Have you read this book? Ayeh, is the poetic memoir written by Ibrahim Balunywa. He writes a series of poems that have shaped the direction of his decisions for the time he has been n school paying maximum attention to the time spent in university.
Ibrahim tells a story of struggle especially in a foreign land. He went to school in India for both his undergraduate and graduate university education. As a young adolescent, he was exposed to a new culture way different from what he had grown exposed to back home in Uganda. However, he carries it to the depth exploring the different achievements and failures of living in a place very far away from home.
Ibra, as he says his friends call him, has been a travelling child exposed to different communities but mainly the Indian. One profoundly pronounce voice is the crossroads on which he has come to find himself to make decisions that do not hurt the people he loves. Yet in running away from the hurt, he has come to fulfilling the very act. He has hurt those he holds dear.
As a teenager in secondary school he was given an indefinite suspension for escaping to go drinking from the dormitory at school. He saw his mother cry and that broke his heart. You would easily assume that this was the worst experience but not.
He is lost in exploring the relationship he holds with his father whom he holds in a very dear position yet keeps struggling to accept him with flaws that life has thrown at him. You feel the hurt Ibra has endured upon finding himself in a very hard position of having to explain this brother in the question he raise about fatherly love has feels away in a foreign land. These are questions many young people are having at heart but unable to voice out. For Ibra, he finds his voice in writing everything down as lyrics of song o verse of poetry.
His education pursuit in India saw him struggle with drugs away in a country where he was free to do what he pleased yet feeling so bad that he had no one to hold him accountable at the same time. His struggles to keep up with his girlfriend and having to confess otherwise only reveal the vulnerability of our souls. We do the very things we wake up not to do. This leaves our thoughts only a wandering lot.
It must be a dangerous place for one to find self-waking up on returning home with a master’s degree and finding yourself with formal employment and a world full of expectations. This is the life Ibra has had to live; explaining the circumstance of his life every other day. His is an experience that is lived and shared by many only that maybe they have not yet put it in writing.
Ayeh, is his debut book punctuated with prose that explains the journey he has had to walk and the poetry which is as a result of the experiences that came out of the collective.
AUTHOR: IBRAHIM BALUNYWA
Cover by Maria Byoma