babishi-niwe-header-1The Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation have announced a call out for its prizes for 2016. In previous years, the foundation had the Babishai Poetry Award which has been running since 2009. Previous winners of the prize include Adeeko Ibukun (2015), Tom Jalio (2014), Rashida Namulondo (2013), Susan Piwang (2012), Sanyu Kisaka (2011), Sophie Alal Brenda (2010) and Lillian Aujo (2009).

The foundation has announced a call out for the prize for 2016 again as well as for a competition for the best Haikus there are. The two prizes open for poets around the continent are the Babishaiku Poetry Awards 2016 and the Babishai Poetry Award 2016.

Haiku Category

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Adjei Agyei-Baah

The judges in the first competition are looking for haikus about African sights and sounds. They need to contain clear images, settings and juxtaposition while being concise and as brief as possible (though 17 syllable haiku are welcome). The top three winners of this new competition will receive 150 USD each and participate in the 2016 Babishaiku mentorship programme.

The chief judge of the Babishaiku 2016 Competition is Adjei Agyei-Baah the co-founder of Africa Haiku Network and Poetry Foundation Ghana. He also doubles as the co-editor of “The Mamba”, the official haiku journal of Africa Haiku Network. He is regarded as an inventor and champion of “Afriku” (African Haiku) – an avant-garde haiku type that focuses on the unique images, sounds and settings of Africa.

So if you write haikus then this is the competition for you. The best thing about it is that this competition is open to ALL African poets (LIVING IN AFRICA), who will not have published a full-length collection of poetry by May 2016. The competition language is English.

Poetry Category

Isaac Tibasiima
Isaac Tibasiima

The poetry category is open to ALL African poets (living anywhere in the world), who will not have published a full-length collection of poetry by May 2016. Submissions should be original, in English and not more than 40 lines each. Local languages are accepted only if English translations are sent alongside them. The top two winners will receive 700 USD and 300 USD respectively.

There will be an entire panel of judges for this category, led by Stephen Partington and Isaac Tibasiima. Partington has been published widely in various anthologies and also, published in two collections, one in Kenya SMS and Face to Face and one from the UK How to Euthanise a Cactus. Isaac Tibasiima is a Doctoral Researcher and Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Makerere University. He has previously taught in the Department of Languages at Uganda Martyrs University.


If you want in, the submissions both categories were opened on Monday February 29th 2016 and close on May 22nd 2016. The long-list will be announced by July 2016.

For more details on how to enter you can get information on the face book page, Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, on Twitter @BNPoetryAward and the website,