Friday, July 31, 2020



I’m Akello Charlotte. A student at Makerere University, a Ugandan writer and poet. I first got ‘serious’ with writing poetry while at Nabisunsa girls and since then I’ve never looked back. Otherwise, I’ve been a writer since childhood.

I write to take the weight off my chest, to me, writing is like breathing exercises. It takes writing to calm me when I’m in distress. Above all, writing comes to me so naturally that I feel clogged when I don’t write for a few weeks. I also think poetry is beautiful.

I submitted for the Babishai haiku award 2017 and I was shortlisted so I gained some following. Many friends asked me to help them with the ‘trick’ of the haiku. I taught so many people the basics of haiku in the process. I didn’t want to submit this year since most of my students were interested, but most of them encouraged me to. I chose my best from the haikus I’d written, hoping that this time, maybe I will win.

What was your process in writing this particular haiku below?

delicate mounds
parting soil in the night
to die out soon

One thing I didn’t want to do was to be inclined to the rules of the haiku(5/7/5 syllable count). I wanted to be free and free I was. I drew my inspiration from mushrooms, I love mushrooms but they come overnight and wither the next day.

In your opinion, what is the future of African haiku?
There’s so much poetry in Africa as a whole. The late buses, the bleating animals, the shameless acts of corruption, the trees that look like humans in the night. The haiku in particular, a special poem, is allover. I believe we can use the haiku to capture images that cameras can’t. However, many young poets think the haiku is too complex and believe they can’t write it but what I’ve learnt during haiku lessons I teach, once one masters the haiku, it’s very easy.

How are we able to share about this haiku experience, with Uganda,
and the world?
I think we just need to write more, and promote the haiku more, like this kind of competition is a good start. If someone sees a haiku, they will be inclined to see more haikus in places they go.

Many Thanks.


Thursday, July 30, 2020


Justice Joseph Prah, is the name I am known by friends and all. I was born on September 2, 1985 and hail from the South-western part of Ghana, Volta Region, specifically Hohoe. I am an educator, who has since 2005 been teaching African and Western Literature in high school. In 2015, I joined African Haiku Network and become a haiku essayist and critic. I have the penchant for researching about other poets in general and lurching into the void to find their disclosed and undisclosed motivations as well as other reflective reasons.

To me, writing literary or any scholarly material is much like time-travelling into the future to successfully connect with our up and waiting generation while adding your creative mileage to the present achievements chalked by writers. The subject matters we explore subtly today are just not in themselves mere fictionalization of 21st century problems, but throve of information waiting to be accessed by tomorrow’s writers. Look at the tedious duty of the archaeologists and Egyptologists today; what do they do in their quest to reconstruct thousands of indigenous history lost to time and age? They invest billions of dollars year in year out to dig, scratch and surf through tough rocks and drought-ridden territories. They have got one self-tasked assignment; that is, the search for yesterday’s lost literary materials and information! Just like the hieroglyphics, some of us are also quite pleasured to leave traces of our existence here and forever. I equally write to concretely define my environment, its re-occurring problems and beautiful stories worth appreciating especially in academic circles or discourse.

Why were you inclined to submit for the Babishai 2020 haiku award?

I should say in a matter-of-fact tone that I personally did see entering this year’s haiku contest as an inclination to keep exploring my artistic skills in practicing the haiku art. This has been the moving strength behind all contests I participated in even outside Africa. This year’s contest is yet another evidence in itself haiku is no longer a bona fide “poetriculture” of Japanese alone. The evidence is further clear! Look at how haiku poets have in recent year doubled-up all over African continent.


What was your process in writing this particular haiku below?

