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UWC Unlocked Talks #32: “Songs of the Tongue-Tied: Poetry of the Refugee Experience”, A Conversation with Francisco Nsabimana
“Songs of the Tongue-Tied: Poetry of the Refugee Experience”
A Conversation with Francisco Nsabimana

Francisco Nsabimana (Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA, 2018-2020) is a poet and author of the recently published “Songs of the Tongue-Tied”, a complex poetic rendering of a life lived in refugee camps in Southern Africa based largely on Francisco’s own experiences of spending his childhood and adolescence in refugee camps in Tanzania, Malawi and eSwatini - after his family were forced to flee his birth country of Rwanda.

It was in Malawi that Francisco found his passion for writing from a writers' club he was part of while attending Dzaleka Community Day Secondary School. Francisco’s first published collection of poetry has been described as providing a visceral experience. The poems, many of which were written while Francisco was a student at Waterford, simultaneously expose brutal realities of poverty while expressing gratitude and hope, as told through Francisco’s youthful eyes.

In this UWC Unlocked Talk, you are invited to take part in a Q&A session with Francisco that will be moderated by Owenkhosi Sigudla, a current IBDP1 student at Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA from eSwatini. You will also have the chance to hear some of Francisco’s poems.

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UWC Unlocked Talks are informal online video conferences offered by UWCers for UWCers, exploring a range of topics to help stimulate our minds, fuel connection and spark new ideas. Whether on world politics or yoga, on climate change or cooking classes, this is an opportunity for all - from current students to longtime graduates, from UWC staff to parents - to continue those ‘common room’ chats that make the UWC experience so special and so important -- this time online.

Please note that the event will be recorded and shared on the UWC Hub (
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