Benjamin Zephaniah: Writer, poet and Peaky Blinders actor dies aged 65

Writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah has died aged 65, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour eight weeks ago.

A statement posted on his Instagram account confirmed he died in the early hours of Thursday.

The statement said Zephaniah’s wife “was with him throughout and was by his side when he passed”.

“We shared him with the world and we know many will be shocked and saddened by this news,” it added.

Zephaniah was born and raised in Handsworth, Birmingham, the son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse. He was dyslexic and left school aged 13, unable to read or write.

He moved to London aged 22 and published his first book, Pen Rhythm.

His early work used dub poetry, a Jamaican style of work that has evolved into the music genre of the same name, and he would also perform with the group The Benjamin Zephaniah Band.

As Zephaniah’s profile grew, he became a familiar face on television and was credited with bringing Dub Poetry into British living rooms.

He also wrote five novels as well as poetry for children, and his first book for younger readers, Talking Turkeys, was a huge success upon its publication in 1994.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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