Benjamin Zephaniah was born in Birmingham in 1958.
He moved to London in 1980 where his first book of poems, Pen Rhythm, was published.
In 1982 his reggae album, Rasta, which featured a tribute to Nelson Mandela, led to international acclaim.
At Nelson Mandela’s request, Zephaniah hosted the President’s Two Nations concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1996.
In 1999 he published his first novel for teenagers, Face.
His poetry collection We Are Britain was published in 2002.