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Soldiers story 'A Killing in the Sun' launched

By ANJELLAH OWINO | September 27th 2014

In 2002, two Ugandan soldiers were executed after a military tribunal found them guilty of killing an Irish priest. Ugandan writer Dilman Dila composed a fictional story around that.

The story depicts a soldier who faces a firing squad relishes his Sunday school lesson and memories of his childhood and eventually turns his execution into horror.

The story A Killing in the Sun won Mr Dilman an accolade in last year’s Commonwealth literally competition under the short story category.

The win prompted the writer to name a collection of his ten short stories by the same name.

The book, A Killing in the Sun was launched last Sunday during the close of the five-day Storymoja Hay Festival.

Another book, ‘Poetry Potion’, a compilation of poems from across Africa was launched. Both books were published by a South African publisher and poet, Duduzile Mabaso, also present.

The book, A Killing in the Sun, revolves around themes such as racism, white people’s exploitation of Africa, father-daughter relationships, politics of freedom, betrayal, friendship and love. The author gives a view of the continent through the Afro-futuristic lens and compasses speculative, magical, fantastical and horrific genres in the 200-page book.

A good example is Lights on Water, a story set in futuristic Africa where it is now a uni-racial world. The rulers believe that every human must have the same colour for harmony to be achieved.

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Also employing futurism is A Wife and a Slave, a story that shares the perks and drawbacks of the Western influence in African countries. Here, a racist emperor has transformed Africa through technology.

Another story, The Doctor’s Truck, tells of a girl who is knocked down by a truck that had no driver. The owner of the truck, a doctor, believes that a ghost drove the truck.

“The book has taken more than 12 years to come alive. These stories are firmly grounded in the reality of the world I live in, of the injustices I see, and of what I think is wrong with humanity,” said Dilman.

“There is a lot that we should do as African literary lovers to promote literature in Africa. One important one is to bridge the gap amongst ourselves. We should open our doors so that we can have an author from any country published anywhere in the continent,” said Mr Duduzile.

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