Flame and Song: A Memoir


Philippa Kabali-Kagwa

Soul-warming memoir tells of a life enriched by song, literature, food and spirituality at the heart of a loving family who move from Uganda to Addis Ababa to Cape Town.

Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa’s soul-warming memoir tells of a life enriched by song, literature, food and spirituality at the heart of a loving family. Born into a newly independent Uganda, she grew up in a volatile political landscape but never lacked the inspiration and protection of generations of friends and relatives. Her story travels from her expansive childhood homes in Uganda, to the novelties of living in Addis Ababa, before settling in Cape Town, her current home. But no matter how far her journeys take her, it’s clear that home is not only about places but people.

Philippa Kabali-Kagwa

Philippa Kabali-Kagwa

Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa is a storyteller, leadership coach and facilitator. She started out as a teacher and her work has grown into the areas of leadership and personal development. Philippa spoke at TEDxTableMountain and TEDxPrinceAlbert in 2012. She has published poems in a number of collections and written four children’s books.

“Philippa Kabali Kagwa’s memoir is a warm, intimate and moving witnessing of childhood, family, love and country.)
Yewande Omotoso (author of Bom Boy and The Woman Next Door

Flame and Song is a warm, exquisite quilt of memories that one snuggles into as if indoors on a cold, rainy, vacation day. I read it in one sitting, charmed. The rhythms, smells, sounds, tastes, textures and sights of her Uganda are so beautifully recreated here. This is a coming-of-age story that captures the simple joys of childhood and the enduring ties of kith and kin that become the narrator’s recipe to survival through the grim reality and legacy of Uganda͛s years of political turmoil, and later on in life. Flame and Song’s skilful blend of poetry and prose will keep you on an emotional roller-coaster until the last page is turned.͟
Mshai Mwangola(Internationally renowned Kenyan ͚orator͛, actor, director and storyteller)

The poems folded into the narrative of Flame and Song seem to sway to their own rhythm and dance.
Tiah Beautenment, Johannesburg Review of Books

An enjoyable read, you want to meet Philippa and hug her. The book is light yet heavy. It may not dwell extensively on issues but her story telling and poetry certainly endows a heaviness into the message. A must read for all living generations especially in Uganda.
Joel B Ntwatwa