The Africa Centre - Badilisha Poetry X-Change

The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

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Location (s):

  • Online
  • South Africa


Badilisha Poetry X-Change is both an online audio archive and Pan-African poetry show delivered in radio format. Now the largest online collective of African poets on the planet, Badilisha has showcased and archived over 500 Pan-African poets from 28 different countries. It reflects the myriad of rhythms and rhymes, voices, perspectives and aspirations from all corners of the globe.



Africans have limited access to the vast poetic work of both historical and contemporary African poets. There has never been an archive of these poets’ work that is both expansive and easily accessible.

This means that many Africans are not inspired and influenced by their own writers and poets – negatively impacting their personal growth, identity, development and sense of place.

In comparison to their counterparts on other continents, African poets receive little exposure for their work and few viable career opportunities. Both factors are imperative to their development as artists. For instance, of all the published books in the world, the works of African authors comprise only two percent. This imbalance exists for a myriad of reasons, but can to a large extent be attributed to the reality that both within Africa and beyond, reading and listening to African voices is not prioritised.


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.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

If you would like to be featured on Badilisha Poetry X-change, then please submit your MP3 and biographical information for consideration. Before submitting your poems, please read our selection criteria.

Submission Checklist:

  • poem in text and mp3 audio format
  • biography
  • profile picture
  • website/blog/facebook/myspace link

You can submit your poetry using one of four methods:

  1. Upload the MP3 file, and your information, in the form to the right.
  2. By sending your MP3 via Yousendit
  3. Send it via email
  4. Post a CD of your poem

Remember, with all means of delivery, you will need to fill out the form, send us your biographical information and give Badilisha broadcasting permission to use your material.

  1. Upload your poetry using the form:  Fill out the form to submit your poetry. This process expects that you have an MP3 file either on your computer or on a portable hard-drive. Use the form to link this MP3 file using the ‘Linked MP3 file’ button. If you don’t have an MP3, please consider using one of the other options below. Be sure to fill out the form completely.
    Please note: copying your MySpace url is not appropriate, as your poetry cannot be downloaded from this page.
  2. Sending a large file
    Some recordings are larger than the 2 megabyte limit set for each upload on the form. If your recording is larger than 2MB, then fill out the form and upload the tracks using This is a free service that will allow you to upload your file directly to us. Please be sure to add your full name and contact details in the YouSendIt message field. The email address for delivery is:
  3. Sending via Email
    If you would rather use email, please fill out and submit the form on the left, and then send the MP3/s directly to Palesa Motsumi, Send only 1 MP3 per email to ensure that files are clearly identifiable and unlikely to result in timeouts during downloading. Please be sure to add your full name and contact details in the email message field.
  4. Submitting via CD
    If you cannot use any of the above methods, you are always welcome to post CDs of your work directly to us. Be sure to include an e-mail address and phone number where we can contact you. The postal address is:


Please note that some mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads, do not allow for the uploading of text or audio files. If you are struggling to send your information via the form option, please rather use the other options provided for you here.


Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

Cost/funding for participants:

We don’t charge a fee for submissions to Badilisha Poetry X-change.

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