Ebitontome Ebitasesa – A Sneak Peek into Ssebo Lule’s New Poetry Collection

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Ebitontome Ebitasesa – a Luganda Poetry Book by Ssebo Lule

If I were a snail, I would pinch myself on the thigh, and squirm, making it a point to giggle while everyone else is looking away.


“Because I am beautiful. Or at least in Ssebo Lule’s poetry, I have been so beautifully written about. I have no problem with Satire, as long as what Lule has said about me can make you laugh. See? I told you. We snails have never had issues with anyone after all. If you are good, we are good.”

Ssebo Lule describes why the snail is slow so beautifully

I often shake my head and wonder. How does Ssebo Lule really do it? To take something seemingly invisible to the community, and write about it so well. He has his way, of painting vivid imagery, that sticks with you. Once you read it, you cannot unsee it. And that is true for sure. But to write about a snail, that remarkably – is a gift. His characters are often symbolic too.

Once you read it, you cannot unsee it.

I happen to be very lucky, that the poet recently gifted me a signed copy of his most recent release, ‘Ebitontome Ebitasesa’ translated as ‘Poetry that is not humorous’ or ‘Poems that do not make one laugh’. It can be quite broad. Because satire, which I sometimes look at as sugarcoated sarcasm, is his ultimate style. Ssebo Lule is an alchemist. He will take anything and turn it into gold. Then he will create in his reader an insatiable need to see the social or economic issue Lule presents dealt with while hungering for even more poetry. Ssebo Lule is an Educator. He is a critical thinker. He is an entertainer. I am not popular for shallow remarks because I never give any. Except of course, in the face of sarcasm. This is why I can boldly ask you, to trust my review.

My signed Copy of Ebitontome Ebitasesa
On receiving my Signed Copy of Ssebo Lule’s book

Ssebo Lule is not redundant. Neither is he monotonous. He has his way of raising social and economic issues that pain or challenge Ugandans, and dressing them in a way that can make you laugh till your stomach hurts. And yet, the imagery painted sticks with you, the message too.

Often times in the face of any social event or scenario, I catch myself blurting out a line from any of his poems. For instance, after I turned down a booty call, I could catch myself saying ‘Tompita Twegadange!’ Absolute nonsense right? I get it hehe. I actually mean absolute wisdom. A lot of sarcasm happens here. Now imagine a guy who calls you eight times a week. Asking that you to go his house and hang out. I mean ‘What the heck dude, aren’t there better things to do?’ I am not the same person I was three years ago. So don’t call me to your house to get cheap with me!

That one line ‘Tompita Twegandange’, is literally translated as ‘Don’t call me so we have sex’ and poses so many questions. Paints so many scenarios; and these words – authored by a male poet, in this absurd Uganda of ours where men send girls transport of 20,000 UGX so they go to their homes in the guise of ‘hanging out’, yet literary, is a trap to have sex, make the poem even sweeter.

‘Ebitontome Ebitasesa’ has three sections. ‘Tompita Twegadange’ is poem number six, in section one. In the poem, the protagonist goes ahead to ask the other party why they are calling them to go have sex when there are better things they could be doing. Things like changing the bedsheets of the president, who leaves bed so early and fast because he has so much to do including calling the sun to rise and shine. He goes ahead to suggest a whole list of other activities they could be doing, like drawing inspiration from the president so that they too can do better, knocking down the tall walls – that have been keeping them in bondage, or making mud from the earth and smearing it to the criminals and corrupt people who never face justice. Moreover, the protagonist affirms to the other character, that he seeks to make money, because what can’t money solve really? Money will get you everywhere, anyone, and anything. But fluttery won’t, as it is an archaic way of achieving anything.

In that one poem ‘Tompita Twegadange’, Lule addresses issues of sexual immorality, injustice, corruption, bad leadership, and laziness among others. His style is undeniably powerful and definitely not shallow. 

From a personal perspective, I would say he is the best of our times. No wonder, his tagline is ‘Omutontomi Owebisera E’byomumaaso.’ meaning ‘The poet of the future times.’

Kale Nolaaba Embaata!

Section one of this book is titled ‘Kale Nolaba Embaata!’ and has an illustration of an angry man slapping another who is wearing specs, who I believe in this case is the duck or ‘embaata’. But this image is of course subject to your individual interpretation. That is the beauty of art. Do with it as you wish, the author or poet’s initial interpretation doesn’t have to be your own. Section two is titled ‘Zino Mboozi za Malwa’ translated as ‘Tales by the beer pot’ and section three is titled  ‘Wabula Okusese Abantu Kuzibu’. In section three, some poetry indulges the reader in how difficult it is to make people laugh, a deep satire on Uganda’s absurd comedy shows. 

If you are conversant with some comedy in this country, you are most likely aware of how deeply rooted it is in stereotypes and some neuseating gibberish. Nothing beyond sexual innuendos, tribalistic remarks, and irksome – statements on gender-based violence and global tragedy. Often when you attend some of these shows,  you will leave cringing and never go back. Especially most comedy shows in Luganda language. They are ludicrous. (Banange!)

You will see how shallow the nation has become, that in pursuit of some joy, we are ready to choke down on any nonsense our ‘esteemed’ entertainers serve us with, without question. We are looking for things to do, and places to hang out, so we are comfortable with complacency. Oh, the irony!

But in ‘Ebitontome Ebitasesa’, Lule presents more than entertainment. It is deeply rooted poetry that presents social and economic issues faced by the majority of Ugandans. In each piece, Lule goes ahead to offer insights, and wisdom, and to challenge the reader in unimaginable ways, whilst they are getting regaled. His poetry has some interesting titles too. Let me list them for you.

Section 1; Kale N’olaba Embaata

  1. Ekisoobya Ekkovu
  2. Omukozi wa woofisi
  3. Ebiganye Uganda Okukula
  4. Naye Ani Afuga Eggwanga Lino?
  5. Gavumenti Nkimanyi nti Enningiza
  6. Tompita Twegadange
  7. Amaanyi G’ekisajja
  8. Ebbeyi y’ebintu ekaaye!
  9. Mulye Muwogo si migati

Section 2; Zino Mboozi za Malwa

  1. Katonda w’abanaku teyeebaka
  2. Engeri yobutanyiiza gundi oli
  3. Essawa yonna
  4. Abavuzi ba booda bamanyi bingi
  5. Toyogera kubya bufuzi!
  6. Ssaabalwanyi alwanyisaki?
  7. …… Uganda, Olemwa!
  8. Buli kimu kitta
  9. Emirambo Egitambula.

Section 3; Wabula okusesa abantu kuzibu!

  1. Ekitontome Ekitasesa
  2. Bwobanja bwoti osasulwa
  3. Abasajja mbwa
  4. Tozuukusa beebase baleke
  5. Shuu! Shuu! Tekigoba kannyonyi.

Get yourself a copy at 30.000 UGX. 

Inbox me for a copy or purchase a copy via Ssebo Lule’s website HERE.

You could also purchase via WhatsApp (+256 780629765); or message Small Masavu via link below https://wa.me/message/C6QJ2EXR4NV4F1


Ssebo Lule is an alchemist. He will take anything and turn it into gold – ‘Literally’.


Ssebo Lule (Lule Raymond) was born on 15/02/1991 in Kampala, Uganda. He is a Luganda poet, author, actor, rapper, and poetry editor. His poetry advocates for socio-political change, environment conservation, and life improvement at individual levels. Love is at the center of it all; love for oneself, a fellow citizen, and the world as a natural and limitless resource.


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