garden opera

in the moon’s spotlight

a frog leads chorus


Well, let us say I am inwardly a conservatist-poet still in tuned with the past-but-not-almost-gone good old days that got wrecked in the daunting task of bringing the swift urbanization into our humble continent by the West. A system neo-cultural theorist brought to Africa and put into force to pillage away the green hills, lakes, rivers and our pleasantly idyllic settings. My search for those out-of-sight nature’s influences over our ordinary life is a sacred duty I still hold very nobly.  Every year, when the long-in-coming rains start refilling emptied out ponds, wetlands and guttered rivers, I take a pleasure-stroll around just to record in time exciting sceneries into my journal; great experiences that could possibly inspire most of my haiku including this simple one above.  One graceful evening (a.i 21st June 2019), after two successive rounds of downpour, the expected ‘froggy’ choral croak came this thick and awful from a neighbor’s garden ; such a deafening sound! I came out, braved up and tiptoed so close. Truth be told, I have had countless encounters of this moment before, but this was out-rightly fascinating. Just at where the darkness colored the pond, I spotted a meaty but lone frog in the fallen shadow of the moon’s circle, croaking along with others. Bingo! A haiku moment materialized out of something mercurial. But it is the fine- tuning of the recorded experience into the three-minted lines that brings the awe. . Let me pull off the hook loosely and say the poetic arrangement of the clustered moment into the 15 syllabic fragment and phrase-based sentence did come with a slight toughness as I overly kept revising every line to get the haiku come alive for the contest. Currently, the rains are still pattering and tapping and I am still collecting moments for my next ku.

In your opinion, what is the future of African haiku?

This is the most appropriate question of all. Honestly. ‘Afriku” started not too long ago. In fact, many practitioners of the Basho-art would recall gladly the watershed moment is still a new-comer to some African poets including the old. It has not truthfully gone up the waistline measurement literally. We are still making surprising inroads into the art. Presently, only a fraction of us write and capture the moments right and genuinely believe it is contently different from other forms of poems like ballad, sonnet, limerick, satire, ode etc. Let me add, without guilt that writing a wonderful haiku is not that easy like a leisure walk in a park; it is not an imaginative outcome. It is an experiential write-down of a glamorous moment that turns imaginative in John Keats’ ode. The future for African haiku looks bleak unless we adopt ‘poetricultural’ attitude of repeatedly organizing contests like this to wake ourselves up to keep the art alive. I am so disappointed at a University professor (In one of our leading African Universities) who willingly talked an undergraduate out from writing a whole content of his researched paper on the practice of haiku in Africa some years ago. You are utterly surprised right? Well, that’s the kind of fear I have. But I must take off my cap for Professor Wole Soyinka who undoubtedly praised the new haiku practitioners in Africa a year ago.


How are we able to share this haiku experience, with Ghana and the world?

The practice of haiku is highly ubiquitous. When one captures that frozen moment into a three-lined stanza then the whole outcome is no longer a poem but a golden meaning for literary appreciation. Every haiku is expertly written to wake some moments up in us and all the 10 ku selected are not an exception. Rainfall pattern, though slightly variant at all belts of Africa swells up rivers, lakes, puddles as it ushers in frogs that almost look extinct during the dry season. This is a scene everyone from Timbuktu to Zululand is in sync with. Haven’t we all at a point in our growing-up moments enjoyed the discordant “opera’ show of this nocturnal creatures? In one African folktale, the story sits in that the frogs were once rain-makers in the animal kingdom. They croak on unend to charm the rain god. In this haiku how ever, I share with all the power in unification. The dressed up rhythmic sound comes in unison and it expresses a unique theater of people recognizing their togetherness and what it can do for them. As the frogs croak on relentlessly, they consciously inspire humans to take pride in reaching for their collective aspirations, even as different continents, in a pluralistic way. The concepts of individualism, racism and ‘mono-familism’ are unhealthy for the progress of humanity. Again, these amazing creatures exemplify the lingering truth that one cannot easily define what an actual music is. Perhaps, it may be the reason Keats says “heard melodies are sweet, but unheard melodies are the sweetest”

Thank you.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020


                                      ALI ZNAIDI; EXCHANGING SCIENCE FOR ART.

Having developed and cultivated a passion for literature, writing, and arts from a young age, I sacrificed medical and scientific studies to get involved in literary studies. I studied English at the university and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Anglo-American Studies in 2002. There is nothing here, in Tunisia, concerning creative writing in the English language. Tunisian publishing houses and magazines publish creative writings either in Arabic or in French. By the way, although it is humble, my experience is unique as I am among a couple of names (which are counted on the fingers) who originally write poetry in English in Tunisia. (Writers here write either in Arabic or in French). Besides, I am the only Tunisian, writing in English language and residing in Tunisia, who is widely published in international literary magazines. Thanks to the Internet and small presses, I have the opportunity to be published in more than 350 international magazines since I have been submitting, which is in itself a great accomplishment, especially in my case as a nonnative speaker of English. For instance, my poem “Curvaceous Black Sappho in White Shoes” was published in the Aké Review in 2019 alongside the work of Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature Prof. Wole Soyinka. This is extremely humbling and exciting all at the same time.

