Students impress in poetry recitation contest

High School students of from Lycée de Kigali and Kagarama Secondary School thrilled poetry enthusiasts at the 10th edition of Kigali Vibrates with Poetry, held at One Love Heritage in Kigali, on Saturday, October 27.

The event, that started 7pm, was attended by local poets, including students from different schools, who competed in both English and Kinyarwanda.


Thirteen students recited two poems each before an audience of parents, fellow students and a panel of judges.  They tussled it out before a panel of judges who included renowned local poets Innocent Bahati, Moussa Bahati, Amina Muhoza, and Modest Nsanzabaganwa, a director of Kinyarwanda language at Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture (RALC).


Judges rated the students for physical presence, articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and overall performance. Ultimately, students from Lycée de Kigali impressed at the poetry recitations. Yassip Casimir Uwihirwe, a S.6 student, emerged the overall winner in English, with the performance of her ‘60’ poem,  while Anita Muringi, also from Lycée de Kigali, was the audience’s favourite, beating Kagarama’s Rita Nyirakamana, whose ‘Indwara Muzinda’ too  moved the crowd.


Josiane Uwanyirijuru, from Ruhango was the best in Kinyarwanda, with her ‘Mpari vvese impano’ poem.

The overall winners in both Kinyarwanda and English categories were awarded with the Nyirarumaga trophies, while the audience’s choice walked away with an African print shirt.

“Emerging the overall winner has come as a surprise because I never at any point thought I would beat some of these competitors that have been doing this for a longer time,” said Yassip Casimir Uwihirwe.

Uwanyirijuru, the Kinyarwanda category winner, said that she has been waiting for an opportunity to showcase her talent and when she heard about the Kigali vibrates with Poetry event she didn’t hesitate to join the competition.

“After putting in a lot of effort and practice for the past one year, today the energy I put in have paid back,” she said.

Organisers explained that reciting poetry before an audience helps students build valuable skills in several areas.

“This programme helps students to master public-speaking skills, to build confidence and to learn about literary history in contemporary life,” said Muhoza, one of the judges.

The event was hosted by poet Lion King Kivumbi, and guests were treated to thrilling performances by Jules Sentore.

Founded in April 2015, with the first event being held January 30, 2016, the event brings together poets who present before a jury that selects the top three who are eventually rewarded.

Kigali Vibrates with Poetry was founded in 2015, and the event brings together poets who present before a jury that selects the top three who are eventually rewarded.


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