Benjamin Zephaniah: ‘This government is turning into a dictatorship’

Benjamin Zephaniah
Benjamin Zephaniah

source: The Voice
published: 9 February 2022

Benjamin Zephaniah is one of the most loved and respected poets in the country with a career spanning decades. You probably read his work in school, or saw him speaking up for social justice at countless protests.

In recent years, he became a professor at Brunel University, teaching writing poetry for performance. Flick on the TV and you might catch him on Netflix’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ or on Sky’s spoken word platform ‘Life and Rhymes’.

When asked to reflect on the last year or so, in typical Benjamin fashion he begins by talking about others-not himself.

“To the people struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s easy to feel isolated. We must be more socially and politically aware and invest in mental health services. Don’t be afraid to speak up. You should fix the roof when the sun is shining.

“So many people and my friends were suffering with mental health issues, and the people supporting them were often struggling themselves too. It was nice to see people clapping for the NHS, but people were really suffering. I realized that I’m one of the lucky ones.”

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