ENTRIES for the South Africa Poetry Awards 2020 are now open. The awards, which will take place for the second time this year, sees the public being called on to nominate their favourite poets and poetry. Voting will then take place and the winning poets will be honoured at an awards ceremony on November 21. The founder of the awards, Eric “Ntatheli waseMazulwini” Phetha, said the entries for supporters to nominate their favourite poets opened on January 1 and will close on February 29. The voting process will then start on March 1 and will close on September 30.Speaking about the competition, Phetha said the awards are aimed at encouraging and honouring poets from all over the country.“With these awards I want to show that poetry is as important as other genres in the entertainment industry. “Poetry needs to be respected and poets need to be honoured for their hard work. “I have always felt that poetry is being undermined as poets are hardly ever invited to entertainment events. “I started writing poetry 12 years ago and I feel that poets are not getting the attention and the respect that they deserve. “There are a lot of awards that take place but we do not have any for our own poets who are doing so well. We have music awards and sports awards but nothing for us; the only thing we have is that one category of poetry and that is it,” he said, adding that the awards are open to all poets in South Africa.There are 16 categories that people can choose from to nominate their favourite poets in. These include: Ungoti male writer, Ungoti female writer, Ungoti upcoming male poet, Ungoti upcoming female poet, Ungoti female performer, Ungoti male performer, Ungoti stylish poet, Ungoti poetry album, Ungoti poetry show, Ungoti inyosi, Ungoti poetry radio show, Ungoti group, Ungoti poem of the year (Zulu), Ungoti poem of the year (English), and Ungoti overall. People can vote for their favourite poets by sending an SMS or a WhatsApp message to 060 399 9049 that includes the poet’s stage name, their province, and the title of their poem.