Benjamin Zephaniah is a British poet and writer. Benjamin Zephaniah is a Rastafarian spoken word poet known for works such as Pen Rhythm, The Dread Affair: Collected Poems and Funky Chickens. In 1982 he was also able to release his internationally acclaimed spoken word album Rasta.
Birth Facts and Education
Benjamin Zephania was born on April 15, 1958 in Handsworth, Birmingham, England. He is 63 years old and is under the zodiac sign Aries. He is a British citizen and his full name is Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah.
Benjamin’s parents name is not available at this time. However, he is the son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse. He also has a sibling and her name is Velda Zephaniah. And his parents raised him in the Handsworth area of Birmingham, England, which he calls the “Jamaican capital of Europe.” Speaking of childhood, he is dyslexic and attended an accredited school but dropped out at the age of 13 because he could neither read nor write. And Zephaniah attended Broadway Academy.
During this time he was given an old, manual typewriter, which he says inspired him to become a writer. His manual typewriter is now in the collection of the Birmingham Museums Trust. He also had a criminal record at a young age and was serving a prison sentence for burglary.
career and working life
Benjamin Zephaniah’s poetry is heavily influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls “street politics”. And his first appearance was in church when he was 11, and by the age of 15 his poetry was already popular in Handsworth’s Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities. But his poetry was restricted only to black people and, fed up with the restrictions, he decided to widen his audience and at the age of 22 went to London.
Benjamin was also able to get actively involved in a workers’ cooperative in Stratford, London. This then led to the publication of his first volume of poetry, Pen Rhythm (Page One Books, 1980). He also stated that his mission is to fight and “take” the dead image of poetry in academia [it] Everywhere” to people who don’t read books and turned poetry readings into concert-like performances. In addition, his other poetry collections are The Dread Affair: Collected Poems (1985) and Rasta Time in Palestine (1990).
He was also poet in residence in the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC and participated in the investigation of Bloody Sunday and other cases. These experiences led to his poetry collection Too Black, Too Strong (2001), We Are Britain! (2002) and many others. Also, his first book of poetry for children was Talking Turkeys in 1994. And in 1999 he wrote a novel for teenagers, Face, the first of four novels to date. He was also able to write the forward to Hsiao-Hung Pai’s Angry White People: Coming face-to-face with the British far-right in 2016.
More about careers
Benjamin Zephaniah made many minor appearances on several television programs during the 1980s and 1990s, including The Bill, The Comic Strip Presents, and Crucial Tales. And in 1990 he starred in the film Farendj. His other credits are Peaky Blinders and QI. Also in 1982 he was able to release the album “Rasta” which brought him international recognition and topped the Yugoslav pop charts. It was for this reason that he also got the opportunity to host the President’s Two Nations Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
He is also an honorary patron of the Vegan Society, Viva! (Vegetarians’ International Voice for Animals) and EVOLVE! campaigns and is an animal rights advocate. He was even able to write the foreword to Keith Mann’s From Dusk ’til Dawn: An insider’s view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement, a book about the Animal Liberation Front. He even published The Little Book of Vegan Poems. He has also spoken extensively about his personal experiences of anti-black racism in Britain and incorporated his experiences into much of his writing.
He could also speak out in favor of the British Republic and the abolition of the Crown. He also joined Amnesty International in 2012 to speak out against homophobia in Jamaica. Likewise, Benjamin self-identifies as an anarchist. He was also involved in political cases.
Benjamin Zephaniah won the BBC Young Playwright’s Award. He has also received honorary doctorates from the University of North London in 1998, the University of Central England in 1999, Staffordshire University in 2001, London South Bank University in 2003, the University of Exeter and the University of Westminster in 2006. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham and was ranked 48th on the Times list of the 50 Greatest Post-War Authors. In addition, Zephaniah received the award for Best Original Song at the 2008 Hancocks and the Talkawhile Awards for Folk Music.
Benjamin Zephaniah was married to Amina, who is a theater manager, for twelve years. They divorced in 2001. He even admitted to hitting her when they were together. He also stated that he also hit some of his other girlfriends. Likewise, his family was Christian, but he became a Rastafarian at a young age. He also quit smoking cannabis in his thirties. Zephaniah is also an Aston Villa FC supporter and patron of an Aston Villa supporter website.
Benjamin Zephaniah has a height 5ft 6in, but his weight and other measurements are still being verified. In addition, Zephaniah has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes.
Social Media and Wealth
Benjamin Zephaniah owns his Twitter Account under the name “BZephaniah” and has 68.1k followers on it. He is also active on Facebook and has 54,000 followers so far.
Accordingly idolnetworth, Benjamin Zephaniah has a net worth of $1.1 million and his main source of income must be his career as a poet and writer.