Mugabi Byenkya

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Mugabi Byenkya is an award-winning writer of: prose, poetry, comicsessays, drama and songs. They were born in Nigeria to Ugandan parents and are currently based between Kampala and Toronto. Mugabi’s writing is used to teach High School English in Kampala and Toronto schools. Their writing has been published in: Carte Blanche, Best Canadian Poetry, and Skin Deep; along with over 40 other publications. They have been interviewed on: Voice of America, NTV Uganda, and Brittle Paper; along with over 90 other media outlets. Their debut novel-memoir, Dear Philomena, was a Ugandan bestseller and was nominated for the 2020 Nommo Awards For Speculative Fiction By Africans. Mugabi went on a 45 city, 5 country North America/East Africa book tour in support of this. Mugabi was longlisted for the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award in 2015; won the Discovering Diversity Poetry Contest in 2017; was named one of 56 writers who has contributed to their native Uganda’s literary heritage in 2018; was selected as one of ten emerging theater artists in bcHUB’s Emerging Artists Ensemble in 2019/2020; was the recipient of an inaugural Realwheels Encouragement  Award and named as one of three finalists for Realwheels Playwright-In-Residence in 2019. In 2022, Mugabi received a highly commended award and was named as one of three finalists for the 26 Emerging Writers Award. In 2022, Mugabi released their award-nominated debut mixtape “Songs For Wo(Men) 2” (the sequel to this chapbook) via the independent American record label Hello America Stereo Cassette. In 2023, “Songs For Wo(Men) 2” was nominated for 2 Ugandan Hip-Hop Awards; Mugabi was named as one of three nominees for the Inclusive Africa Icon Award 2023, as well as being selected as a panelist for the Inclusive Africa Conference 2023; and they received a fellowship to attend the Sundress Academy For The Arts 2nd Annual Writers Retreat. Mugabi wants to be Jaden Smith when they grow up.