Burundian poet and author Eliseus Bamporineza officially launches his collection of poetry on love and romance at United States In Africa – in Nairobi Kenya.


Among high profile attendees were the USIU Vice Chancellor professor Margee Ensign, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, the Dean of School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the representative of Burundi diaspora in Kenya. Victor Bol from South Sudan and Anyika Muchesia from Kenya launched their respective books as well.

Below is his full speech to the audience:

I would like to start off my address with a short but real story. When I was barely five, I happened to be my mom’s favourite child. I could escort her almost everywhere. One day I sat next to her as she took part in a steamy chat with other women in the village. While others were complaining that their husbands don’t it well and sometimes sleep as they eat, my mom could echo, saying that hers doesn’t eat. This is where I got confused because I always saw dad eat. Another day, a young man who had a bottle of drinking water told mom he was thirsty. Mom snubbed him, shouting at him that someone else already owns the fountain. Then I wondered which fountain!

 As I grew up, I came to realize the kind of food they were talking about was not chicken curry and vegetable rice or nyama choma and ugali. It was SEX. And the fountain was not the Trevi fountain in Rome or boreholes in Busia. It was SEX. I started questioning why men monopolize sex, do women also get sex? If so, do they enjoy sex? Could they initiate an action that would lead to sex? In other words, could they be the first to ask a man out? Tell him all those romantic lines, touch him, hold his hands, kiss him in public without fear of being called a slut?

Could she tell him that she wants sex and guide him on how to do it for win-win ending?

 All about Her and Me was written in response to these thought-provoking questions.

Crafted in first, second and third persons, the book depicts a balanced sexual relationship between a man and a woman in which both of them participate.

While sexual act has been seen as benefitting only men, this book gives voice to both partners. It tells us that a fulfilling intercourse is not just about mere moaning. Chimamanda Adichie once said, and I quote “We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in a way that boys are. If we have sons, we do not mind knowing our sons’ girlfriends, but a daughter’s boyfriend, God forbid!” End of quote. But this is not how things should be!

A woman can also express the pleasure she feels from arousal to the act and suggests styles that make her enjoy it better.

 While my Burundian society and many other societies still consider openly talking about sex as taboo, I do not shy away from exploring sensuality, sexual attraction, and intimate relationship in most of the poems in this book. One of the challenges I faced as I wrote this book was the question whether I was able to walk in a woman’s shoes to write from her perspective on sex matters. Well, the reactions I got from ladies I interacted with is that they too would like to give a language to their emotions, speak and be heard, date and romance their partners. Last week in my philosophy class, the lecturer asked us “What is Love”? can it be felt, tasted, seen, heard, lived? The book provides the answer. I therefore invite you all to get a copy of the book and find out more. I urge you to take ownership their sexuality and speak out about their romantic drives and feelings.


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