Benjamin Zephaniah’s Children: Full Details

Photo of author
Written By Benny Sams






Benny Sams is a seasoned writer who has written for the likes of The Parrot, Top Story, P&P,, as well as the Flex Newspaper.He has several years of writing experience and was nominated for the first edition of the GN Bank Awards for the Entertainment Journalist of the Year Category. He holds a first degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Ghana and has vast working experience in Customer service.

Benjamin Zephaniah can be described as a British writer, dub poet and actor. Benjamin Zephaniah was born on April 15, 1958, in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, England, and died on December 7, 2023. The parents of Benjamin Zephaniah were Oswald Springer, a Barbadian postman, and Leneve (nee Wright), a Jamaican nurse. He was a dyslexic and he was noted to have stopped schooling at age 13 as he could still not read or write.

He was included in the The Times list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers in 2008 and he is normally referred to as the “the people’s laureate” by the Birmingham Mail. Based on the experiences of Benjamin Zephaniah with respect to incarceration, racism and his Jamaican heritage, he encouraged a wide range of audiences to engage with his creative works.

It must be noted that Benjamin Zephaniah was the winner of the  BBC Young Playwright’s Award and he has about sixteen honorary doctorates to his credit. He won the 2002 Portsmouth Book Award in the Longer Novel category with respect to his novel titled Refugee Boy. Benjamin Zephaniah was known to have released the album titled  Rasta, in 1982.

This album featured The Wailers performing for the first time since the death of Bob Marley, as well as a tribute to Nelson Mandela. The album did well in Yugoslavia by topping the charts. Benjamin Zephaniah was subsequently invited by Mandela to host the president’s Two Nations Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 1996.

He was offered an appointment as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in November 2003 but he rejected the honor and this was his reason; “I get angry when I hear that word ’empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalized”.

Some of the books Benjamin Zephaniah worked on so far as poetry is concerned are Pen Rhythm (1980), The Dread Affair: Collected Poems (1985), Arena, City Psalms (1992), Bloodaxe Books, Inna Liverpool (1992), AK Press, Talking Turkeys (1994), Puffin Books, Propa Propaganda (1996), Bloodaxe Books, Funky Chickens (1997), Puffin, School’s Out: Poems Not for School (1997), AK Press, Funky Turkeys (Audiobook) (1999), AB hntj, White Comedy (Unknown), Wicked World! (2000), Puffin, Too Black, Too Strong (2001), Bloodaxe Books, The Little Book of Vegan Poems (2001), AK Press and . Reggae Head (Audiobook), 57 Productions.

He also played roles in the following films; Didn’t You Kill My Brother? (1987) – Rufus, Farendj (1989) – Moses, Dread Poets’ Society (1992) – Andy Wilson, Truth or Dairy (1994) – The Vegan Society (UK), Crucial Tales (1996) – Richard’s father, Making the Connection (2010) – Environment Films / The Vegan Society (UK) and Peaky Blinders (2013–2022) – Jeremiah Jesus. It must be noted that Benjamin Zephaniah has other novels, biographies, children’s books, plays, singles, albums, and guest appearances to his credit.

Benjamin Zephaniah’s Children

Benjamin Zephaniah was known to have no children as he was not fertile. Due to his criminal record, he was not allowed to adopt any children. Benjamin Zephaniah was quite open about his infertility. Regardless, Zephaniah was married for 12 years to Amina, a theatre administrator. They however divorced in 2001.

Reference :

Leave a Comment