On March 4, U.S. Ambassador Patricia Mahoney presented prizes to the five winners of the 5th Annual MLK Slam English poetry competition organized by the U.S. Embassy.
The winners were selected from fifty-six young Beninese who submitted slam poetry performances for the virtual competition, held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms. Faith Agbossou’s ode to peace won her the award for best female artist, while the award for best male artist went to Mr. Jean-Jacques Agbo, recognizing his call for equality.
“U.S. civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the among the best examples of the use of non-violent activism in the pursuit of freedom and equality,” Ambassador Mahoney said. “In honor of Dr. King, I congratulate the five winners of the fifth annual MLK Slam competition whose powerful poetry reminds us all that the fight against injustice isn’t over.”
First organized in 2017, the MLK Slam competition supports the aspirations of Beninese youth to learn and master the English language, while simultaneously drawing inspiration from Dr King’s use of peaceable freedom of expression to advance human rights and promote greater equality.
Since its creation, more than 500 young people have taken part in the MLK Slam competition.
Watch the Winning Slam Performances:
Best Performance Overall (Female) and Audience Choice Winner:
Ms. Faith Agbossou from Abomey-Calavi
Best Performance Overall (Male):
Mr. Jean-Jacques Agbo from Porto-Novo
Ms. Olouwashéhoun Martine Alohoutade from Calavi-Zogbadje
Most Creative English:
Ms. Japhète Sokpin from Calavi
Best English Diction:
Mr. Juste Codjo Akoundo from Cadjehoun