Talking about my poems and my use of the English language, Annie Avery editor of Heard Magzine said, 

“Tunisian poet Ali Znaidi’s poems rise up like flowers from the challenges he has faced as a writer. Now in full bloom, his work has been published numerous times with a new chapbook forthcoming. His craft is skillful and inventive and I sense a philosopher peeking out from behind his words. He writes in English as if it was his mother tongue, but the mystical voice of his ancestral gift cannot be hidden.”

I always consider poetry as a kind of a panacea. So I write to heal my wounds. Every word in a poem or haiku functions as an aspirin or a pill. I strongly believe in the healing power of the poetic word. Without poetry, I would lose my self-control. Poetry is my presence in this world. The sheer joy of being published has always its own charm. Reaching the reader makes the day of the poet. That’s why procrastination makes me very anxious and perplexed. Without writing, I feel invisible. I also love writing  because it changes raw and ordinary language into something sublime. I always strive to do so.

Why were you inclined to submit for the #Babishai2020 haiku award?

I submitted 3 haiku poems for the #Babishai2017 haiku award. As I didn’t make it to the longlist, I wanted to give myself another chance by submitting for the #Babishai2020 haiku award . I also love entering writing competitions especially those of high caliber like yours hoping to reach global readership. Well, here I am on the longlist alongside talented writers. Whether we like it or not winning a prize gives the writer exposure and recognition.

What was your process in writing this particular haiku below?

total blackout…
street lamps glow with
mating fireflies

I have always pondered on dichotomies because of the contradictory human nature and the paradoxes available in the environment. I live in Redeyef; a mining town in the south west of Tunisia where from time to time all lights are turned out or extinguished due to a storm, intense heat, or maintenance. So I always wonder what if there is total blackout. Hence the only solace I could imagine is some mating fireflies bestowing their light upon the dimmed or extinguished street lamps. I wanted to create a seemingly picture of hope—mating fireflies and the promise of light multiplication. I tried to capture that light at the end of the tunnel in a country suffering from agents of darkness.

 In your opinion, what is the future of African haiku?

Answering this question about the future of African haiku brings to mind one and only one word, that is promising. With a burgeoning community of such African haiku poets as Adjei Agyei-Baah, Emmanuel Jessie Kalusian, Kariuki wa Nyamu, Anthony Itopa Obaro, Kuadegbeku Pamela, Celestine Nudanu, Blessmond Alebna Ayinbire, Kwaku Feni Adow, and, humbly, myself, just to name a few, the future could only be bright..

How are we able to share about this haiku experience, with Tunisia,
and the world?   

Writing haiku is really an enriching experience. But being a poet who writes in another language rather than Arabic or French in Tunisia is very depressing because of lack of support and audience. The funny side is that, for now, I am more known in the world than in my homeland. Anyway, despite health issues, lack of support, and other hurdles, I’m striving to achieve success.

Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to express myself and for your unflinching zeal in the promotion of haiku in Africa. I am very grateful to the Babishai Poetry Foundation, you (Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva), and the Babishai team for giving African poets and haikuists this opportunity to showcase their work. I also want to congratulate all the longlisted poets and wish them good luck

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


Osho Tunde Matthew is a Poet, Accountant, and Nightingale; from Nigeria

First, I will like to express my joy and gratitude for making the prestigious #Babishai2020 haiku long list.
I am a fresh graduate of Accounting and poet resident in Lagos state, Nigeria. I am a Nigerian Nightingale whose works have appeared in a number of poetry anthologies. Aside from books, I love coffee and nature.
About why I write; I write to break the silence of my body, to convey its discontents, joy and other activities. And poetry is my tool.
I was inclined to submit for the Babishai2020 haiku award mainly because I was searching for growth. I have always seen Babishai Niwe foundation as one of the indispensable literary platforms in Africa to raise my voice in such a very noisy world.
Also, the amazing works of Marial Awendit, Kariuki wa Nyamu and other past winners on this platform woke my inclination. Here I am, jumping for the joy of growing and belonging.
The process of writing this haiku was quite taxing and exciting at the same time. It was my first time. Cramming a story in three lines could take a degree of diligence and patience. I allowed the poem to speak to me in many ways– for instance, how broken places could still be home.
I wanted to bear witness for nature existing under my feet without any alteration or misrepresentation of reality. I was deliberate. I took risks of words and form to cut a haiku that could simply tend imagination to accessible experience.
in the wall
deep opening abandoned
geckoes’ room
The future of African haiku in my opinion is glorious. You will be thrilled by the miracles, the various revelations these young poets are making regarding our shared experience as Africans and as humans. Beautiful voices like Ali Znaidi, Kariuki wa Nyamu, Andrew Herbert, Praise Osawaru, Justice Joseph, Ahmad Holderness, Rose Wangari, to mention a few are on the rise with what the foundation is doing. Thumbs up!
Thank you

Monday, July 27, 2020


Praise writes because it instills calmness and confidence.

