BBC Africa

BBC Somali today launches its first-ever poetry award for young women. The contest is open to all women, aged 16 to 35; and it has no restrictions on their level of experience or location.

According to the announcement that was made available to The Maravi Post, entries for the award, must be an original work of poetry, that is has a maximum of 15 lines in length. that is not more than one minute of recording, in a Somali language.

A panel of judges will select one winner, and two runners-up. The 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 is now open for entries and the closing date isFriday 15th June 2017. Entries are to be submitted by e-mail to Details of how to enter including the full terms and conditions are available on

Caroline Karobia, Editor of the BBC Somali Service, said: “We are excited to bring 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,” she said.

The winner of the BBC Somali Young Female Poet of the Year Award 2017, and the two runners-up will be announced at a special event to mark the 60th anniversary of BBC Somali, that will be held in Hargeisa on Tuesday 18th July 2017.

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.