September 4, 2020

Author Answers Questions

 David Ssembajjo

    The reasons I chose the theme I wanted to highlight and expose the discrepancy in the lives and occupation of slaves. It was to give voice to all people concerned about the well being of slaves. I knew that it was vital to bring understanding and opinion over those who are captive beyond comprehension and purpose. The theme was to give a slave his destiny without being in bondage. I chose the theme to give a slave freedom to work with all their ability and power. A master who frees his slaves will be honoured and the slave would not be a liability but an asset to a master. I wanted to show that a slave has a future and life which can be productive and fulfilling. A slave can be industrious and a freed slave has a destiny in his life. 

The theme of book was to find out the struggle; of the slave, to work and to find out how he can endure. A slave can contribute towards society and he may have strength and give back to society. A slave can learn from his master and adapt the skills of his master. A slave is not a scrounger, weak or lazy. A slave can be innovative and he is willing to help all those who are weak. He invests in his freedom and helps those who are in need. It is important that a slave becomes free and offers his knowledge and wisdom to the world. The slave can become a master of his destiny. He leads and chooses his destiny without brutality and violence. He never fights for his resources but the master frees him because of his hard work. There are other slaves who are weak compared to him. He invests in his interests.

I chose the characters who I think are true to life. I wanted stronger characters familiar to life. I wanted to give the characters challenge and hope. I wanted to give them tasks to follow and whether they would endure the life of being a slave. I wanted to empower them and provide them with the tools to work. I never wanted them to be lazy but to have the right to secure justice. The characters exhibit love and are compassionate. The main character Mr Batwala is merciful and kind, he offers his love to all mankind and he is a humanitarian activist. He offers his wealth to the world and loves to help the disadvantaged. He offers his help to the dispossessed. However Nalukuli his wife has other ideas as far as the extravagance exposed by Mr Batwala. I wanted to show how strong she was in looking after his interests. She is a pillar and strength to him. She gives and provides him with solace and peace. She is his confidant and great parent that has responsibilities looking after their children. She rescues him from turbulent waters. She is progressive and offers him a helping hand. She offers him moral support and guides or teaches him virtues of living in this world. She is protective and when he is brought to trial she offers him a helping hand. She is pragmatic never fails in her quest to save their marriage. She gives every ounce of her life to love her man. She doesn’t abandon her lover but offers her love in the best way she can. Her love is dedicated to loving him. The characters assist one another and help one another despite the many challenges they face. The characters have a purpose and they exist to give a rough idea what it is to be a slave.

The plot was not difficult to work out once I had a story in mind. The plot follows time and pace. The physical location of the novel has different time zones and there are different characters in those zones. The plot begins in Africa and takes place out of Africa at a mysterious location. There are workers on the farm in the beginning and the farm forms a central part to the setting and has a fundamental impact on the story. The story moves from the village to a city setting. There is music as a dramatic theme to the story. The village is different from the city which means there are strange activities taking place. The main character develops and changes mood and pace as the story unfolds and it is a gateway of life. The story begins on the coffee farm and ends on the coffee farm. The coffee farm is part of the story and offers oil to a fire. The plot fires up with people having different problems and concerns. Mr Batwala is central to the plot and it was easy to workout life in the village and in the city. The coffee farm has workers and have different interests and the slaves departing on the sea is too a central part to the plot. The sea has its toil and sweat. The sea never resists its cargo sailing through coast to coasts. The sea plays a crucial part in the weaving of the story and plot. The sea ruins lives and leaves a lot to be desired. The sea becomes an enemy of the slaves and it is man rather than the sea to be blamed for the fate of the slaves. The plot was easy to workout.

The reader would take away the message that a freed slave is capable of mastering his life. The reader would find out that being freed as a slave doesn’t mean the slave has come out of the wood. There are many challenges he has to face and endure. He has a life to lead and he has to overcome all the problems in his life. Coffee farming too is still controlled by the master and there is no way he can determine coffee prices. The message in the novel is to try and help workers to determine their lives and the coffee prices. Coffee is dear to all our lives and nations rely on its impact in the world. Coffee offers us work and there should be a fair trade in producing coffee. A nation cannot rely on one single crop for its resources and exchequer. There needs to be a diversification in the economy and to have a great integrated source of revenue. The reader would be aware that coffee is crucial in the lives of all farmers in the world. Farmers need to be rewarded handsomely without bias or favouritism. Readers would understand the need to transform the world and customers have great power to change the world and can vote with their feet. Readers would be aware how coffee is produced and the toil it takes. Coffee is a product of a colonial crop that was there to serve the colonialists and it still serves the master as was intended. There is a need to end the tradition of depending on one single crop. There needs to end the reliance of one crop. The readers may advocate for change in the economic order and world system. The readers would understand the need to bring about empowerment by offering workers a chance to determine the coffee prices. The message in the book is to free workers and to get rid the colonial legacy and there to be a new chapter in the lives of the workers. The readers would be concerned that there is covert slavery still taking place even though it is not on the surface on the earth and it is subtle slavery that exists to this present day. The novel has a message of hope that a slave can have peace and can choose to live without interrupting anyone. A freed slave is a blessed slave. 

David Ssembajjo is a self-Published writer and has written five books. He came to Britain in 1991 and was a student and began writing the following year. He tried soliciting traditional publishers by submitting his work but received several rejection slips. He was introduced to publishers and wrote his first book The Stolen Gift, which was a political book, and he authored secondly a Journey to Maleba which was about a man trying to find paradise, then he authored Chronicles of a Soldier, a love story with a war element, then Servants of the Underground, about a dictatorship rule and lastly Mr Batwala’s Farm.

Ssembajjo as a self-published writer self-promotes his books by liaising with publishers and he contacts reviewers, librarians, and bookshops. He has appeared in classified journals and has appeared on BBC Radio Birmingham where he discussed his books. He was a former member of reading and writing groups and he was part of a team that published an anthology of poems and short stories.  In the groups they discussed diverse works and were assigned to write poems. He was a former member of Society of Authors, a former member of Player/Playwrights and a former member of English PEN.

He is a member of Author Licensing and Collecting Society and a member of Public Lending Right. He was long listed for Papatango New Writing Prize and his book Servants of the Underground was selected among the 60 best books submitted for the North Street Book Prize. He has submitted his poems and story stories to various magazines but has received no commissioning. He has posted his poems to various poetic websites which include My Poetic Side and Poetry Free For All. For more information

1 comment:

  1. Mr Batwala's Farm sounds like an intriguing book with many facets. I wish you the best on your publishing journey.