Stella Nyanzi's Birthday Poem "Yoweri, they say it was your birthday yesterday." 1 Favorite 



Sep 15 2018


Online, Uganda

Dr. Stella Nyanzi, a Ugandan medical anthropologist, activist, and writer, was convicted after writing and posting a poem online, in which she criticized Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his mother. In November 2018, Ugandan authorities charged Dr. Nyanzi with “cyber harassment” and “offensive communication” under Sections 24 and 25 of the 2011 Computer Misuse Act, and detained her in connection with the poem. She was later acquitted on the charge of “offensive communication,” but in August 2019 the court sentenced her to 18 months imprisonment for “cyber harassment.” Dr. Nyanzi lodged an appeal against the court’s “cyber harassment” conviction, while the prosecution lodged an appeal against the court’s “offensive communication” acquittal. Her case has now been delayed and re-allocated to another judge after Dr. Nyanzi’s legal team protested against a proposed closed-door hearing of the appeal and cross-appeal.

The poem, published last September, uses a graphic description of the birth of the Ugandan President and his mother's vagina to criticize his "oppression, suppression and repression" of the country, which he has ruled for over 30 years.
In early June, Nyanzi's legal team put it to Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Court that she had no case to answer and pushed for her immediate release. But the judgment went against her. She remains in jail and will start presenting her defense this week. Nyanzi has asked the court to summon 20 defense witnesses, including President Yoweri Museveni himself.
Nyanzi has been known in African academic and feminist circles for decades, but it's her provocative poetry about the 74-year-old President that has made her a household name in Uganda in recent years.
"Yoweri, they say it was your birthday yesterday. How horrifically cancerous a day!" reads part of the now infamous vagina poem.
"I wish the infectious dirty-brown discharge flooding Esiteri's [Museveni's mother's] loose pussy had drowned you to death / Drowned you as vilely as you have sank and murdered the dreams and aspirations of millions of youths who languish in the deep sea of massive unemployment, and under-emplyment (sic) in Uganda."

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Timeframe For change

Stella Nyanzi seeks political reform in Uganda starting with the removal of the current dictator and the election of new members to high political offices. She ran for parliament in the February 2021 elections and lost.


This project brought journalistic and academic attention to Uganda with regards to the political situation there, the degree to which free speech is not available there, the rights of women, and the current level of social morality that governs the country. Stella Nyanzi's poems, including the one highlighted here, and her prison sentence have become symbols of political unrest in Uganda.