Greenwich Book Festival 2018 – Exhume Those Stories event!

Greenwich Book Festival 2018 – Exhume Those Stories

Dramatising African-British History

Join us for this fabulous discussion at Greenwich Book Festival 2018

Exhume Those Stories: Phillis Wheatley and John Blanke, readings and panel discussion

Sat 16 June 2018 15.30 – 17.00, Council Chamber, Queen Anne, Old Royal Naval College

Chair: The Right Honourable Diane Abbott MP, Shadow Home Secretary

Performances, discussion, and extracts from: Incomparable Worlds by S.I Martin, soon to be adapted by BBC/Ridley Scott; Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufmann, soon to be adapted by ITV/Silverprint Pictures; a new edition of The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano edited by Brycchan Carey; and new plays,  Phillis in London and The Court Must Have a Queen by Ade Solanke, the latter to be performed at Hampton Court Palace June 29th – Sept 2rd 2018.

“You know, there’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place and that’s the graveyard. People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories.”

In her powerful Oscar acceptance speech in 2017, Viola Davis exhorted storytellers to “exhume those stories,” referring to the dearth of films and plays about African historical figures. Join us for rehearsed readings from two new plays featuring two extraordinary historical figures: Phillis Wheatley and John Blanke.

More about this event

A Wonderful Award from Sheffield University

University of Sheffield Distinguished Alumni 2016 – me!

Humbled  – and extremely honoured – to be the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Sheffield.

It was very moving going back to my old campus this week for the award ceremony, which took place in the  very same hall I originally graduated from many (many) moons ago!

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The Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award


The Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded to former students as an acknowledgement from their University of their achievements and success.


Sheffield is a member of the Russell Group of leading UK research universities. Its outstanding performance for excellent teaching and research, as part of a genuinely global community, is consistently confirmed by international independent assessments. 

Firth Court


My sincere thanks to the Award Committee for this amazing compliment in selecting me for this prestigious award. Huge thanks, also, to the Alumni Office (especially Claire Rundstrom, Head of Alumni Relations) for the wonderful hospitality I enjoyed on the day.

It was a  beautiful experience, and brought back many fond memories. Studying English Literature was the foundation of my writing life and, even through it was during the 1980s, we even had a professor who discussed all sorts of writing in English, not just that from England. So I had some access to exciting and diverse worlds of writing early on.

So I’m thrilled – and motivated. Much more to do! Thank you, University of Sheffield.



The West Africa :Word, Symbol, Song exhibition was on at the British Library,  Oct 16-Feb 16 2016!


Looking forward to event for primary school teachers re how they can help kids see Africa more positively – Thurs Nov 5th, 4.30-8.00 at the British Library!

We loved running our participation week activities!

We loved running our participation week activities!

Half-term was anything but half-hearted! We had lots of fun.

Dancing at Funmi Adewole’s class


Usifu Jalloh, the Cowfoot Prince himself, enchanted the kids with his storytelling


Usifu Jalloh and rapt audience


Mum and daughters dancing together


“We made them ourslves!” Proud wearers of gele at Tomi Ogunjobi’s class