THE BABISHAI AKATUUTI GRAND PERFORMANCE: WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

In early September, The Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation was approached by  Alliance Francaise de  Kampala, and that was the start of a powerful arts collaboration titled, My Story. Akatuuti is a regular production hosted by Alliance and The French Embassy in Kampala. The first was managed by the celebrated musician, Susan Kerunen. Babishai had less than a month to produce something spectacular. The proposed theme: My Story. Each participant sharing part of their story, either of how they stumbled into their art, how they had a breakthrough, something hilarious like ending up performing for a wrong audience by mistake, or even getting lost at an international airport. The stories we bear are endless and eternal.

Inviting artists from various discplines, practises began in the newly acquired basement space at Alliance, a space for practice, discovering talent, and discovering talent.

Below is Blessing Nyamwiza, a spoken word poet.

With only four rehearsals altogether, each person internalised the script and depicted their stories in the most profound, unexpected, and diver ways.

Here below is a cartoon drawing by the indomitable Dr. Jimmy Spire Ssentongo.

Starting with a piece from the classical piano, from Louise Nakayenga, the production started piecing together. The scene was a market, and each participant converged in the market, and shared an aspect of their lives.

Louise at the piano.

Artists get hungry, right? Asha Batenga of Cakely Uganda, with over a hundred thousand followers on Facebook, took part in this festivity, and brought along cake at every rehearsal.

Odong Allan, who at 25 years, runs a charity and poetry magazine is quite the fascination when it comes to Langi poetry. As he performed, Walter Asiku wooed the crowd with his adungu playing. Thee talent was limitless.

     

Walter Asiku with the adungu, above.                     Odong Allan, left, with Beverley

Andrew Herbert Omuna, Uganda’s haiku ambassador, after emerging overall winner in the #Babishai2020 haiku competition, was highly impressive and adroit at the haiku, creating them spontaneously on stage.

Andrew Omuna, left                                                                          The group, below right

Rashida Namulondo, a maestro at theatre, also the BN Poetry Award winner of 2013, is known for her exceptional gift and was a crucial part of the entire production.

If you have never heard of Zoey the  Storyteller, she brings words to life. She understands what it means to own and possess the stage. Below left is Rashida, and right is Zoey.

 

The Babishai Team is grateful for the time spent with these phenomenal talent and is sure that there will be many more, at a global level.

Babishai Festival, Haiku Contest, The Future

27 March, 2020

Dear Friends of Babishai, Lovers of Poetry, and Leaders in the Arts,

We are looking forward to a tomorrow that is better than today.

During this time when the world seems to be spinning under our feet, let’s keep our heads high, and remember the effectiveness of our togetherness, our creativity and our steed. In these unprecedented days with Covid-19 stretching its ugly neck in unwanted spaces, the Babishai team has agreed to postpone our festival, which was scheduled for June, 25-28  2020,in Kibaale, by the crater lake.

We appreciate all who have reached out to us with care and advice, poets, academics, well-wishers and friends. That means a lot, that even with your own challenges, you still think of others. The #Babishai2020 Haiku award deadline passed and the judges shall proceed with their work. The announcement of the shortlist and winners though, shall be postponed to June 2020, until we finalize on a new date for the festival.

Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Keep to the prevention measures, until we kick Corona out of our lives.

Keep writing and reciting too, because people around you need the warmth that stems from a creative mind, more than ever.

Regards,

The Babishai Team

Setting off