A famous poet, once chosen by Nelson Mandela to host the president’s Two Nations Concert, has written a letter of thanks to a group of young writers.
Writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah penned the letter to the Writing, Acting and Publishing Project for Youngsters (WAPPY) .
Mr Zephaniah, who once turned down an OBE from the Queen after stating the empire reminded him of slavery, visited the children in Ealing Central Library recently, as part of the Lottery funded Building Bridges project.
He wrote: “It was a special event in many ways. As the patron of the organisation, Eric Huntley, pointed out in his welcoming speech, we were just down the road from Ealing Hospital where there is a ward named after me. It was also special because the last time I got together with WAPPY, they came to me at Keats House (in 2011), where I was poet in residence but this time they were hosting me.
“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.”
Set up in 2008 by writer and artist, Akuba, with funding from Ealing Council in 2008, the group develops the creative writing and illustration skills of young people from diverse backgrounds.
To find out more visit www.wappy.org.uk.