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Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zephaniah is a performer, musician, actor, and one of the UK's best-known poets. Born in Handsworth, Birmingham, Benjamin began writing and performing at the age of 11, and had his first collection of poetry published when he was 22. He has written more than 30 books for adults and children and is known all over the world for his powerful writing and performances.

Benjamin was a founding member of Artists Against Apartheid, and in 1996 he hosted the President's Two Nations Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London, at the request of Nelson Mandela. On August 29th 2007 he was the Master of Ceremonies at the unveiling of the statue of Nelson Mandela, again at his request, in Parliament Square. Benjamin is also a musician and was the first person to record with the Wailers after the death of Bob Marley.

As well as writing poetry, novels, screenplays and stage plays, Benjamin has also written and presented documentaries for television and radio. He has been awarded 13 honorary doctorates in recognition of his work and a wing at The Ealing Hospital in West London has been named after him. As passionate about politics and poetry as he has ever been, Benjamin now lives in Lincolnshire.

Nila Aye has been an illustrator for over twenty years, producing artwork for clients such as British Airways, Paperchase, Marks & Spencer and British ELLE. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two children. Follow her on Twitter @nilaaye, or visit her website at www.nilaaye.com

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