Harriet Anena

Harriet Anena

We all know the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation which ensures that poetry gets its space at the literature table on the African continent. They have been doing this with first a poetry prize as well as a festival at their Kampala, Uganda base.

Now the team at Babishai Niwe is set to launch their pilot online mentorship scheme, which will run from November 2015 to May 2016. This first of its kind quest is a new prize awarded to the shortlisted of the #Babishai2015 Poetry Prize. It will be kind of like a Writivism type event only with a focus on poetry.

The shortlisted poets for this annual African poetry competition are some of the most highly imaginative, exceptionally talented and unswerving poets. This mentorship scheme in a sense, will enable them to foster a professional writing relationship with dedicated mentors to African poetry, nurturing their craft and building their confidence as performers. Some poets on the program are also winners from previous years. Amongst our mentors, whom we are most privileged to have are Nick Makoha, Kwame Dawes, Stephen Derwent Partington, Harriet Anena, Sopelekae Maithufi, and Aderemi Raji-Oyelade.

The poets on the pilot scheme are:-

  • Lua Nsume Davis (Cameroon/U.S)

  • Olajide Salawu (Nigeria)

  • Tolase Ajibola  (Nigeria)

  • Roxanna Kazibwe (Uganda)

  • Sheila Okongo Nyanduaki  (Kenya)

  • Ann Waruguru Kiai (Kenya)

  • Babajide Olesugun (Nigeria)

  • Sanya Noel  (Kenya)

  • Famia Nkansa  (Ghana)

  • Adhiambo Agoro   (Kenya)

  • Gbenga Adesina   (Nigeria)

  • Tom Jalio  (Kenya)

  • Kelly Taremwa  (Uganda)

  • Adeeko Ibukun  (Nigeria)

  • Rashidah Namulondo  (Uganda)

The mentors and their poets will be hosted at the #Babishai2016 Poetry Festival, which runs from 24 to 26 August 2016 in Kampala under the theme of Abundance: Poetry From Contemporary Africa.