Badilisha Poetry X-Change: Production of 80 podcasts featuring African poetry

Project holder: 

Africa Centre

Country of implementation: 

Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania

Implementation year:


Type of project:


Brief project description

The Badilisha Poetry X-Change is both an online audio archive and a Pan-African poetry show broadcasted via online radio. The project consisted of the production of 80 podcasts of African poetry by 80 poets from Botswana, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa (20 poets and podcasts per country). The production process included researching, recording and archiving the poetry performances. Through the activities organized in each country, master and emerging poets came together to exchange ideas and write poetry. The project culminated in an international poetry event in South Africa where at least one master poet and one emerging poet from each participating country perform their poetry.

Objectives and expected results:

The project aimed to increase the visibility of traditional forms of oral poetry inherent in African societies as well as of contemporary modes of writing and performing poetry via a virtual platform accessible to both the poets and their audiences.

The Badilisha Poetry X-Change also aimed to set up a diverse and representative repository of poetry from each of the participating countries.

About the beneficiaries

A total of 100 poets were featured on podcasts, including 47 women poets and 49 who were from 18-32 years old.

The poets were given the opportunity to record and present their works in individual podcasts. The podcasts were broadcasted online throughout the project.  Broadcasts were accompanied by the creation of new poet profiles on the BPX website, which included poets’ biographies, text versions of the poems, and accompanying translations where applicable.

More than 200 people attended the main poetry event organized on 4 December 2015 which included the participation of master and emerging poets.


“When Badilisha Poetry X-Change came to the Eastern Cape, they recorded a number of amazing poets, whose work I thoroughly enjoy. I was humbled to also be recorded…” - Ntsika Tyatya, South Africa

“The Badilisha Poetry experience is something that has not worn off. It left an indelible mark in my literary life. The opportunity to record poems I had never thought would come to anything was as exhilarating as it was fulfilling. I cherish that time and opportunity. It was a well-organised venture and the whole experience whet my desire to delve deeper in poetry and unearth hidden gems. The workshop was an eye opener and the experiences and lessons learnt will go a long way in sculpting the poet that I ought to be.”- Richard Mbuthia, Tanzania.

“My biggest highlight was the legendary poet, Prof. Keorapetse Kgositsile. His witty approach while delivering his art wrapped in wisdom was rather captivating.” – Stella WaAfrika, attendee at the Pan-African Poetry Event.

For more details on the project visit the project website by clicking here