Panya Banjoko whose parents are Jamaican, is a spoken word artist and writer who captivated the audience at our celebration event with her brilliant poetry.
She has toured internationally, coordinates a writers’ and artists’ network and is patron for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. In 2008 she received the Women in the Arts Poetry Award for Outstanding Achievementand the Black Achievers Culture, Music and Arts Award for her work as a poet in 2017.
Here is Panya in a recent interview
And here are seven things you should know about Panya
1. She has approximately 82 dreadlocks on her head ranging from 6 inches to 49 inches long. The upside of this is she says she is Bob Marley’s sister, when abroad, it usually gets her at least one free drink! The downside is it takes at least three days to dry when she washes them.
2. She was once told by a boyfriend that if she was two inches shorter she would have been a dwarf, needless to say the relationship didn’t last!
3. Her least favourite number, is ‘35’. Why? Because that’s when she realised she really wasn’t ever going to grow anymore and she would never make it to five foot tall.
4. She has a Nigerian surname and was born in Nottingham by Jamaican parents. This causes confusion when people try to put her in a box, because the English think she is Jamaican, the Jamaicans say she is English and the Nigerians can’t understand how a ‘Jamo’ has an African name.
5. Her favourite food is plantain. She can eat them fried, boiled or even mashed in fritters, for her the world would be a cheerless place without sweet fried plantain in it.
6. She loves to write and so far she has successfully published by Penguin Press and she has had two children’s stories published (Hari at the Castle and Bibi’s Museum Adventure).
7. She likes all things creative which includes knitting, crocheting, writing, performing and visiting art galleries and museums and she is always learning new things (she recently taught herself to rag rug).
To find out more Panya visit her blog panyabanjoko.wordpress.com