A Love That Never Happened

A LOVE THAT NEVER HAPPENED by Josephine Kabahuma

‘Ever thought of a world where you are entirely alone?’ 

That is the first line you will read in the book. What does it really mean to be young and broke and a fresher at University? A Love That Never Happens follows the life or better yet, lifestyle of Pearl, a naive girl learning how to navigate life in the city and of course, ‘Kampala boys’.

“It’s like when an electric pole is about to hit you, then, boom, you are at the beach sunbathing”

That’s how this book will make you feel.

Considering the negative perceptions we have towards Ugandan books and films, I had to get into the right frame of mind first, in order to open the book. There I was, playing out all the ways to read all the 309 pages of a book, until a chance at a trip arrived and I finally opened the book to read during the journey.

The first chapter opened like a movie would, and then behold! Chapter two I was smiling into the book attracting the attention of my neighbour in the bus. By the fourth chapter, I was like, “How aren’t people reading this book?!”

The writer transports us into a world that is so real and relatable. The culture and mannerism of the characters is so rich that you will learn something new with every line you read. The humour is all that matters and in this case, it’s fully stocked on every page. 

I connected with the character of Dalton most in how much he traversed campus situations. I often kept asking myself what his next move would be. Handsome and “irresistibly sexy”, his lifestyle is what many would misinterpret. 

Josephine Kabahuma is a filmmaker I have worked with. I have seen her write good screenplays, but reading and watching are two different experiences. Uganda is a beautiful place to live and reading a book from a Ugandan author is like experiencing the same life  differently, but the intense thoughts and feelings stirred up are the same.

I give A Love That Never Happens a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

I wish all young readers can get themselves this book and in so doing, embrace the reading culture. Reading a page a day of a book helps our mental health, and this book works perfectly in stimulating our minds, poking at our memories and inducing nostalgia.


Thus review is authored by Elly Musinguzi of EllyMemes, a filmmaker.

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