Praise Osawaru, 20, is a Nigerian writer and (performance) poet of Bini Descent. He's currently an undergrad at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He's mostly fascinated by things atypical and/or containing speculative elements, but also dabbles in realism. Most of his works are inspired or drawn from his personal experiences, often mixed with some lies or altered truth. As the only boy child of his parents, he found solace in penning his thoughts and emotions, and it evolved into
something stunning. His works (poetry and prose) have appeared or are forthcoming in _African Writer, Afritondo, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, EroGospel, Feral, Kalahari Review, Perhappened Mag, Praxis Magazine, Serotonin,_ and elsewhere. He was also longlisted for _African Writers Award 2019_ and shortlisted in the _2019 Kreative Diadem Writing Contest_. He spends his time reading, binge-watching, writing, overthinking, or admiring nature. You can find him on
Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise.

Why do I write?

That question always frightens me, because people expect a profound reason as to why a person writes. I write for myself and anyone who finds solace in words. I write because it's a medium in which I contentedly express and can be myself. I write because it helps unload my prickling thoughts and instills in me calmness and confidence. I write because I've experienced something, and sharing it could help others deal with their current situation and the unpredictability of life. I write because the voyage of life can be gloomy and writing is my torch with which I banish the flirtatious darkness. I write because it keeps me, my thoughts, and my memories alive.

Why was I inclined to submit to Babishai?

I'd heard about the Award from a friend, so when I saw the call for submission for this year, I asked myself, why not? I love to experiment with my writing; always looking to try new styles and forms. And I also love nature, so I decided to submit to _Babishai__ 2020 Haiku Award.
_I'm glad I did, and that I made the longlist.

My Process in Writing My Haiku?

Firstly, I read previously shortlisted works on _Babishai Haiku Award_, then I found an African Haiku Journal, _The Mamba_. I downloaded some issues and also read, to acquaint myself fully with Haiku (I previously thought it was just 5, 7, 5 but I learned it was beyond that). Then I

Where I live in Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria, there are grasses in the environment. We even have some banana trees in our compound. And I often like to come out of my home, stare at the surrounding, and gaze at the sky when I'm ruminating. Mostly to get some air from excessive indoor

So, I was outside on the porch, and it was windy. I saw the trees subjected to the blowing wind, and the idea was birthed. But I was also faced with not sounding cliché because a number of people have written about how the wind makes the tree dance. So I decided to use a different and unique language. "Song and musical" came to mind as a result of a musical I'd just watched. When you think about it; the trees reacting to the wind, it's nature's musical. It's all about seeing things

the wind plays
every tree sways to its song-
nature's musical

What's the future of African Haiku?

Looking at the history of the _Babishai Haiku Award_ and the shortlisted works, I can say that Haiku has a place in Africa. Also, when I googled African Haiku and came across _The Mamba Journal_ I was amused. I mean, there are a lot of Haiku writers in Africa. And I believe we will keep
carrying the torch, and people will disbelieve that you can't tell so much in little words. Eventually, this 'traditional form' will sound not-so-traditional.

How are we able to share this Haiku Experience with Nigeria and with
the world?

Well, there's little motivation for Nigerian writers to engage in Haikus. I believe if there were more platforms and literary bodies and contests promoting Haiku in Nigeria, we would be able to share the
experience with everyone.

But, for now, social media is a tool with which we can reach thousands of people, and share our Haikus with the world.


Sunday, July 26, 2020


My name is Rose Wangari Kinyanjui. I am a married mother of two girls. I was born and brought up in Kenya by Kenyan parents. I am a teacher by profession, having studied the mainstream Kenya curriculum and The Waldorf Education system and have been a teacher under the teacher's service commission and later in the private sector. I love writing because I find it the best way to express my thoughts and ideas. There is a story in everything I see, people, animals, vegetation, name it. I have authored a book, MY FATHER MY HERO, a girl’s celebration of her father living with a disability.

