Akuba @ Victoria Climbie Conference courtesy of Ra
Akuba @ the British Musem , 2009 coutesy of TUUPM

Former university lecturer, Akuba (aka Grace Quansah) began Spoken Word performances from 1997. Her achievements include ‘Aspiring Female Storyteller’ (Black Women in the Arts, 2006/2007), and winner of ‘Random House Children’s Books’ writing competition (2006). ‘The Awakening of Elmina’ is published in Malorie Blackman’s, Unheard Voices (2007) and was performed at Cape Castle (Ghana) for the Panafest Festival in 2007. She is published in nineteen different collections including in Journeys Home (US, 2009), and in 2011 co-edited WAPPY debut anthology of poetry, stories and artwork The Soul of a Child with Maureen Roberts (Bogle L-Ouverture Press). In 2015 with Eric Huntley, she has co-edited Mame Nwiah: Ghana’s Undiscovered Prophetess, Divine Healer and Carer by Esther Ackah (Way Wid Wordz, 2015).

Akuba enjoys empowering young people and adults to achieve ‘against the odds’. In 2008, initially under Positive Awareness and funded by the London borough of Ealing, she established WAPPY (Writing, Acting and Publishing Project for Youngsters). An autonomous social enterprise from June 2013, it develops the literary, literacy, art and performance skills of young people (5 – 18 years), and creates opportunities for performance, exhibition and publication. WAPPY provides volunteering, training and employment opportunities for adults too. Its recent achievement (September 2014) was partnering with Hot Key Books and CCS Libraries on behalf of Ealing Council to bring acclaimed international poet and author, Benjamin Zephaniah to Ealing Central Library to host a dialogue and book-signing with WAPPY members and library visitors about his newly published novel, Terror Kid, and other themes.

To read what others think of Akuba's work see the 'Testimonials' Section under the 'Akuba' heading.