Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

How we do it

Badilisha was initiated in 2008 as an annual, large-scale international poetry festival. It produced festivals for three years, as well as a series of related poetry interventions in the form of seminars, workshops and training programmes. The project as of 2012 evolved into an audio archive and radio show, aiming to address two key issues: the absence of any readily accessible archive of Pan-African poets, and the need for a new stage in which Pan-African poetry could reach a global audience.

Badilisha Poetry X-Change has archived over 350 African poets from 22 different countries from both the continent and the global African Diaspora. Each week, two new poets are featured on the website and via podcasts. These poets represent a broad range of voices, genres and language, thereby reflecting contemporary trends and evolutions in the medium along with some of the historic giants of African poetry.

Our extensive network of Pan-African poets and poetry organisations enables us to create much-needed exposure and viable opportunities for Africa’s poets.

Badilisha Poetry is a project of the Africa Centre. The Africa Centre is a physical entity as well as an ongoing philosophical journey that explores how Pan-African cultural practice can be a catalyst for social change. The Africa Centre was established in 2005 as an international centre for creativity, artistic excellence and intellectual engagement. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, the Africa Centre’s social innovations extend across the African continent.