I had heard about babishainiwe about two years ago via social media. I began my year 2020 with a renewed mind and wanted to venture into what I had always sat back and let others do. The renewed mind drove me to take part in the Haiku award 2020 because I believed I had a story to share.

I have a great concern over the depreciating environment. Cryptically, I look at the moral decay that suffocates, justice, upholds impunity and embraces the "NEW NORMAL" of oppressing the poor, the orphan and the window. Truth has been choked beneath the garbage of those with bulging pockets. You breathe when they decide.

Africa is full of poetry. Haiku style is what needs to be embraced and encouraged. It can be taught alongside literature in school. I believe Haikus have a big place in the heart of Africa only if we get to hear them more, understand them more and embrace them as a way of expression and a form of writing.

For us to share this experience with Kenya and the world, we will need to have the experience first as writers/poets. I believe writing is not only geared towards making awards but also being educative and improving self-confidence in freedom of expression. Like an artist behind an easel with paint and brush, so is a poet with a haiku on their lips. We can also have forums to sensitise people through teaching workshops, open cafe entertainment/festivals for the young and old. Perhaps, stakeholders can convince the educationists to consider incorporating this in the curriculum.


Devis the poet is a Poet, playwright born and raised in Makindye, Kampala.

He started poetry with Milege Uganda, and later joined a poetry community in Makerere University called Kelele @ Makerere. Following that, he founded a group of Poets with his friends, Wake and Kira Waibi, called POTTERS CLAY. He has performed on all major poetry platforms and major arts festivals around the country like KITF, BAYIMBA FESTIVAL OF ARTS, MILEGE WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL, among others. He is a member the pioneer Tebere arts lab (class 2019)
As a solo act now, he has held two one-man shows in one weekend called the 2018 LINES AND RHYMES, and he is an author of a chapbook titled, DOOMED KIDS.

This is why he writes:
The transformation from wanting to be the best poet there is to wanting to be a great leader in my poetry community. To inspire the poets that look up to me by giving them an example that hard work and moving out of comfort zone, is key to every poet's/artist's success. In this particular case, it was "you cannot win, unless you are you are part of the game."

When I saw the call for the #Babishai2020 haiku award, I knew I had to submit, but with new work. Every morning, after reading all sorts of haikus, I would go for a run or walk, hoping to find something to write to about, then I would head home to freshen and go pick my little nephew to take him to his grandmother's then I would return to settle and write. In the taxis back to baby's grandmother (my mother) we would sit next to the window, when there was traffic we would watch everything steadily because the taxi would be moving slowly, but when it was moving fast, it was a tug of war trying to make him sit properly. The day I wrote the haiku, the old lady seated next to us asked why I can't hold the baby properly because he was making her uncomfortable, and I told her I am doing my best but the trees cannot stop running past us, and am I scared there is nothing I can do to stop them. When I got back home, it’s the haiku I wrote.

In the future, as long as competitions and awards like Babishai keep happening and having continental dialogues about the works, we as Africa are going to have a common understanding of an African Haiku.
In the future, Babishai can take it beyond the award, extending it in schools, performance spaces, having working workshops and having winners as Ambassadors for the movement.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


It is with great pleasure that we announce our #Babishai2020 haiku longlist. The Chief Judge, Kariuki wa Nyamu, who also won the 2017 haiku prize, agrees that it was with careful deliberation that the list was made, with such astounding and unparalleled talent. He shall share more, in an extended interview.

To all the poets on the longlist, warm congratulations. It's always a pleasure and paradise, to read from such highly imaginative work, and again, thanks for bearing with us as we navigate how to excel and make positive impact, in online spaces. 

Let's continue to extend out creativity from within, to spaces where we can make a difference.

Below are the top ten haiku winners, of the #Babishai2020 haiku prize.

total blackout...
street lamps glow with
mating fireflies
Name: Ali Znaidi
Country: Tunisia


the morning rain falls
endlessly hugging thy sleep
frozen ideas die

NAME: Andrew Herbert Omuna
Country: Uganda


the wind plays
every tree sways to its song–
nature's musical

Name: Praise Osawaru
Country: Nigeria


my child's eyes
can still see trees run past
our small moving car.

