By Iminza Keboge
Published May 17, 2017
BBC World Service has launched its first ever poetry award for young Somali women.
Known as BBC Somali Young Female Poet of the Year Award 2017, the contest is expected to produce a winner and two runners-up who will be unveiled at a special event to mark the 60th anniversary of BBC Somali Service in Hargeisa on July 18, 2017.
BBC says the contest is open to women aged 16-35 years with no restrictions on their level of experience or location.
“Entries for the award must be an original work of poetry, that is a maximum of 15 lines long and not more than one minute of recording, in Somali language,” BBC says in a statement. “A panel of judges will … be looking for the quality of the language and conformity of the work to Somali poetry rules in terms of rhyme, rhythm and theme.”
The contest, that opened for entries on May 17, closes on June 15, 2017. Entries are to be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry details, including the full terms and conditions, are available on bbcsomali.com.
Caroline Karobia, Editor of the BBC Somali Service, says: “We are excited to be bringing these new voices and poetry to our audiences. Historically, Somali women have been known for their creativity which includes the leading role in traditional dances. This new award will bring to light the culture of poetry among Somali-speaking women and give them an avenue to showcase their creativity.”
BBC Somali is part of the BBC World Service and is the most listened to international station in Somalia. It broadcasts to Somali-speaking audiences, providing radio, online and TV content in East Africa, in the Horn of Africa and for Somalis around the world. It is reported to be reaching a weekly audience of 3.6 million people.