Lantern Meet Foundation (LMF), also know to some as the Lantern Meet of Poets, is a social enterprise that has championed poetry in Uganda for over a decade.
What started out as a small group of students reciting poems to each other in university dorm rooms is steadily evolving into a publishing powerhouse.
What is the foundation all about?
After letting go of their initial reserve, the Kampala-based collective started reciting to the public during their meet ups and gradually established a mission;
“To improve the reading and writing culture in Africa,” as stated by Joanita Namugula, the Administrative Manager.
They would proceed to direct substantial resources into high school visits to foster poetry clubs and activities.
Some of these included St. Mary’s College Kisubi, Nabisunsa Girls Secondary School, Gayaza High School, Kings College Budo & Turkish Light Academy.
What are their major bodies of work?
For the longer time, these took the form of theatrical performances including bi-weekly meets, audience-specific recitals, and full-on poetry productions.
They’ve had over 10 productions including: “Tells by the Campfire”, “Waltz of Words”, “Odyssey of Verse”, “Words, Heartbeats and Neon Lights” among others.
Regarding their venture into books, LMF’s first title is “Street Lights at Noon Eclipse”, a poetry anthology with contributions from over 40 Ugandan poets.
How does LMF fare on the screen?
Building on the very principles that helped them inject their variety productions into the Kampala arts and events scene, LMF is blending poetry into other art forms like film.
From daring monologues to passionate confrontations, Clive Nshiime attempts to create a visual presentation of “A Poet Plays The Coquette” by Bruno Edgard.
Starring Nabankema Lydia and Bruno Edgard, the film titled “The Sunflower Crossroads” substitutes the conventional screenplay conversation with recital technique.
Using ingenious and minimalist editing and cinematography, it displays various aspects of a relationship, showing “how love bends even the hardest of hearts.”
The film draws from an assortment of other poems like:
- Bad Boy Metamorphosis by Namuddu Muheezi
- Think not my dear by Emmanuel Ngabire
- Complex Engagement by Daphine Arinda
- Becoming A Man by Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa
- Kanyagye by Surumani Manzi
- We Fit by Susanne Aniku
- Upon A Beach by Joshua Okello
Lantern Meet Foundation is clearly not afraid to take risks, and is determined to use every tool at their disposal to further poetry.
Poetry under lockdown
With over a decade of experience, adapting is nothing new to LMF and COVID-19 restrictions saw them move more work through their social media channels.
They have since uploaded a number of videos on their YouTube channel, Ibua Lounge. They also held a live 40-minute Instagram show dubbed Insta Mic Poetry via Ibua Journal.
Book purchases are also available on their website shop with payment and delivery requiring no physical meeting.
LMF hopes to publish three more titles this year, and provide office-like space for creatives, also with affordable rent options for people affected by the pandemic.
Keep up with all their publishing and activities at Ibua Journal.