Benjamin Zephaniah is a British Rastafarian writer and dub poet from the UK. His first published book was Pen Rhythm in 1980. It was so well received all three editions were published. His album Rasta, which included the first recording from the Wailers since the death of Bob Marley, was a tribute to Nelson Mandela and gained him international prestige.
As a result of this Nelson Mandela requested that Zephaniah host the president’s Two Nations Concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
In Late 2003, he publicly rejected an OBE saying it reminded him of “how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised”. He continued to say “Stick it, Mr. Blair and Mrs. Queen, stop going on about empire.” It was unusual to do so publicly, since the convention for rejecting the award is to do so privately.
Zephaniah is a vegan and animal rights advocate and has also been awarded honoroary doctorates by the University of North London, the University of Central England, Staffordshire University, London South Bank University, the University of Exeter and the University of Westminster.
His poetry is humorous, clever, profound and politically provoking.
Benjamian Zephaniah ‘Responsible’