Virtual Poetry Contest
proudly sponsored by AFREXIMBANKpresented to you by the Association of African Podcasters and Voice Artists (APVA) in partnership with Strawacademy


Send us your 3-minute video by filling in the information needed, and following these guidelines and steps…


Only spoken word artists of African descent and resident in Africa are permitted to apply

Participants must be 18 and older (based on their age as of May 2023).

Each poem must be original, of the poet’s own creation, and the author needs to be the one performing the poem.

All submissions must be in English language

All submissions [at all stages] must be videos uploaded on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags

#Afreximbank #CANEX2023 #AfCFTA #VirtualPoetryContest #APVA #MAPark #Strawacademy #Utukufu2023 #AfricaDay2023 . [While it does not affect your scores as an independent judging panel will be handling this, it helps with selection and visibility of your work as a creative]

Anger and fury are entirely appropriate emotions to express in your submission as long as it is done creatively. Avoid using foul language


Submissions are due May 15th 2023

Video Submission Guidelines

Create an original poem that speaks to the theme of “Utukufu, the Glory of Africa”, to be recited in a 3-minute video.

Record and ensure that you are the only person in the video.

We encourage contestants to send in artistic, creative, and original videos. It must not have been previously published or used for commercial purposes. All content used in the video, including any music, must be original.

Do not include any graphics, text, or captions in your video. The focus should solely be on your spoken-word performance

Submissions will be judged on the strength and creativity of the spoken-word performance, as well as its relevance to the theme of “Utukufu, the Glory of Africa”.


An independent panel of judges will review and evaluate all entries on a rolling basis until the 15th of May, 2023.

Judging will take place throughout the month of May, and selected participants will be contacted via email.

The top five contestants’ videos will be featured on all APVA platforms.

The top five contestant will receive an instant APVA Award nomination

The top three winners will be announced during the Africa Day celebration ceremony.

Cash prizes are as follows $2000 cash prize for the winner, $1000 cash prize for the 1st runner up, $500 cash prize for the second runner up

The winners are solely responsible for any tax obligations for the prize award.

Afreximbank Logos

UTUKUFU, The Glory of Africa



Utukufu” is APVA’s annual commemoration of Africa Day for audio creatives on the continent. “Utukufu,” which means “glory” or “glorious” in Swahili, is expected to be an unforgettable occasion to honor Africa, its rich culture, and variety. The event will honor the continent on May 25th, 2023, through inspiring, informative, and engaging dialogues about Africa, promoting African voices and inspiring us to own and be unified in our successes and challenges.

Thought leaders, activists, advocates, podcasters, and spoken word artists are among the creative people who will push the boundaries, change preconceived notions, and redefine the African narrative for global audiences. APVA and Strawacademy will collaborate closely with selected keynote speakers from organizations working in the best interests of Africa and its youth.

The poetry slam is one of the ways APVA is adding zest to the event and thus showcasing the continent’s creativity. This is an opportunity for pan-African creatives to share original poems on the theme “Utukufu; The Glory of Africa” and win amazing prizes and perks. “We are thrilled to have Afreximbank as our headline sponsor for Utukufu,” said Bidemi Adedire, founder of APVA. “Their commitment to supporting African creativity and their dedication to promoting the continent’s youth aligns perfectly with our mission for Utukufu.”

Mac Alunge, internationally acclaimed Cameroonian Spoken Word Artist and Director of Strawacademy will be the face of Event. ‘It is quite fulfilling to see how spoken word art has advanced from the sidelines towards center stage in Africa’, Mac says, ‘Given how expressive and advocatory this form of art is, I see a lot of positive impact on the continent coming through these young artists’. As the headline sponsor, Afreximbank shows its commitment to supporting initiatives that showcase Africa’s diverse talent. The Bank’s Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) programme is focused on developing the creative and cultural industries in Africa and the Diaspora through a range of financing and non-financing instruments/interventions.

Utukufu promises to be an unforgettable event that celebrates Africa’s beauty and diversity through creative expressions. Afreximbank, APVA and Strawacademy invite everyone to join them in honoring the continent on May 25th, 2023. For more information, please visit APVA’s website].

Contact:  Bidemi Adedire] []

The Glory of Africa

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