Mugabi Byenkya

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Mugabi Byenkya is an award-winning writer, poet and occasional rapper. They were born in Nigeria to Ugandan parents and are currently based between Kampala and Toronto. Their essays, poetry and comics have been published in Carte Blanche, Best Canadian Poetry, and Skin Deep, along with over 35 other publications. They have been interviewed on Voice of America, NTV Uganda, and Urban TV, along with over 65 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 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 named a finalist for Realwheels Playwright-In-Residence and was the recipient of an inaugural Realwheels Encouragement Award in 2019. In 2022, Mugabi was shortlisted as one of three finalists for the26 Emerging Writers Award and received a high commendation. Mugabi wants to be Jaden Smith when they grow up.