Sipi Falls are amongst the most majestic sites in Uganda. Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls in Eastern Uganda in the district of Kapchorwa, northeast of Sironko and Mbale. The waterfalls lie on the edge of Mount Elgon National Park near the Kenyan border.

Photo by Nambozo Daniella

The #Babishai2018 team have organized their fourth poetry festival at Sipi Falls and Mbale, being keen supporters of bridging art and nature, this is the third poetry and nature Babishai series.  From Mt. Rwenzori, to Mabira Forest and now Sipi Falls. Departing on Friday 3 August, the team will head straight to Kapchorwa Eastern Uganda, to camp and seep in as much poetry from the East as possible. With a campfire and barbeque arranged for day one, poets and performers, will revel in the extraordinary talent of poets across Africa and beyond. With a special treat from Sabiny Cultural performers, there will be Babishai guests performing alongside them. What an evening of Cultural Perfection!

The Poetry at Sipi Falls event promises to be one of a kind. Unifying the power of nature with the potency of poetry; reciting, performing and sharing secrets of the world  with music. All of this at the #Babishai2018 Poetry Festival. From Sipi Falls, the festival team will travel to Mbale, to lodging at the cosy cultural spot, Starlight Hotel, owned by Mbale’s great Professor Wangusa. One the evening of Sunday 5 August, the Babishai 2018 award-giving dinner ceremony will held and academics, lovers of literature and friends of art, will be present to share their own experiences with Mbale culture; especially the kadodi season of male circumcision (August 2018), Lumasaaba traditional performances and publishing in both English and Lumasaaba. A fantastic line up of guests will also be part of the special four day #Babishai2018 festival.

Professor Remi Raj, former President of Association of Nigerian Authors, one of the #Babishai218 judges, a prolific poet from Nigeria and member of the Babishai Board of Trustees, will be part of the festival glory.


Josephyne Asiimwe (Jojo the poet). Formerly a student at Gayaza High School and winner of the very first Ug Teen Poetry Slam Competition.  She  has been performing poetry since senior three at  High School.



Gloria Kiconco is a Ugandan poet, journalist, and editor. Her poetry has been published in Brittle Paper and Lawino. She has written articles for STARTjournal of the arts, The Forager Magazine, and lettera27’s column on Doppiozero, Why Africa? She often recites her work in Kampala at Poetry-in-session. Gloria’s struggle with a cross-cultural and complex identity is central to her writing. She digests these issues through written poetry, spoken word performances, and experimental visual poetry.
You can find more of her writing on her blog, Rhymesbythereams.


Ife Piankhi is a poet, singer,[1] creative facilitator and educator.[2] She has collaborated with artists such as Keko, Nneka, Mamoud Guinea, Geoff Wilkinson, Michael Franti, Jonzi D, Wynton Marsalis, Floetry , among others. She has toured internationally for the past 30 years visiting Canada, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zanzibar, Zambia, Romania, Italy, Holland, and USA.


Nathan Suhr-Sytsma, Assistant Professor of English, Emory University and Interim Director, Institute of African Studies.


Lame Pusetso, a poet and performer from Botswana, will be with the team of Babishai.

Shiraz Murray, Proprietor of Open Mic Uganda and the annual Teen Poetry Slam in Uganda, will also be part of the poetry entourage, along with Jojo Asiimwe, the very first winner of the Ug Teen Poetry Slam.



Daisy Nagudi; poetry lover and Proprietor at Rhythym city Mbale, organising the festival from Mbale and Kapchorwa.


Professor Timothy Wangusa, Founding President of PEN Uganda, renowned poet and academic. Forefront of Literature from Mbale.

Some of the Babishai shortlisted poets namely Grace Sharra from Malawi, Marial Awendit from South Sudan and George Gumikiriza from Uganda, will also be part of the Babishai 2018 poetry celebrations.

Grace Sharra #Babishai2018 shortlist; Malawi


Marial Awendit, #Babishai2018 shortlist; South Sudan

There is a long line up of Ugandan poets too from Mbale and Kapchorwa, performing in Lumasaaba and Sabiny, practicing day and night to make the cultural exchange a grand success. There is a large student body in Mbale Secondary School, that holds regular poetry and literature evenings over the weekend. Led by the Head Teacher, Mbale Secondary School will perform poetry in various languages, be part of the master classes and discussions and learn by the wisdom of Mbale great poets like Professor Timothy Wangusa.

A few students of Mbale Secondary School, who will participate in the festival.

In 2016, Babishai began its first poetry-nature series. Staring with an enchanting 4 hour trek across Mt. Rwenzori, witnessing the chirping of a hundred birds, fluttering of dozens of butterflies and a landscape, so awesome that it equalled Paradise. This Poetry on the Mountain, first of its kind, was as breathtaking as life could be. Read about the Poetry on the Mountain experience here:


Poetry on Mount Rwenzori, #Babishai2016

This was followed by Poetry at Mabira Forest, in 2017. An unforgettable trek across Uganda’s largest natural forest, walking under canopies of greenness and retelling memorable tales.

Nambozo Daniella, heading the Kampala team, waits eagerly to host you to literary splendour.







The #Babishai2018 Poetry Festival is creating new spaces for poets all over the region. We are grateful to partners, friends and well-wishers for making all possible.

The individual fee for the #Babishai2018 Poetry Festival is $250. There are several young poets, who are eager to attend but aren’t able to. Would you love to sponsor one of them?

Contact the team on +256 751 703226 or babshainiwe@babishainiwe.com

Our #Babishai2018 shortlisted poets can also be read here:






For Acen Carolyne, this is her first attempt at a literary competition like this. She loves the Japanese haiku and was excited to appear on the Babishai 2017 shortlist. The Ugandan writer has since been published in the Mamba journal.

What drew you to enter the competition?

As a poet, I haven’t participated in any literary competition like this, so I intended to give it a try when I came across the call for submissions for the Baibishai Niwe Haiku contest.


Do you have a particular personal story with haikus?

Yeah! I really do love Haiku but I never penned down any until I saw the call for submissions. It’s amazing that one among my first three Haikus I had submitted, made it on the shortlist. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I was totally surprised because I least expected it. Thereafter my entry into the contest, I have had an Haiku published in the Mamba Journal and I’m proud of that.


What do you think of the shortlist in general?

Wonderful! reading great Haikus emanating from great minds, each and every Haiku deserves to be on the shortlist and I know it will be a herculean task for the judges declaring the winners.

Congratulations to every brain behind these powerful haikus on the list.


What motivation do poets need?

I think platforms like literary festivals are really encouraging for poets to expose their literary works to the world. Contests will always motivate the writer to keep scribbling.

Poets as well must be self-inspired to inspire the world.


If your 2017 haiku submission were food, what would it be?

It will surely be ‘Banku’ an energy giving food prepared with corn and cassava dough relished by virtually ever Ghanaian. It is one of the most popular food in Ghana enjoy with all kinds of soup, stew and hot pepper. before and after an energy sapping work.

Everybody likes it!


Read Acen’s Babishai 2017 haiku here


the drunken cockroach

reels around the verandah-

rooster chuckles


We at Babishai, congratulate her again. The winners will be announced at the #Babishai2017 Poetry Festival dinner on Sunday 6 August at Humura Resort, Kitante Close. Cards are on

The full winning haikus are here:



We at Babishai, congratulate her again. The winners will  be announced at the #Babishai2017 Poetry Festival dinner on Sunday 6 August at Humura Resort, Kitante Close. Cards are on sale at 40,000/- Call +256 703147862. The full festival programme is here.