2022 Brought So Much Delight, and 2023 will be grander

This year brought with it ripples of delight, cascading creativity with poetry in various forms and opportunities across borders, from publishing three books, the first year we have ever published three books in a space of six months. ‘Dress Me In Disobedience,’ ‘Gorillas of Bwindi Avenue,’ and ‘The night Does Not Drown Us.’ These words of  courage, creativity, well-woven into these fine pages, did take years and months to develop, and it was our pleasure to have them celebrated in this fine year, 2022. We do certainly look forward to 2023.

With our last festival being celebrated online, we continued with online engagements while holding meetings, sessions and opening up new spaces to celebrate poetry with like-minded individuals, curious minds and those eager to spur on with the important work of immersing the society in poetry.

In August, a most unexpected opportunity arose, with Oxfam , where Babishai delivered a creative presentation with young feminists on the topic of climate change. A most crucial time for individuals, for our planet, for women and men alike, when we realize how our individual acts affect the air we breathe, affect our ability to work effectively and our future. The workshop brought together activists and creators, policy makers and educators from all over Africa, rising in unison to address the glaring issue of climate change.

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2023 will be an even grander year. We are exploring and planning on more intimate spaces of poetry, launching programmes right at your doorsteps, in the comfort of your homes and offices, combining poetry, pleasure and passion.

This to to thank each of you for being a sojourner with us, this year and to thank you for choosing Babishai, even into 2023.

Babishai Theme 2023: Intimacy With Poetry



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.

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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