Close this search box.

Dive In

Latest Articles

Business people in a video call meeting
Entrepreneurship & Tips
Notebook with Let's talk Sex and condoms on pink background
African American woman looking at a map travel and explore concept
Lifestyle & Travel

“A melody in words”- A book by Lydia Uwantege

In the realm of literature, it is rare to encounter a figure as multifaceted as Lydia Uwantege. An engineer by profession and a worshiper by devotion, Uwantege has now added ‘published author’ to her repertoire.

Her debut book, a collection of poetry, marks not only a personal triumph but also a significant cultural contribution. Recently, Uwantege celebrated the launch of her self-published work, a testament to her determination and creative spirit.

In our exclusive interview, Uwantege delves into the nuances of her journey – from the initial spark of inspiration to the tangible challenges of self-publishing. She shares the experiences that shaped her poetic voice and the lessons learned in navigating the literary world as an independent author.

Moreover, she offers invaluable advice for aspiring writers in the region, illuminating the path for those who seek to follow in her footsteps.

What personal experiences or themes inspired you to write this poetry book, and how do they resonate throughout your work? Additionally, how has the Rwandan culture and environment influenced your poetry?

Each poem is a brushstroke on the canvas of my life’s experiences, written to create a relatable narrative that readers can immerse themselves in.

“A Melody in Words” is a poetic tapestry that weaves together the threads of melody, rhythm, and faith to create a timeless and transcendent experience. It invites readers to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of poetry, where the harmonious interplay of words mirrors the symphony of life itself. This collection serves as both a source of literary delight and a spiritual guide, offering readers a unique and transformative journey through the beauty of language, the melody of existence, and the enduring power of faith.

The book is divided into 5 themes or “books”; wonder, reflection, encounter, resilience, and tribute. The poems within, revolve around the titled theme.

Each verse is a note, each stanza a chord, and together, they form a melodic tapestry that resonates with the reader’s soul. It is a book that encourages introspection, offering moments of reflection and meditation through the power of words.

There are words in Kinyarwanda intentionally placed throughout the book to highlight my origins and to distinguish me not just as a poet, but a Rwandan poet.

Can you describe your creative process when writing poetry? How do you balance structure and free expression, and how has your writing style evolved from your early days to now, with the publication of your book?

My creative process often starts with a phrase or image from my memories and imagination. Or what I do believe in Divine Revelation. I then reflect deeply to draw out the underlying meaning and emotion before crafting the full poem. I balance structure by considering things like form and rhythm while allowing my ideas to flow freely.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while writing and publishing your book, both in Rwanda and potentially internationally? How did you overcome these obstacles?

As an emerging writer and poet, finding a publisher willing to take a chance on poetry was an uphill battle. Instantly securing an eager audience is rare in this field.

However, I’m thankful for the expanding community of creative minds and the platforms now allowing gifted voices to be heard – like Spoken Word Rwanda, where I’ve had the honor of performing and refining my craft. I’ve found great support there from fellow artists, poetry fans, the Founder, and the entire team of Spoken Word Rwanda.

I am grateful for incredible people who have supported me through the process such as; Ivan Nyagatare, a writer and publisher; Celeste Impundu, a writer, woman of faith, and inspiration who provided feedback; and Shaki Mukiza, an accomplished poet and spoken word artist; who have reviewed my book and helped refine it into what it is now. These are just a few of the people who have helped shape “A Melody in Words” on its journey.

Outlets such as Amazon have enabled me to release my book globally. I hope to also bring my work to local Rwandan audiences.

I’m thrilled to be in discussions with Imagine We Publishers about potentially joining their incredible group of authors.

The road has not been smooth, but my motivation stems from a desire to uplift others with the victories and breakthroughs from my journey. If my perseverance helps even one or two uncertain poets (or creative ones) take a step forward, it will have been worthwhile.

How do Rwandan readers engage with poetry, and what are your thoughts on the current state of the literary scene in Rwanda, especially regarding poetry?

Poetry has a rich tradition in Rwanda which contemporary readers still value, but today’s poetry landscape remains relatively small. I hope my book helps strengthen my interest and appreciation for the craft. There are vibrant storytelling traditions to build upon. There are growing scenes for creatives as well; Spoken Word Rwanda and many others.

What advice would you give to aspiring poets, particularly those in Rwanda, considering the unique cultural and publishing contexts they face? What insights can you share for those who wish to self-publish?

For aspiring Rwandan poets, keep developing your authentic voice. Study great poets but stay grounded in your lived experience. Face rejection with courage. Don’t fall back. Don’t fear. Your voice matters.

Are you currently working on any new projects? How has the Rwandan audience received your poetry?

From my circle of friends and community, creative scenes, I believe it has been received well so far. I may be too self-critical, but the encouraging feedback indicates it has been well-received.

Well, in terms of a new project, I do not think it will end here. “A Melody in Words” might just be the start but certainly not the last. But for now, I am hoping to formally launch it, then .. on to the next!!

That being said, I still do write and I have an Instagram page where I share some pieces.

Lydia Uwantege’s journey into the world of poetry is a beacon of inspiration and a testament to the power of self-expression. Her book will be available soon in the bookshops around Kigali.

Straight out of Twitter