Apio Winnie is the General Manager of Open Mic Uganda, and also a poet of that platform. She is a born-again Christian woman. Her smile always goes before her and has become an icon for who people see her. That probably makes her quintessentially a happy person. She believes that she has a heart big enough to carry the entire universe and is not afraid to let people in.She loves people; helping them, being around them. She finds her greatest joy is in seeing someone smile and knowing that she is responsible for that smile. She is quiet at first(when not comfortable with the people shes not used to), but most of the time, shes the voice you hear over other voices in a crowd.
Some people believe that poets are sophisticated people because of their “ powerful command of words”, what’s your take?
People probably have that perception because of the misconception that poetry is only learned in literature classes. I believe (and know) that poetry is like music. It is an expression of the heart. You don’t have to be sophisticated to understand or write it. It comes naturally. Sometimes, though, a “powerful command of words” does make the pieces seem sophisticated but sophistication is not just about the words people use.
Are you sophisticated?
Am I sophisticated? Well, I like to believe that I am to an extent. Otherwise, I like thinking that I am more simple than sophisticated; easy to relate to.
What words best describe you?
That’s easy. Loving, caring, principled, open minded and loud.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Life. My life, other people’s lives and sometimes an imagination of what life in someone else’s shoes is like.
Do you believe that poets have the ability to positively change the world, if so ,how?
Yes. Very very much. You see, poets write and express from the heart. The heart is basically the place where human drive comes from. And here’s the best part, heart speaks to heart. So when a poet writes or performs, they are transferring energy from one heart to another. Creating change from the inside out. Hope that wasn’t too poetic an explanation.(smile)
What’s your education background?
Well, I studied in some of the best schools I have ever heard of (snicker). I was in Nakasero Primary school for primary. I did my o’levels from Trinity college Nabbingo and my A’levels from St. Lawrence Horizon campus. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Community Psychology from Makerere University and I am hoping to start my master’s degree in clinical psychology next year.
In your perspective, what is success?
I believe success is doing what you have the most passion for and being able to reap from it. Unlike what is more popularly passed around, I believe that success has little to do with how much money you have and more to do with how much fulfillment you get at the end of the day; how much peace of mind you enjoy; if peace can be measured.
I love writing( obviously). I also love singing and dancing. However, my ultimate favorite thing to do is talking. Yes, talking. I find that I really enjoy the feeling of words dancing around my tongue mostly in a playful manner. I am not arrogantly saying I love the sound of my own voice but I do love talking!
Romantic date with scented candles with lots of flowers all over the place or a night out with the girls, which suites you and why?
Being that those are the only options on the table, I would definitely go with the romantic date, I am not much of a go out and party girl. However, I am not a hopeless romantic either; the candles and flowers would be unnecessary. My idea of romantic is him showing up unannounced with food and a movie smelling like the god of cologne( I am a sucker for a guy who smells good) or us taking a walk under the starlight hand in hand. I think the most romantic thing a guy can give me is his time; in the most ordinary of ways. I don’t like guys who try too hard.
Are you dating, married or single?
Can I not answer that? I enjoy people’s speculations. ( smile)
What’s your dream destination?
Brazil, Spain, Rome, in that order.
Any final remarks?
Poetry and spoken word isn’t something to be enjoyed by just the select few. Poetry is very much like music, once you allow the words to sink in, you will find that it is understandable and even relatable. Using the same analogy, there are different genres of poetry too. You just have to find what kind you like. I like the move that poetry is taking in our country today. I like that people are tramping the myth that it is only for those who have a literature background and embracing it. I have found that the best writers write from their heart; not their head so knowledge has less effect on poetry compared to heart
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