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I wrote this poem after the abduction of the Chibok girls. I was particularly affected by the fact that there was initially this massive media hype but it died all too quickly and people swiftly moved on. This is a poem about justice, about passion and about hope.

Not exactly a poem. Nevertheless a form of creative writing.
My speech on Peace which won Peace One Day’s worldwide writing competition:

The place where my poetry journey began.
I wrote ‘The Champion’s Story’ at the age of fifteen. It won the Mayor of London’s Olympic themed poetry competition in 2012 and was discovered by the BBC that same year; it was televised on the night of the Olympic Closing Ceremony to over 20 million viewers.

(Written in the midst of Black History Month. Performed at the PRECIOUS Awards 2013. A celebration of women of colour. Video coming soon!)

When you claim that we are women of colour
I must say, I do agree.
But this is not defined
Nor restrained
Nor limited
Solely by what the eye can see.
Our colour is not the mere shades of our skin
Our radiance is birthed from the rainbow within.

Painted red by the passion we pursue.
When their barriers flashed red with
‘No’, ‘Not Good Enough’, ‘Not You’,
Clothed with dignity, armed with strength
These man-made walls we broke through.
The crimson blood and scarlet wounds touched her soul
The colour of love shown by Mary Seacole.

Our shades of orange created
By the fire inside
The flickering flames igniting
Change in Mankind.
And like the never-ending whirl of smoke, ‘Still I rise’.
Your poetry adds glow to our hues
And so I thank you, Maya Angelou.

Our brightness expressed in bursts of yellow
Persevering, unwilling to pass by unnoticed.
It is the colour of happiness which abounded
Despite the pessimism which surrounded
You. Me. Us.
It is the picture of positivity
Captured in the likes of Oprah Winfrey.

Streaks of green embodied in our creativity
In not succumbing to the world’s conformity
In the revolutionary ideas
That make our dreams reality.
In connecting to the city
Through political policy.
The ‘Diane Abbots’ and ‘Baroness Warsis’

Our ambition is limitless like the blue, celestial heavens
And knows no bounds like the ocean.
It the equilibrium of ferocity and serenity,
Brought to light when she was pushed
As far as she could stand, so she sat.
The fearlessness of an undeniable spark
The one and only Ms Rosa Parks.

Amidst the indigo of the deep midnight sky
We are the stars.
And our brilliance guides the ones
Who are yet to travel far.
Our triumph over trials
Shaping who we will be…’Diamonds’
Like the words of Shirley Bassey.

We reflect the tints of a budding violet
Blooming in spite of adversity.
Seeds planted by heroines of the past
Bearing fruit to legacies that will last.
And so now, I name no names
And salute the ones who live not in fame:
The Mothers, The Aunties, The Sisters.
This is what makes us women of colour,
Going beyond our complexion or race.
It is these earth-shaking qualities
That make this world a much brighter place.

I remember one night looking through my old diaries and I was inspired to write this poem about identity.

We will rise up
A poem addressing the stereotypes often given to young people, encouraging the youth to rise up above and beyond them.

I am who I am

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