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

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