Tippa Naphtali was born and raised in Birmingham. He has been active in the community since 1978 after leaving school. Along with a group of his peers, at just 18 years old he helped to develop and co-lead the Negus Youth Collective, a pioneering youth-led arts and culture project in Handsworth, Birmingham.
He is also well known across the UK and abroad for his campaigning work supporting the call for police, penal and mental health reforms, for an end to custody deaths / abuse, wrongful convictions and the brutality of torture, genocide and capital punishment.
He established the campaign and news website, 4WardEver UK, in 2006 following the death of his cousin, Mikey Powell, who died as the result of restraint by West Midlands police in 2003. He went on to develop a number of initiatives designed to build resilience of vulnerable people to avoid them coming into contact with police and criminal justice systems in the first place.
Fewer people however, know that during the mid-1980’s he was a well established performance poet on UK alternative cabaret circuits and with some performing stints abroad. He had two popular tracks on the German produced Dread Poets Society CD.
Attending schools, colleges and universities, protest rallies etc; Tippa became known for his gritty no-nonsense and humorous brand of the popular art form called Dub Poetry, (or Dub Chanting as he referred to it).
During the same period Tippa had worked to promote and advance the arts with many organisations and individuals both at home and abroad.