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"Sometimes The Things We Battle With Are In Fact The Very Things That Make Us Superheroes" - Ugandan ARTrepeneur Kemiyondo Coutinho On Favourite Reads

BY STELLA WAAFRIKA




Another edition of favourite readsthis time we feature Ugandan ARTrepeneur, Kemiyondo Coutinho. She's an actress, directer, playwright and overall artist. In a nutshell, she's a force of creativity.

The classically-trained actress is spearheading the next generation of Ugandan thespians and performers; driven by her passion for the arts whilst acknowledging and celebrating other artists through platforms like A Ka Dope. A Ka Dope is Kemiyondo's brainchild; a concept which entails Dope Times. Dope Vibes. Dope People. Held in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

When she's not on stage performing or directing behind the scenes, she's busy organizing spaces for fellow artists, using avenues like A Ka Dope to showcase their talent. 

Her five favourite reads and their effect on her life:


Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

I have always struggled with identity. Seeing myself one way and others seeing me another. Feeling like I could connect to everyone because of my multicultural upbringing but no one could entirely connect to me. Reading Trevor Noah's journey was a beautiful reminder that this is in fact a gift. Seeing how he handled his own identity albeit in a time with more turmoil than my own (apartheid), gave me insight on how sometimes the things we battle with are in fact the very things that make us superheroes.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This book felt like reading my diary. When you go to the states you expect the life you see in the movies. You expect to join the BSU and be black. You expect many many things and like most assumptions, you are very wrong. The humor and honesty that is told through Ifemelu reminded that this is a shared experience. The coming back home and feeling distanced from your home and feeling stuck in between two worlds is something I still face. I often read this book when I travel to always make me feel less alone in the limbo.


The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Aside from adoring Shonda Rhimes and loving every word she types, this book came at a time when I was unsure of many things. It also showed me that the woman I admired and obsessed about had her own insecurities and her own demons that she fought daily. This was humbling to me. It reminded me that no matter how much success one may have you constantly have to check in with the little voice and attend to that voice. You constantly have yourself to deal with so you may as well deal with her now.

The Bluest Eye by Tony Morrison
When moving to the states I did not understand racism. I understood it through the eyes of Apartheid but I did not grasp institutionalized racism. This book opened my eyes to race issues within the states. I feel grateful to this book because it was the beginning of my exploration of race whilst I was in the USA.

The Four Agreements by Don Ruiz

It may be seen as a self help book but aren't all books helping the self in some way? I read this book at least once every 4 months. A gentle reminder of 4 core principles I have tried to adopt in my life.

Click HERE for more information about her work. She can also be found on Instagram and Twitter as @Kemi_stry. 

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