Joel was a poet, writer, leader, and a digital content and social media specialist. He was a member of the highly efficient team at Node Six for four years. He helped create a strong online presence for Proggie Uganda, an events curation website. In addition, he was directly involved in the content management of all Node Six projects. He was also formerly with The Pearl Guide, another young Ugandan team that created events such as Uganda Travel Month, Kampala Restaurant Week and the Discover Uganda TV show.
Joel’s more recent work included copywriting and promoting campaigns for companies like Shell/Vivo Energy and Coca Cola/Coke Studio Africa.
Joel started his public writing journey in 2000 while at Makerere College School, submitting and winning three National Book Trust of Uganda Awards (NABOTU) at national level in 1999, 2000 and 2001 for works in poetry. He attended the British Council Lancaster University Crossing Borders program in 2001 and 2004. In 2015 he participated in an online writing cultural exchange called Kampala Writes Bremen. In the same year he took part in the Writivism Festival held in Uganda. He was also part of the Babishai Poetry Festival in 2014 and 2015.
On his birthday, 18th December 2017, Joel self-published his first book; a digital teaser poetry collection titled ‘Pumpkin Soup’ – because he loved pumpkin soup – and because the collection was an ‘appetiser’ to prepare readers for bigger volumes and a short story collection he was to publish at the end of 2018.
Joel was an advocate for the sickle cell anaemic community, as popularly illustrated by his appearance on NTV UGANDA, where he relayed his own story with the illness on the Perspectives with Josephine Karungi show.
In 2017, Joel joined the SuccessSpark Brand team, working as the Content Development and Client Relations Manager. By the end of the year, he was fully co-ordinating the SuccessSpark Brand creative writing and professional writing retreats. It is through these retreats, that his legacy to help others improve their writing, will continue.
On 11th February 2018, Joel succumbed to sickle cells. There are hardly words to describe the void he has left in the hearts of the many, many friends, writers and entrepreneurs he influenced.
His friends and family have come together to create the Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa Writers’ Fellowship, in honour of his legacy.