What an event! What an incredibly poignant moment, revelling in the two hours of poetry performances, discussions on the haiku, transition of verse, and what it means for us, as Africans.
Performances by Rashida Namulondo, the BN Poetry Award 2013 winner, Kunta Moloise, an emcee, spoken word poet, and performer from Botswana.
Dr. Sara Kaweesa (PhD) with hard-hitting truths about our environment and how we as artists need to intentionally look after it.
Ann Waruguru Kiai, an activist, woman leader, shortlisted for the 2015 Babishai Poetry Award, and change maker from Nyeri, and Lekpele Nyamalon from Liberia, a Mandela Washington Fellow, poet, and writer. Listening to their own advocacy, hearing how they have paved ways for others through their writing and persistence.
Richard Ali, board member of Babishai, writer and lawyer, and Isaac Tibasiima, Doctoral Fellow, writer, poet and scholar, all in one room, speaking to the continent and interacting with the globe. It was all marvellous.
Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, Founder and Director of Babishai Poetry Foundation, moderated the two-hour riveting session, and on inviting Chief Judge Kariuki wa Nyamu, a writer, poet and correspondent of the Daily Nation, the spell-binding two hours closed with readings and discussions from the shortlisted poets;-namely Praise Osawaru from Nigeria, Charlotte Akello from Uganda and Andrew Herbert Omuna from Uganda, the other two were not able to attend.
And then, the winner…Andrew Herbert Omuna, from Uganda. Not only was it the first time for a Ugandan to win the Babishai Africa-wide award, but he had persisted about two to three times, previously. Finally, it paid off.
In second place was Adipo Sidang, from Kenya.
Congratulations to all on the shortlist, and to lots more glorious days in 2021.
Thanks to each of you for your contribution towards this space. Thank you.
On Saturday January 16, from 2pm, EAT, we shall host Waruguru wa Kiai, again on Women, Politics, and Poetry. The village girl has a lot more to say.