You probably know someone who has written a poem and kept it locked up for ages; a secret like a belch, (for them and them alone). Maybe you are that person who’s written a poem, about a moment that was too terrifying or magical, not to be locked in the confines of pen and paper.

The BN Poetry Award began for that reason; to tell you that some secrets are okay to share. We began this journey of splendor, sin and secrets so that unrecognised poets, especially, would have their space to shine. Since 2009, about 5,200 poets have passed through the BN Poetry corridors, through both the annual poetry contests and annual publications.

Turning this service up a notch, we want to not only spread the word of African poetry through annual contests, but also to read, reread, proof read, edit and give advice on poetry and haikus, from Africans. With every contest, we often receive such requests. Before we announce our 2019 annual haiku award, kindly indulge:-


After receiving our umpteenth request to read, edit and assess poetry and haiku from both emerging and established poets, we have decided to create an official space for this highly sought after service. We have decided to fill a much needed gap.


The Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation is officially opening up a professional editing space for African poetry. To all emerging and established poets of African descent, kindly submit your work. We have subsidized the rates for African poets.


  1. All submissions must be sent as a Microsoft word attachment, using Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri, font size 12, single-spacing.
  2. Kindly use a header at the top right corner and include your name, draft title of your submission (not compulsory), city and country of residence, city and country of origin (if different from above).
  3. This is a professional service, and depending on the amount of work submitted, there will be a fee.

The Subsidized Poetry Editing Rates are as Below:-

10-20 Poems  –   Two Hundred US Dollars ($500)

21-50 poems-     Five Hundred US Dollars ($800)

  1. If you’re interested in the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation going further to publish your work, that can be followed by a formal discussion on preferences, design, time-lines, quantity, and other essential criteria.
  2. You own the copyright.
  3. Kindly submit work to babishainiwe@babishainiwe.com. You may also call +256 751 703226

Thanks for being such a support towards African poetry.

Towards the end of the year, we shall be calling for submissions for our 2019 African haiku contest.

Here above are poets gathered for an evening reading at the Babishai tenth anniversary celebrations.


Poetry in Uganda, shall set the tone for policy and growth for the next few decades. There is intractable evidence in every space of the great nation of Uganda, that the calamity that has befallen us; that the apathy that we are cornered into, SHALL be replaced by poetry. The Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation team, that has been promoting Ugandan and African poetry for a decade; experienced yet another unforgettable moment of poetry.

Ugandan poets gathered at the Babishai 2019 Poetry festival evening at Femrite offices.

The strength of a poet lies not in the verses, but in the willpower to create and make change. When a poet rises to speak against all odds, about the weeping that never ends, from dark sunsets and bloodied rivers of political distress and gory childhoods, then change shall come.

The 2009, BN Poetry Award, Rt. Honourable Rebecca Kadaga as Chief guest.  Policy makers who will change through poetry.

Harriet Anena, winner of the 2018 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature and author of poetry collection, ‘A Nation in Labour,’ is a gift to us all. With her indescribably gifted cast, Oyenbot and Amaru, the trio replaced all doubts about the harsh reality, when they delivered an outstanding, unforgettable and powerfully creative poetry and theatre performance in June. The performance, titled ‘Footprints of Memory,’ was one of the most crucial declarations through art. Taking the audience through semi-chronological episodes of our history and herstory, pointing at the places where our governance and our indifference have left children, mothers and unsuspecting men dead. The trio interpreted the National Anthem, through the eyes, ears and heart of a child, a lost one and one who is befuddled by it all. There was excellent musical accompaniment too, which magnified the glamour of the stage. With guest poets, Bint and Kagayi, the production, directed by the most talented Deborah Asiimwe, was one which truly deserves to be translated into a 100 languages and retold in 100 countries.

Courtesy photo

Audiences all over the world will understand the gravity of the subject, will be able to empathize and internalize. The production was a fundraiser for Harriet’s fees towards her Masters of Fine Art in creative Writing at Columbia University. The Babishai Poetry team, believes, without a doubt, that she will go, she will excel and she will be an icon of poetry from Uganda.

The Babishai poetry foundation team in Mbale, 2018