The Babishai Poetry Prize 2018 judges announced on May 29, 2018 are Remi Raji, Alfred Msadala, and Rehema Nanfuka.
The Babishai Poetry Prize was founded in 2009 by Ugandan Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva to shine a light on the Ugandan women poetry scene. The prize would go to Sophie Brenda Alal (2009), followed by Nakisanze Segawa (2010), Flavia Kabuye (2011), and Betty Kituyi (2012).
In 2013, prize was rebranded as the Babishai Niwe Poetry Prize, and the organisers expanded the prize to both genders and all Africans. The prize would subsequently be won by Tom Jalio (2014), Adeeko Ibukun (2015), and Sanya Noel and Moyosore Orimoloye (2016).
The prize called out for submissions for the most current edition and with the deadline having passed announced those who would be judging it. The job will be done by Remi Raji, Alfred Msadala, and Rehema Nanfuka.
Remi Raji is a Professor of English and Africana Studies with a raft of poetry collections including A harvest of Laughters (1997), Webs of remembrance (2001), Shuttlesongs America: A poetic guided tour (2003), Lovesong for my Wasteland (2005), Gather my blood rivers of song (2009) and Sea of my mind (2013).
Alfred Msadala is the current President of PEN Malawi, a publishing editor, poet and author. His work includes Reminiscence (poetry – 1996), One, Steve Chimombo (papers – 1996), Destined for Great Things (papers – 1997), We Lost Track of Ausi (poem – 2000), Neighbour’s Wife and Other Stories (ed)(2002), Norwegian Literature (criticism – 2004), and Mangadzi was Here and Other Stories (co-ed with Zondiwe Mbano)(2011). He has also written Sprouts of Dowa Hills(ed)(2011), Ten Tidal Waves (poetry – 2012), A Ragged Portifolio of My Portrait – Memoirs (2014) and War Drums are Beating (papers – 2015) the launch of which we cover here.
Rehema Nanfuka is an actress and poet with a vast range of themes, daring imagery and spectacular performances. She is an award-winning poet, having won the 2013 Goethe Institut Africa Spoken Word competition . In 2012, she emerged finalist in the Babishai Poetry Competition as well, for her poem, Ms. Xylophone and her Life-mate. Her poems have been published and performed widely by the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, Prairie Schooner and Goethe Institut, Kenya and various other renowned spaces.