Butterflies of the Nile is a collection of poetry, short stories and plays written by Jane Musoke-Nteyafas, a Ugandan writer living in Canada. The tone is sharply feminine, with passionate descriptions of the beauty of an African woman.
She writes, “In the beginning, God populated the earth with black women and he made them a rich embellishing combination of all colours and shades. They were beautiful rainbow complexions of coffee, cocoa, and ebony, chocolate…. and the Devil came along and created skin lighteners…”
Butterflies of the Nile is drawn from an inventive and compelling poem in praise of the African woman’s beauty. Despite this beauty, it is absurd how the natives of Africa, especially the men folk who live in the Diaspora have developed a penchant for exotic tastes and alienated their African tastes.
Muhwezi, in Prom Night, is a Ugandan born, Canadian bred bloke who never appreciates Aisha, his Ugandan born Canadian girlfriend, despite her breathtaking beauty. This compels Aisha to start putting on and using lots of beauty enhancers to appease him. He nevertheless, does not appreciate Aisha’s spruced up appearance meant to placate him. Instead, in a drunken stupor, he abuses her.
Nteyafas writes of deep love and affection in Nakimera’s Love. Nakimera and Rwomushana, both Ugandans living abroad, meet in an online chatting site. They fall deeply in love and Nakimera goes to England to stay with him. Nakimera’s Love is an enchanting love story of the African love, which brings together and binds Nakimera and Rwomushana. Through Nakimera, Rwomushana appreciates how beautiful women from his home country are.
The Face shows how modernity has pushed many women to use a lot of make-up to appear ‘beautiful’, fashionable and sophisticated. Katrice is a beautiful African woman. She however, uses lots of make up to fake artificial beauty, which she fails to attain. She dislikes her beautiful physique, which ironically makes her look more beautiful than she thinks she is. But after putting on make-up, she is visibly ugly and her boyfriend abandons her. But, when her second boyfriend dissuades her from using make up, she heeds his call and her authentic African beauty stuns him. He vows stay by her side forever.
Jane Musoke-Nteyefas is potently feministic, championing the rights and place of women in modern society. In her simplicity, she writes strongly and passionately of the beauty of African women, love and relationships. The themes run through the plays, poems and short stories, with a touch of biblical allusion spicing up some of the stories. She writes to heal the distorted stereotypes and misconceptions attached to the African woman’s beauty. The anthology is powerfully written, passionately moving, truly sensitive and truly refreshing.