A little about Violet

Violet Barungi was born in 1943 in Mbarara, Western Uganda. She is a holder of a BA honours degree in History from Makerere University, Kampala, 1967 and a professional book editor. She is married and lives with her husband in Kampala. She is currently working on her third novel with the working title of Uncharted Waters.



Violet Barungi's first short story, Kefa Kazana, was published in Origin East Africa, an anthology of short stories edited by Prof. David Cook and broadcast on the BBC in 1964. Her play Over My Dead Body won the British Council New Playwriting Award for Africa and The Middle East in 1997.


Her publications include The Shadow and the Substance published by Lake Publishers, Kenya, 1998, Cassandra published by FEMRITE Publications Limited, Uganda, 1999, and Short stories for children, which include Tit for Tat and other stories (1997), Our Cousins From Abroad (2003) and The Boy Who Became King (2004).


Her plays include The Award-winner, a stage play written to commemorate women’s creative works in the new millennium (unpublished) and an unpublished radio play, The Bleeding Heart.

A note on Over My Dead Body

In addition to winning the British Council New Playwriting Award for Africa and the Middle East in 1997, where the judges described it as ‘an optimistic play, written with power and subtlety, with vivid and lively characters’, Over My Dead Body has been widely acclaimed: It was declared the Play of the Year by the Institute of Arts and Culture of the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 2016, it featured in a reading performance by Indian Ensemble at the International Theatre Festival, in Kerala, India, 2016, and it also featured in Hong Kong reading performance by the Hong Kong section of IATC (International Association of Theatre Critics) 2018. In Uganda, the play has just been made into a film by New Intentions Uganda, directed by Kennedy Kihire; it has already been released and will soon be showing on home television.

Children's Books

She also writes for children and has produced 11 titles in that genre by various publishers, including Oxford University Press, Kenya, Macmillan Publishers and Uganda Children Writers and Illustrators Association.

List of Plays
  • Over My Dead Body, winner of the British Council International New Playwriting Awards for Africa and the Middle East, 1997, published in the African Women Playwrights Anthology by the University of Illinois, 2008
  • The Award-Winner, a stage play written to celebrate women’s works in the new millennium, 2000
  • Tit for Tat – 1997, ISBN 9970 716 032
  • Our Cousins from Abroad – UCWIA (Uganda Children Writers and Illustrators Association), 2003, ISBN 9970 716 076
  • Hope Restored – Oxford University Press, East Africa, 2008, ISBN 978 019 57336 79
  • The Boy Who Became King – UCWIA, 2003, ISBN 9970 716 087
  • Wanda Asks Questions – Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2009, ISBN 978-0-230-53317-2
  • Jena Breaks A Promise – Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2009, ISBN 978-0-230-53318-9
  • Lucky Escape – Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2009, ISBN 978-0-230-53313-4
  • The Baby in the Forest – UCWIA, 2009, ISBN 9970 710 000
  • Change of Heart – Oxford University Press, East Africa, 2011, ISBN 978-019-57368-92

Selected Works

Violet Barungi - Shadow & Substance
Violet Barungi - Cassandra
The Baby in the Forest
Our Cousins from Abroad

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