“Through her actions, Nyanzi has shown that fighting for a free, democratic and equal Uganda does not come free. [...] Her story is one that reminds Ugandans that the struggle for freedom has never been achieved by playing to the standards of civility set by those in power.” - Rosebell Kagumire, Editor, African Feminism
Stella Nyanzi was arrested on November 2, 2018 for posting a poem on Facebook that was said to cyber-harras the long-serving President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. She was convicted and sentenced to eighteen months in jail. While in prison, Nyanzi secretly released a collection of poems, No Roses from My Mouth.
The accomplishment of No Roses from My Mouth is not so much that the poetry collection was written in jail, but because it is as thorny as the writing that got Nyanzi imprisoned. In the 196-page book Nyanzi establishes a defiant and provocative tone right from the Author’s Note.
These poems must be read not only for their beauty and the power of the poet's vision, but also for the bravery and radical intent of their writing and publishing.