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Episode 2409             Episode 2411
Episode 2410

Benjamin Zephaniah
Fri, 2023-Dec-08 01:39 UTC
Length - 2:36

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Welcome to popular Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a popular Wikipedia page every day.

With 244,278 views on Thursday, 7 December 2023 our article of the day is Benjamin Zephaniah.

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah (15 April 1958 – 7 December 2023) was a British writer, dub poet and actor. He was included in The Times list of Britain's top 50 post-war writers in 2008. Described as "the people's laureate" by the Birmingham Mail, Zephaniah drew on his lived experiences of incarceration, racism and his Jamaican heritage to encourage a wide range of audiences to engage with his creative works.

Zephaniah won the BBC Young Playwright's Award and was awarded at least sixteen honorary doctorates. A ward at Ealing Hospital was named in his honour. His second novel, Refugee Boy, was the recipient of the 2002 Portsmouth Book Award in the Longer Novel category. In 1982 he released an album, Rasta, which featured The Wailers performing for the first time since the death of Bob Marley, as well as a tribute to Nelson Mandela. It topped the charts in Yugoslavia, and due to its success Mandela invited Zephaniah to host the president's Two Nations Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 1996. An actor and musician, as well as writer and poet, between 2013 and 2022, he had a major acting role was in BBC's Peaky Blinders.

A committed vegan and animal rights activist, he self-identified as an anarchist and supported changing the British electoral system from first-past-the-post to alternative vote.

In November 2003 he was offered appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) but publicly rejected the honour, stating that: "I get angry when I hear that word 'empire'; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised".

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:39 UTC on Friday, 8 December 2023.

For the full current version of the article, see Benjamin Zephaniah on Wikipedia.

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