Marial Awendit, from South Sudan, was declared the winner of the #Babishai2018 Poetry Prize. The winning poem 38 Photographs of Depression, was selected amongst thousands of submissions. The Chief Judge, Prof Rem Raj, also a Babishai board member, acknowledged, on behalf of the Judging team (Alfred Msadala from Malawi and Rehema Nanfuka from Uganda), that his poem was potent, highly imaginative and brimming with originality. The #Babishai2018 award-giving ceremony was held at Starlight Hotel in Mbale, owned by renowned poet and author, Professor Timothy Wangusa.
The winner receives $700 and publication of a chapbook poetry collection.
Marial Awendit, on receiving the news of his win.
In second place was Grace Sharra from Malawi. Unable to attend, she delivered her acceptance speech on phone and said she was still dazed.
In third place, from Uganda, was George Gumikiriza. A young poet studying for his degree in Mechanical Engineering at Makerere University, with a passion for art and creativity.
Guests at Starlight Hotel, Mbale.
The #Babishai2018 Poetry Festival took place from 3-6 August in Kapchorwa, Sipi Falls and Mbale. Organised by the teams of the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation and Rhythm City Mbale, Babishai Founder, Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, says that the Babishai Poetry Foundation has grown in extraordinary measures; especially by reaching out to young poets from Africa, who would possibly have never been discovered or published. This year, the festival drew guests from Botswana, Nigeria, The United States, Rwanda and Uganda.
Poets at Sipi Falls: #Babishai2018 Poetry Festival.
In 2019, Babishai will celebrate ten years of promoting poetry through the annual award, publications and annual festivals. Follow us on Twitter @BNPoetryAward and on Instagram at babishai.