Country: UGANDA


bitter kola
grandpa breaks into
a new tale

Name: Ahmad Holderness
Country of origin: Nigeria
Country of residence: Nigeria and United Kingdom


delicate mounds
parting soil in the night
to die out soon

Name: Akello Charlotte
Country: Uganda


garden opera
in the moon's spotlight
a frog leads chorus

Name: Justice Joseph Prah
Country: Ghana


suffocated roots
peep out of garbage dump
where is fresh air?

Name: Rose Wangari Kinyanjui
Country: Kenya


ringed with its papers
and tracked like jailbird on bail
the immigrant lands...

Name: Adipo Sidang'
Country: Kenya


in the wall
deep opening abandoned
geckoes' room

Name: Osho Tunde Matthew
Country: Nigeria

Details of award-giving shall be shared in due course.

Sunday, July 12, 2020



Written by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva

A half-bitten mango, still wet, from the saliva of a monkey, lies on the ground. A half-eaten fig, with particles of dust and stones sticking to it, lies on the ground. Interdependence. Kindness. Lessons from monkeys. In 2017, The Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation organized its second poetry-nature trip. This particular adventure, titled, ‘Poetry at Mabira Forest,’ opened an entirely new understanding of how social economies are built. The forest walk guide, Hussein emptied himself heaps of knowledge about medicinal trees, Musamya River, and the marvel of the 306 sq km, covered by Uganda’s largest tropical rain forest.

Safari ants, Hussein duly warned, were a constant menace, and he advised extra caution. There were about twenty poets, academics, journalists and well-wishers in total, who set off on Friday 4 August, from Kampala City, for the launch of the #Babishai2017 Poetry Festival at Mabira Forest. Situated in Najjembe in Buikwe District, Eastern Uganda, between Lugazi and Jinja, the forest boasts of 312 types of trees, and 315 bird species. Covered by such a green density, the forest, for some parts, blocked out the sky and was replaced by an eerie yet welcoming canopy of leaves. There are tropical trees standing at heights of 197 feet, with buttress roots, and one remarkably powerful tree was the Prunus Africana, known to have the medicinal ability to heal prostate cancer and malaria. How empowering to know of the healing nature of trees, and to be honoured with such vastness of miracles. Why then would we intentionally destroy it? Are we oblivious to nature’s healing influence? Mabira Forest’s unmistakable clout continues towards the Musamya River.

Musamya River flows earnestly in the Western and Northern part of the forest, joining Sezibwa Falls, and eventually flowing into the River Nile. Musamya Falls, also named Griffin Falls, is a major site, which unfortunately has been partly ruined by the continued burning of sugarcane and dumping of waste, in the surrounding areas. Apart from promoting poetry, and performing witty and unconventional verse, across Uganda’s breathtaking landscapes, the Babishai poetry-nature series is intent on promoting environmental conservation. This trip identified several areas that were disconcerting, and that hopefully would alert all Ugandans and stakeholders as gatekeepers and stewards of the environment that we have been lavished with. The environment includes both the flora and the fauna. These include the often misunderstood nature of the monkeys.

A half-bitten mango, still wet, from the saliva of a monkey, lies on the ground. A half-eaten fig, with particles of dust and stones sticking to it, lies on the ground. Interdependence. Kindness. Lessons from monkeys. These primates leave the forest bed littered with half eaten fruit; for the sole purpose of ensuring that there is food for other animals that mostly crawl or scamper on the ground. Amongst these that benefit from the fruit, are millipedes, snails, squirrels and porcupines.

Having first taken a tour of Mabira Forest myself, in 2005, during the heavy protests over the deforestation of large parts, for sugarcane planting, I was enamoured then just as I was enamoured eleven years later. With the notes taken by the poets who travelled and the footage sponsored by the Babishai team, I was able to capture the essence again. 

As a risk-taker, with a fascination for heights, Hussein who also managed my zip lining expedition, explained about the thrill of the one-hour adrenaline-pumping ride. Cruising over, while hanging on for dear life, is as daunting as it is exhilarating. There are six zip lining ‘flight’, in total, the last covering 87 metres across River Musamya, leading to the final descent. Some more avant-garde couples, decide to ride together, leaving onlookers in awe.

The Babishai 2017 Mabira Forest nature trip, was, all in all, a once-in-a-lifetime delight, with the promise of subsequent poetry excursions across Uganda.