Poets from Senegal, Nigeria reveal depth of African continent's artistic creativity at SIBF 2022


Sharjah, November 2, 2022

Alongside Arabic, English and Urdu poetry which are popular in the region, is a growing appreciation for poetry from Africa that was in the spotlight at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2022) which hosted distinguished poets from Africa on the opening night of the 12-day cultural extravaganza at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The session ‘Poets of Africa’ brought together elite poets from Senegal and Nigeria, who spoke about and showcased their poetry on subjects as varied as love and beauty to duty to the homeland and its rulers. Moderator Dr. Abdulqader Idris opened the panel by noting that the continent of Africa has a vast list of intellectuals, thinkers, scientists and scholars, poets and artists, and that the session would offer an excellent primer to a selection of elite poets.

“Scholars in Africa have left an enduring legacy, as their knowledge has spread throughout the continent and chronicled the lives and happenings of the people. A lot of the poetry and creativity we have today is a result of that,” Dr. Idris said. He pointed out that Arabic has become an indelible part of African poetry, and all of the session’s poets presented their works in Arabic.

Mohammed Hadi Sali Ali Baah, from Senegal, recited his poems about love, destiny and the captivating beauty of a woman that he compared to the land around him. He highlighted the importance of cultivating one’s intellect: “It is vital to accord heart and devotion to the food of the mind.”

He also praised His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his wise deeds and actions. For his part, poet Dr. Hamid Al Hajiry, from Nigeria, gave a passionate recitation on Islam and praised the culture of “Intellect, devotion and compassion fostered by Sharjah and its Ruler, carrying forward the true essence and meaning of an Islamic civilisation.” The Nigerian poet’s poems also covered a wide range of subjects, including science, literature, arts, culture, knowledge and civilisation.

Tayeb Mustafa Mohamed, also from Nigeria, closed the session by reciting his poetry on life and also praising the Ruler of Sharjah for providing and nurturing the right environment for holding an event such as the Sharjah International Book Fair.