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Ode To Truth by Stella Nyanzi


Truth is like a big Mutuba tree;

Even after chopping it down with an axe,

A strong shoot from the trunk we’ll see.

Truth remains, although it wane or wax.

Although the dictatorship may frighten me

Yet from the truth, I’ll never go lax. 

Freedom of speech, internet that’s free!

Truth pervades in spite of the OTT tax.

Truth is like the stain of Matooke sap

Once it enters the fabric of one’s clothes 

No amount of strong stain-remover

Can remove it from the stained clothes.

Truth is like a bone of the Tilapia fish

If accidentally eaten as one feared

One must spit it out or choke to death

Truth can never be swallowed or disappeared. 

Truth is like a rocket sitting in the chest

If forced down the trachea to avoid shame

It bursts out in the loudest of coughs.

Truth cannot be choked or hidden. 

* This poem is published in solidarity with Ugandan academic and activist, Dr Stella Nyanzi, who was serving an 18-month prison sentence over a Facebook post in which she allegedly insulted President Museveni and his mother.

The poem is part of a poetry collection titled No Roses From My Mouth written while she was held prisoner at Luzira Women’s Prison. Get your copy of No Roses from my Mouth: Poems from Prison (Political Prisoner Series Book 1) here.

Dr. Stella Nyanzi was freed today after she won her appeal in court.

Dr. Stella Nyanzi


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