Friday, February 3, 2012

Author of the Month January 2012 - Dr. Patrick Mangeni

Dr. Patrick Mangeni is the Head of Department of Performing Arts and Film, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University. He holds a PhD in Applied Theatre from Griffith University in Australia. As a poet, dramatist and writer, he draws inspiration from the position he finds himself and others in daily life by making sense of it all and trying to find balance in life especially narratives from his family. For him it is a sort of coming to terms with life.

Dr. Patrick Mangeni (2nd from left)
Dr. Mangeni is the author of four books; ‘Operation Mulungusi and The Prince’ - a book containing two plays, ‘A Leopard in My Bed’ - a collection of short stories, ‘The Great Temptation’ - a children’s book and a poetry collection.  Despite being a well accomplished writer, he is more at home with poetry because of the emotions it evokes and the emotional growth he experiences when writing poetry. This often makes him celebrate imagination, admitting that it is difficult to divorce oneself from one’s writing. As a writer he longs for 3 eternities just to explore the stories he has in his head and he would like to use all 3 to reach other worlds through fictional writing.

He uses his experience as a performance critic to encourage people to be aware of the kind of knowledge that adds value to readings and poetry recitals. He also acknowledges that Uganda needs more creative writing residencies as well as ways and activities to measure and judge the excellence in creative writing.
Dr. Mangeni’s lighthearted and charming personality is made more evident by his afro hair that he says makes him feel who he is; cool and warm. It is no wonder that his personality has sipped to his writing especially the poetry and his attempts to write tragedy all turned into comedy. And yet Dr. Mangeni has chosen to use theatre to get citizens more involved in dealing with everyday hardships, a way of exploring ways to deal with life, gender equality and domestic violence.

As a longtime teacher, he considers himself a lifetime student and is proud of the fact that 4 of his siblings are teachers as well. Being a teacher, according to Dr. Mangeni, is the ultimate growth and contribution to society.

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