Fireworks are unmistakably brilliant, dramatic and flamboyant; impossible to miss in many towns across the world.

Many hotels, malls and gardens across Kampala welcomed 2018 in this similar fashion. Likewise, large cities like London, Dubai and Sydney spent huge amounts of money and time to share their own collective delight as the clock struck midnight.


At Babishai, we are set to keep enjoying and celebrating 2018. The fireworks may fizzle but the astuteness of poetry remains. With both the poetry and haiku as part of our annual competitions, we are blest to be a part of unlimited talent across Africa. The shrewdness in the writing; the imagery and profoundness of many themes always leave the judges mesmerized. Each contestant of the Babishai competitions presents a unique quality; a gift that is indescribable. How can anyone describe that feeling after reading a winning haiku or poem! Recalling Kariuki wa Nyamu’s winning haiku of 2017.

last night’s rain

in the morning mud

fresh toad prints


Kariuki wa Nyamu/Kenya

Kariuki wa Nyamu: Babishai 2017 haiku winner

Adjei Agyei-Baah, co-founder of the Africa Haiku Network and chief judge of our haiku competitions has certainly lit the way for African haiku and we’re indebted. His invaluable gift continues to challenge existing literary landscapes.

In 2018, as we hold our fourth poetry festival, extending the fête to Mbale. In 2016, we launched Bamasaaba ba Wandiikha, a platform to promote and share literature from Mbale. In 2018, we will bring this to the fold once again as we hold our third poetry nature series event at Sipi Falls. Poetry at Sipi! What a marvellous way to be a part of poetry. The 2017 experience of Poetry at Mabira was timeless, magical and poetic, according to the group of creative sojourners that went.


Griffin Falls at Mabira Forest: Photography by Wasswa James

Every year, we hold a unique poetry experience, holding our poetry excursions in some of the world’s most glorious and spectacular venues. All of these are in Uganda. In 2016, it was Poetry on Mt. Rwenzori, in 2017, Poetry at Mabira Forest and in 2018, it is Poetry at Sipi Falls. It will be a time like never before.

We wish you a fantastic 2018 and invite you to our world of poetry.

你好 International Poetry Celebration in China, 20-27 September 2017

From September 20 to 27, Babishai Director, Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, participated in two major poetry events in China. The Second International Poetry Forum of Shi Shangzhuang , that took place in Hebei Province and the Translation Workshop at The International Writing Centre of Beijing Normal University and the Lu Xun Institute.

In China, the celebration of culture and the arts is immersed in their communication, fashion and poise. They have high esteem for poets and publish poetry to a wide extent, translating from Chinese to various international languages. In Beijing, fie international poets namely Simon Ortiz, a native American poet from Arizona and Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University, Dileep Jhaveri a doctor and poet from India, Inam Bioud, a poet, painter and scholar from Algeria, Yuyutsu Sharma a poet, editor and widely travelled author from Nepal and Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, poet, artrepreneur and public speaking trainer from Uganda.

Professor Lan Lan, Beverley Nambozo and Li Xing Chen at the Beijing Normal University International Writing Center.

The translation experience was interesting, arduous and fulfilling. With translation, it’s impossible to translate word by word and so interpretations and general understanding must be conveyed. However, because of the richness of poetry and the layeredness of themes made the workshop worthwhile.

Organised by Jami Proctor-Xu, a poet, translator, essayist and mother and divides her time between the U.S and China, the event portrayed the vastness and importance of poetry. Jami worked with the Beijing Normal University International Writing Center and The Lu Xun Institute.

At the Second International Poetry Forum of Shi Shangzhuang in Shi Shangzhuang, Xinglong County, Hebei Province, there were a new group of international poets namely Meng Ling from Thailand, Sayed Gouda from Egypt, Aleksei Filiminov from Russia, He Jia Lin from Hong Kong, and Zhang Bing from China, in an event organised by Xiao Xiao, a Chinese poet and author.

Here above is a newspaper clipping o f the event.

Hebei is a poetry village. At every stop, there is an artefact, a poem inscribed in stone and a constant reminder of poetry’s magnificence. Hebei, the home of Liu Zhang, a famous Chinese poet, also celebrates poetry with n entire park, with monuments of famous global female and male poets.  The villagers at Hebei are festive, welcoming guests with aplomb. During the readings and presentations at this event, we witnessed the role of arts at  a massive scale, towards personal and international development.

At the translation workshop in Beijing.