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John Ruganda (30 May 1941 to 8 December 2007) was Uganda's best known playwright. Beyond his work as a playwright, Ruganda was also a professor at University of North, South Africa, University of Nairobi, and Makerere University.[1]

Ruganda's plays "reflect the reality of the East African sociopolitical situation after independence."[2] He was considered a shaping force of East African theater.[3] The Burdens (1972) and The Floods (1980) have become a regular part of curriculum in Literature classes.[4]



  • The Burdens, Kampala, Uganda, National Theatre, January 1970
  • Black Mamba, Kampala, 1972
  • The Good Woman of Setzuan, by Bertolt Brecht, translated into Swahili by Ruganda, Nairobi, Nairobi University Players, November 1978
  • The Floods, Nairobi, French Cultural Centre, 1 March 1979
  • Music without Tears, Nairobi, Nairobi University Players, February 1982
  • Echoes of Silence, Nairobi, 1985

Shreds of Tenderness


  • The Secret of the Season, screenplay by Ruganda, Voice of Kenya, March 1973
  • The Floods, screenplay by Ruganda, Voice of Kenya, April 1973
  • The Illegitimate, screenplay by Ruganda, Voice of Kenya, August 1982


  1. ^ African Books Collective. "John Ruganda". Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  2. ^ Imbuga, Francis. "John Ruganda". Gale Database: Dictionary of Literary Biography. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  3. ^ Ssenkaaba, Stephen (18 December 2007). "Ruganda: The passing of a literary giant". New Vision Online. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  4. ^ East African Educational Publishers Ltd. "John Ruganda Passes On". Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2011.

Further readingEdit

  • Horn, "Uhuru to Amin: The Golden Decade of Theatre in Uganda," Literary Half-Yearly, 19, no. 1 (1978): 22-49
  • Peter Nazareth, "Africa under Neocolonialism: New East African Writing," Busara, 6, no. 1 (1974): 19-32
  • Mineke Schipper, Theatre and Society in Africa (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1982).