Andrew Herbert Omuna was announced the winner of the Babishai Haiku Prize 2020 at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.
The Babishai Haiku Prize brought to you by the Babishai Niwe Foundation that also organises the Babishai Niwe Poetry Prize and the Babishai Niwe Poetry Festival, has been running since 2016. The first edition was jointly won by Blessmond Alebna Ayinbire (Ghana), Chibuihe-Light Obi (Nigeria), and Kwaku Feni Adow (Ghana). Kenyan writer Kariuki wa Nyamu won the prize in the following year.
After a brief hiatus, the 2020 iteration of the prize has returned and it is being judged by the 2017 winner Kariuki Wa Nyamu. The longlist of ten haiku writers was announced on June 14 with entries from five countries across the continent before the shortlist was revealed on September 25.
The winner of the award was revealed at a ceremony moderated by Babishai Poetry Foundation founder and Director Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva on Tuesday evening that was streaming from Kampala, Uganda. The ceremony included performances by Rashida Namulondo, the BN Poetry Award 2013 winner, Kunta Moloise, an emcee, spoken word poet, and performer from Botswana.
The evening included readings and discussions from the shortlisted poets;-namely Praise Osawaru from Nigeria, Charlotte Akello from Uganda and Andrew Omuna from Uganda.
The winner of the competition was announced by Chief Judge Kariuki wa Nyamu, a writer, poet and correspondent of the Daily Nation. It is Ugandan poet or rather “haikuist” Andrew Herbert Omuna with second place going to Adipo Sidang, from Kenya.
You can watch the whole ceremony in its entirety below.