it is done today.
This is highly an academic topic and it doesn’t communicate on an immediate problem to be solved. I am also writing on my personal experience a book which I don’t want to mention the title because other people can steal my idea because it’s not yet published.
Its looks at my own personal experience which I trace from the time I started understanding that I am a human being. I keep on updating it everyday, putting on the experiences and the lessons leant for future generations to reflect on and this book will continue throughout my life.
I get time to write my books because once you are a writer, the writing spirit creates its own space, it attacks you at any moment and you start writing. An idea can come into your mind at midnight and you wake up because something tells you to put it down or you can be in the middle of a certain function and somebody makes a statement that tickles your mind and jump out of the function disturbed to go somewhere and sit down for five minutes and put down the idea, you can’t resist the temptation of writing because you are too busy
The writer Solomon Akugizibwe is a graduate journalist and also works for Tooro Center for Development and Peace (TOCEDEP)
Rwagweri Stephen talks about preserving African culture, writing books
Kabarole’s Bigwigs Daily Monitor 2006
Rwagweri Stephen mentioned among Kabarole’s notable people
Harnessing Culture to make a living Daily Monitor September 6, 2008
Story about Rwagweri’s Engabu Za Tooro cultural programs and exhibition
Multiple faced Rwagweri Edirisa.org
Rooting for Culture’s Role in Development Ultimate Media
Engabu Za Tooro website