Friday, August 28, 2015




Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Top to Bottom: Adeeko Ibukun (Nigeria), Sheila Okongo Nyanduaki (Kenya), Famia Nkansa (Ghana), Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria),Nick Makoha (Uganda)
11 AUGUST 2015

After a few months of tough deliberation after such an excellent collection of poems, Judges Richard Ali, Mildred Barya and Professor Antjie Krog, have selected their top five. 
Professor Krog, of the University of Western Cape, in a few of her comments, says this about the judging process.

“The process of being a judge in this competition was for me pure
privilege! Although reading through hundreds of poems is daunting and at
times overwhelming, the adventure of getting to know what and how poets
from the continent write in English, was an absolute thrill and actually
deserves a full analytical essay. Poets are NOT oblivious of the suffering, injustice and terrorising in so many parts of the continent. A straightforward
political poem is one of the most difficult things to write! Even
accomplished poets do not always manage to sidestep clich├ęs, preaching,
shortsightedness-out-of-anger, shallowness-out-of- anger, proportionality dissonance, or to lift the violent contemporary into a broader encompassing vision. But among these entries were some very fine solid political poems, complex in their content and sophisticated in
their presentation.”

In no particular order, the Top Five are:-

·         Elixir by Famia Nkansa (Ghana)
·         Scented Mangoes by Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria)
·         LHR by Nick Makoha (Uganda)
·         A Room With a Drowning Book by Adeeko Ibukun (Nigeria)
·         The Ghost of Jevanjee by Sheila Okongo Omare Nyanduaki (Kenya)

The poems are available here amongst the shortlisted poems.

The winner will be announced during the #Babishai2015 festival at The Uganda Museum, from 26 to 28 August. The festival is open to all and events are free.
Each top ten winners will still be able to participate in various festivals across the world and receive mentorship, as part of our new program.

Our anthology, Boda Boda Anthem and Other Poems: A Kampala Poetry Anthology is out and copies are available at 25,000/- at The Uganda Museum. Online copies will be on sale soon.


The BN Poetry Strategic Team
Tel:   +256 751 703226
Twitter: @BNPoetryAward


Ann Waruguru Kiai was born in Nyeri County, Kenya, and raised by a legend – her mother. But, growing up, she almost believed that black girls were not beautiful, until she saw Wangari Mathai.
Ann has a law degree. She writes short stories, plays and poetry and is inspired by the women from her Nyeri village, who she sees as defining beauty, strength and resilience. Ann writes to tell their stories, to sing for them, to celebrate them. She gets to tell the world “You are out of order” in her own way, in our way.
She serves her Country by assisting members of the community especially women and children access legal information and justice.

 Her #Babishai2015 shotlisted poemis here.

Dusk dawn by Waruguru Nyatha Wa Kiai (Kenya)

We walked with our heads bowed
Hands firmly pressed on our butterfly stomachs
We rolled like dead wood, not even once did we sway our hips
How did they know?

We walked on our toes in fright
Our feet never crushed an egg shell
We were silent than the wind
Who told them?

We cemented our breasts with mud
Clogged our vaginas with cow dung
Cut our hair and stopped smiling
Who betrayed us?

We never danced to the drumbeats
Our eyes never sparkled like the sun
We have always held our breath
Never have we lived!

When they chased us down the stream
And slid their hands on our thighs
When they dipped us in water
And discovered our breasts
Was it you who whispered
That we are women?

Monday, August 10, 2015



Hails from Ibadan, south west Nigeria and has lived for 22 years. His a graduate of B.A Literature in English from the Obafemi Awolowo University. Is an aficionado of everything literary but a novice to everything the literary muses inspire daily. Gives voice to his poetry in public places and has been published in various literary journals, in Catholic Independent and with Anthology in Honour of Late Dr Maya Angelou from the Platform of Hinovelty as the most recent. Has written with the language of every genre of literature and he has several manuscripts yet to be published: poetry and drama and prose fiction.
Likes to eat, talk, play basketball, read and watch anything adventurous, magical, and fantastic. Is currently a corps member in the service of his Fatherland in Kogi State.         
His shortlisted poem is below:
Diz Poetry      by Babjide Michael Olusegun  (Nigeria)

Diz Poetry go come in many many styles
Since Diz Poetry dey com Uganda
Diz Poetry godey dub reggae reggae free
But Diz Poetry don dey use hin beat
Diz Poetry gat many manytinz to say
So Diz Poetry know know which one to say
Diz Poetry fit no make much sense
For Diz Poetry no come to impress
Diz Poetry fit look- within- personal
But Diz Poetry may dey –without- political.
               Diz Poetry will be so long in longitude
               For Diz Poetry will be very versed in latitude
               Diz Poetry will burst into rhythmic tears
               For Diz Poetry was writt’n with wilderness’s words
               Diz Poetry is speaking from Africa
               As Boko Haram blows up North-East Nigeria
               Diz Poetry won’t call on Cupid
               For Diz Poetry is lonely not blind and stupid
               Diz Poetry is not from “Dis Poetry”
               Diz Poetry is only like “Dis Poetry”.
Diz Poetry 4 lov use Gangan’s mouth
Diz Poetry sef 4 lovdanz with Sekere’sileke
Diz Poetry 4 talk of libarti
But Diz Poetry sef don enta captivity
Diz Poetry won halasom poets
Since Diz Poetry owe demobonge respect.
As I hala: Maya- Angelou- Zephaniah- Neruda, Rudyard. NiyiOsundare-
And Johnson in d States plus Okotp’Bitek for izSong of LawinowitJumokeVerissimo.
May I sharpali say: Una go watch Diz Poetry like say na Play on Words
Cos Diz Poetry dey flow wit watery meanings in stanzas of 4 by 10.
               You may wanna ask
               What Diz Poetry is all about
               Or is Diz Poetry simply all about nothing?
               Never mind, Diz Poetry has no answers to these
               For Diz Poetry gonna slip through my heart to thee
               Diz Poetry might make you laugh
               And you may wanna push Diz Poetry aside
               But Diz Poetry’s two and three
               May make you wanna give it a chance
               Cos Diz Poetry is simply free, M.A.D and booing your mind.

The #Babishai2015 winner will be announced furing the poetry festival from 26 to 28 August at The Uganda Museum, Kampala.