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WAPPY Wows Benjamin Zephaniah

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

WAPPY Welcomes Acclaimed Poet Who Says he was "Treated like African Royalty!"

WAPPY youngsters pictured with Benjamin Zephaniah

On 30 September 2014, before a pack audience at Ealing Central Library WAPPY, in partnership with Hot Key Books and CCS Libraries on behalf of the London Borough of Ealing, hosted a child-centred and public dialogue with internationally acclaimed poet, author, musician and activist, Benjamin Zephaniah.

WAPPY’s patron, Eric Huntley, contributed to the opening welcome, and before the interviews, WAPPY members, Cassius Jackson – Callen entertained a packed audience with his stand-up comedy routine. Also, Honey Ryder read her award – winning Christ The Saviour CofE Primary school 2013 Poetry Slam poem, ‘I'm Afraid of Blank Paper’ and ‘Jai Blue’ performed her own song, ‘Crush’, before the book –signing opportunity.

Fifteen specially trained WAPPY members interviewed Benjamin on themes ranging from his inspiration for writing, his personal politics and Rastafari faith, his favourite writer and poem, being a vegan and his love for animals, and about the characters in his latest novel, Terror Kid. Benjamin answered each question openly and generously, with plenty of humour and intuitiveness, sprinkled with examples of his lyrical style.

The event ended with the author signing books and offering photo opportunities with all who queued up patiently to meet and chat with him.

Read Ealing Gazette's write up, in which Benjamin Zephaniah states, “I did feel a little like African royalty, as I was seated on stage, with people all around me, but the moment the event started we were one. The young people of WAPPY proceeded to perform poems, sing songs and even perform comedy, in a well organised and professional manner. I think there is something very special about the passion of these young people.”

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