Dear Babishai,

I am delighted. Foremost, is to thank you for considering my writing and picking it up as one of the long list. I am truly humbled. I would like to answer your questions as best as I can, in prose.

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 widow. 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.

suffocated roots

peep out of garbage dump

where is fresh air?

Written by Rose Wangari Kinyanjui, #Babishai2020 longlist

 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.

Thank you,







    Haven’t you ever desired to recapture the wonder of Eden?
    Have you ever looked above 74,000 hectares of green perfection?
    We all need time away from the insanity of our daily work lives, to free ourselves by replenishing our spirits with nature.
    Mabira Forest is all that. Home to Uganda’s largest forest, Mabira is an experience for the curious, adventurous and unafraid. On Friday 4 August, The Babishai Poetry Festival team launches their third festival with a trek across Mabira Forest. Poetry and nature are the perfect remedy after a long week at work. We will explore new terrains, roots and trees of thousands of years in age, be part of a chorus of birds that will not be found anywhere else and relive perfection.

    The team will depart at 7:30am on Friday 4 August for Najjembe, Mabira. During the journey, we will begin shooting a documentary. There are those arriving from Eastern Uganda and Nairobi, whose arrangements will be detailed to them. Email with your information. We have arranged for them, a camping excursion for a night, at Mabira Forest, on Thursday 3 August, after which we’ll all meet up the following day.

    On arrival from Kampala on Friday 4th, an expert tour guide will meet us, take us on this dauntless trek, where we will stop for poetry breaks and refreshments. The documentary will continue.

    After the trip, there will be a large buffet spread, during which the poetry performances will begin.

    We will return to Kampala not later than 6:00pm.

    We all need this!
    The minimal investment is Two Hundred Thousand (200,000/-), payable by Monday 31 July 2017 to George Kiwanuka.
    Call him on +256 703 147862.

    Poetry@Mabira is your chance to explore, become enraptured and empower yourself again.

    The Babishai Poetry Festival covers three days from 4-6 August.
    Follow us on Twitter @BNPoetryAward