On Friday 18 March, to celebrate World Poetry Day, Babishai launched its quarterly Babishai Barbeque Nights at Blue Hummingbirds in Muyenga. Given the strength of spoken word events in Kampala like Poetry in session and Tontoma Poetry Jazz, there is a growing audience and a growing spoken word community which speaks into progress.
Preparing for the barbeque
Given the recent ripple effect of Presidential elections that arguably crippled social media freedom for a while and small businesses, events like these give an outlet for unhinged expressions, which are necessary for survival.
This night was held in the unique and breath-taking gardens of Blue Hummingbirds, where poets, musicians, word lovers and the corporates gathered to experience an infusion of barbeque and poetry. The Body of Brian,with his melodious Humanoid, stunned the crowd. Mark Gordon, slam poet, recited several poms amongst them, Rolex, published in Boda Boda Anthem.
The Body of Brian, performing Humanoid.
Israel Kalyango was probably the biggest surprise when he sang Lean on Me. Rather timid at first, his gifted voice rang throughout the night. One of our favourite comedians Daniel Omara, was able to wow us at every interval with his unforgettable jokes and gimmicks. you should hear the on about his surname.
Earlier that day, Babishai participated in the Song of Lawino 50th anniversary symposium, held at Makerere University. Packed to the brim with academics, students, schools and writers, Okot p’Bitek received a full honour that day.
Professor Taban lo Liyong and Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva at Makerere University.
During the Babishai Poetry Festival from 24-26 August in Kampala, we’ll be holding more celebrations of Song of Lawino @ 50.