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.


The Babishai Team

Setting off



Babishai Poetricks is a poetry adventure toolkit for children, a memorable and adventurous way for children to discover their creative potential, mainly through poetry, poetic devices and spoken word. It’s the largest program under the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, which runs the annual poetry award for Africans and also publishes poetry.


Babishai Poetricks training in Kampala-December 2015


A society of children and youth using poetry and spoken word to articulate, communicate and create.


To increase the reading and creating of poetry amongst children and youth in Africa


To promote creative writing, speaking, listening and reading
To increase the reading and creating of poetry
To encourage artistic and creative and stimulating verbal and non-verbal interaction amongst children and youth
To motivate children to appreciate and respect others and their differences through deeper analysis of poetry and spoken word


Several years ago, after the first BN Poetry Award, the school tours began. Visiting schools in Uganda like GreenHill Academy, Kitante Hill, Gayaza High School, Rainbow International School, Kabojja International School, Mengo Senior Secondary School, Kampala International School Uganda, the experiences, however varied, taught valuable lessons about children and poetry. Babishai Poetricks is a summation of all this.


The Babishai Poetricks toolkit

This is a collection of exercises developed over many visits to schools. The exercises are creative ways of developing a child’s maximum creative potential. Through the various adventures, a child is able to

Observe and describe
Tell a story
Compose a poem through using a new image
Articulate their individual desires
Affirm themselves and others
Work in a team

There are three ways the Babishai Poetricks trainings are run:-

We conduct Trainer of Trainers for teachers, children’s facilitators, parents and interested individuals. This trainings build the capacity of the trainer, enabling them to use this toolkit and train children. Only certified trainers will be permitted to train under the toolkit and must always present their certificate. Their names will also appear on our website and database for verification.

For schools that have vast numbers we offer the trainings ourselves. We offer trainings for the 11 adventures. It is not an exercise where marks are given but rather a set of creative life-skills whose experiences are shared and analysed to build the child as an individual. Its aim is for a creative literary experience.

There are holiday programs for interested parents who desire their children to be part of the Babishai Poetricks experience. Each child will then join the Babishai Poetricks Family and their names will appear on our database. With permission, on our website as well.

Afterwards, we hold a mini graduation where the children challenge the adults or teachers

One-year goal:

To share the Babishai Poetricks experience in 10 primary schools in Uganda, 10 secondary schools, 10 universities and 10 community spaces (Targeted areas are Kampala, Kabale, Wakiso and Kasese)
To build a database and website specifically for Babishai Poetricks training information, testimonials, images and future plans
To train 20 trainers in Uganda
To form a fully fledged staff
To acquire office space
To produce a fully fledged toolkit
To produce a children’s poetry section in mainstream media
To produce a children’s and youth’s poetry publication of avant-garde, fresh voices, voices that challenge the status quo

Five year goal:

To Train at least 50 trainers each in Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa
To build the Babishai Poetricks Family of children in the above-mentioned countries and reach approximately 500 children per country.


Teacher Rinju, Director of Big Bear Kindergarten:
“This training of training was extremely helpful, practical, very interactive and enables children to really think.”

Teacher Joyce, Proprietor of Big Bear Kindergarten:
“This is so important because it helps teachers to learn various adaptations to use in their classroom exercises. It is so much broader than what our teacher-centered system provides. It’s a true experience.

Douglas: Former student of Kitante Hill
I’m a poet and this has given me a lot of encouragement. Thanks for visiting our school. Now I know that I can continue with my dream.

Victoria Kisarale, Gayaza High School:
This program offers many opportunities for our girls and we’re very excited about it.

Mbabazi Mpuga: GEMS Cambridge International School
Thanks very much. Our children’s minds have been broadened and we enjoy poetry in the fuller and deeper sense! We had an activity where we put an image on the board and the kids used their imagination to write poetry the result was WOW!!!

I look forward to hearing from you

Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva
Director BN Poetry Foundation
Tel: +256 751 703226


The Launch of Babishai Poetricks, 16th June 2015


On 16 June, The Day of The African Child, we launched #babishaipoetricks, the children’s poetry adventure toolkit. Babishai Poetricks is the largest program under the Kampala based Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation. The Foundation runs the annual BN Poetry Award and publishes poetry.

poetricks family

Big Bear Kindergarten Kampala, June 16th 2015-The Day of The African Child

Babishai Poetricks is a toolkit captured in eleven adventures, each of which increases a child’s ability to reach the highest creative and literary potential. By using very interactive exercises, a child engages in creative listening, speaking, describing and introspection. Each exercise enables a child to freely analyse their environments and relate them to their personalities, thus bringing a deeper understanding of themselves. Once they do this, their abilities to use poetry and prose to illustrate and observe are highly sharpened.

Currently, we are conducting Training of Trainers in Uganda and trainings within schools. These are charged at a reasonable fee, given the life-changing exercises. We will also train in Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa for the first three years. The Babishai Poetricks toolkit, produced by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, Ugandan writer, poet and Founder of the Babishai Niwe Poetricks Foundation is a program that is timeless, memorable and is the essential means for children to grow from where they are to where they can be.

poetricks family

Launching at Big Bear Kindergarten, Ntinda

Teacher Joyce, who underwent a Training of Trainers says,

“This is so important because it helps teachers to learn various adaptations to use in classroom exercises. It is so much broader than what our teacher-centered system provides. It’s a true experience.”

Teachers, Parents and schools are particularly going to benefit from this model as they witness their children growing into articulate and confident wordsmiths, poets, speakers and individuals. Many thanks to Ayodele Olofintuade, a writer from Nigeria and Paul Kisakye, a writer from Uganda, for contributing their invaluable poetry to this toolkit.

Pictures from first Poetricks in Kampala, 2015.


Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva
Head Trainer and Director Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation
Tel: +256 751 703226