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Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  22 reviews
From Uganda, one of the most successful African literacy works.
Paperback, 158 pages
Published June 7th 1984 by Heinemann Educational Books (first published 1969)
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Roseline Maucha westernization which alienated Africans from their culture.This can be seen from lawino's useof language of exaggeration when she talks about the…morewesternization which alienated Africans from their culture.This can be seen from lawino's useof language of exaggeration when she talks about the woman with whom she shares her husband.Also when Lawino says that Ocol hates black people and calls Lawino's mother a witch.(less)
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Tichaona Chinyelu
Taking the book solely at face value, Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol are verses concerned with the disintegration of the marriage of Lawino, a rural African (Acoli) woman and Ocol, her western-educated husband. However, peeling back the cover of the words even a tiny bit reveals a woman committed to her indigenous culture versus a man who thinks that her culture needs to be removed from the face of the earth. How could two such people co-exist in the same household? How could two such differi ...more
if p'bitek was still working on this , the modern african woman has more to be talked on their skinny self, I would add they look like a confined ankole cow in a rubaga because the owner would not pay a fine. also those who took up with the chinese injection to increase their butts, are likely to cry because they look like mizigo not properly tied on a runaway jangili's bike.
The educated men as well, carries heavy kengeles between his legs with the kolongkolong...sounds especially when he is no
This is a cross between the dramatic monologue and a "traditional" Acoli (Ugandan) song-form; a woman called lawino gives her husband ocol a serious talking-to about how he's forsaken her for a modern girl (a wench called clementine who's been over-doing the skin-lightening cream) because he's become enchanted with western ways; so its an eloquent defense of traditional rural life by someone who knows exactly how her culture is condescended to (Bitek got a phd in anthropology at oxford in the 19 ...more
Dari Okot p’Bitek dan sajak-sajaknya bisa ditarik dua pelajaran. Pelajaran pertama berasal dari masalah yang diungkapnya dalam “Nyanyian Lawino” dan “Nyanyian Ocol”. Problem yang dihadapi masyarakat Uganda dalam lingkup sempit, juga dialami masyarakat Afrika. Lebih luas lagi, problem itu diderita oleh hampir semua negara berkembang (baca: Dunia Ketiga). Bagi kita yang juga merdeka pasca-Perang Dunia Kedua, sajak-sajak Okot memberikan tambahan pengetahuan baru, memberikan wawasan pemikiran baru t ...more
a true african book.remarkable
Bwesigye Mwesigire
A masterpiece.
I'm not proud of this fact, but I must say I've never been a big reader of serious African literature. I'm afraid that there are only so many books I can read about the conflict between tradition and modernity (which, it seems, is what almost all African literature has been about since the 1940s and 50s). I am also not a big reader of poetry. So by all appearances I should not have enjoyed this book very much.

That being said, I found this book to be fascinating. I can't say I agree with the auth
Zen Cho
I really liked this and did not know there was also a Song of Ocol. It is funny and dauntless and not in the least cowed even though it's basically this woman listing how horrible her husband is to her and how he says she's uneducated and the ways of black people are primitive and barbaric etc. etc. And she is just like, whatever! You have got it all wrong!

Lots of quotable quotes: liked the musty forest of books, books smashing her husband's testicles (there is kind of a lot of ARE YOU A GIRL OR
Reading this after having read Coconut by Kopano Matlwa, I would say Song of Lawino is more definitive on which side it stands on- that of Lawino. Song of Lawino is a strong critique of blind abandonment of and disparagement of Acoli traditions and in a broader sense, of ethnic traditions in favour of borrowed traditions, in this case borrowed from the British who were Uganda's colonisers. The book also provided insight into Acoli values and traditions which I enjoyed- the proverbs in particular ...more
I usually struggle with poetry, but I thought this was very engaging and readable.
Caleps Labeja
Truely post-colonial,great piece!
Okay, I could go on and on about how much I love the poetry in this book, I have read it more than five times...but I won't because the author at the begining talks about how when the book was translated from his native tongue, Acoli, which I don't speak, some of the imagery was lost (he calls it blunting the arrow) and I feel like I will forever miss something everytime I read it. Still love it. By far its the best, in my opinion on the effects of colonialism on African culture.
Rarasraras R
Sep 04, 2007 Rarasraras R rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in poco poetry in english or poetry in general
Shelves: haveread
- interesting
- a lot to uncover especially in the light of postcolonialism and what it can do to people ..hehe
- a loud "backward" woman vs a just recently "modernized" man
- might be something that those coming from a once colonized country could relate to
- fun and light reading but gives a pretty clear insight of what might happen inside a colonized head.
I honestly tried to read this book for my high school class some 9 years ago. My english was pretty bad at the time, and this book hasn't helped, that's for sure.
I suspect this is one of those works one has to read a couple of times to glean its richness. Definitely worth reading again.
Ah! A good read.
Also,a friend kept asking why Lawino and Ocol keep insulting each other.
Fantanstic writing. Great imageries.
Wonderful cultural shock-n-awe.
Vincent Paul
Just what love is...
Arthur Kasamba
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beauty 1 11 Apr 01, 2010 04:14AM  
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Okot p'Bitek (7 June 1931 – 20 July 1982) was a Ugandan poet, who achieved wide international recognition for Song of Lawino, a long poem dealing with the tribulations of a rural African wife whose husband has taken up urban life and wishes everything to be westernised.

(from Wikipedia)
More about Okot p'Bitek...
White Teeth The Horn of My Love Hare And Hornbill Decolonizing African Religion: A Short History of African Religions in Western Scholarship Two Songs

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