Musa Okwonga
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Musa Okwonga is a writer, broadcaster, poet, musician, communications adviser and commentator on current affairs, including culture, politics, sport, race and sexuality.
A former City solicitor, Musa contributes regular opinion pieces to The Independent on a range of issues, and has on several occasions been a guest on BBC Radio 4′s TodayProgramme. He has been interviewed by Channel 4 News and Sky News, and he has given talks on social media and literature for BBC Radio 3 and 4, the latter at the Royal Society of Arts in London. He has also written for The Guardian, The New Humanist and the Financial Times.

He is the author of two books on football, A Cultured Left Foot (Duckworths, 2007) andWill You Manage? (Serpent’s Tail, 2010), the first of which was nominated for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year. He has also written about football for The Blizzard, The New York Times and ESPN, and is a regular pundit for the BBC World Service.

Musa has several years of communications experience, having worked as the director for press and communications at the Institute for Philanthropy in London and New York, and having acted as a consultant for Ogilvy & Mather. He provides charities and companies with carefully-tailored advice on their communications strategies, and he has arranged features for their work with some of the media’s most respected organisations, including the BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

Musa is one half of electronica outfit The King’s Will, for whom he writes and performs vocals. The King’s Will have had their work featured by The Sunday Times, Drowned in Sound and Knowledge Magazine, they have been played by BBC6 Music and Xfm, and they have been praised by Q Magazine as “a brilliant 21st century culture clash…like a globe-straddling Mike Skinner”.

The winner of the 1996 WHSmith Young Writers Competition, Musa has been invited to perform his poetry at several leading events, including an audience of EU environment ministers at Versailles.

Entries by Musa Okwonga

"We Are Proud To Present": a reflection on a magnificent play.

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 8:43 PM

I had the privilege, on the penultimate night of its six-week London run at the Bush Theatre, of seeing a truly outstanding play. Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury, directed by Gbolahan Obisesan, the production took a look at one of the 20th century's forgotten genocides. (The play's full...

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Mandela Will Never, Ever Be Your Minstrel

(21) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 10:41 AM

Dear revisionists,

Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try...

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The Future's Bright the Future's Jazz: Sons of Kemet and Arun Ghosh

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 10:49 AM

In a year which has seen releases from some of the most innovative names in music, it's two jazz albums that find themselves among the very best. Both acts, moreover, can be found at the London Jazz Festival - Sons of Kemet on Saturday at the Barbican and...

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Manchester United's Treble Year, Captured in an Account to Savour

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2013 | 5:52 PM

Capturing the majesty of Manchester United's Treble season in mere prose is a brutally difficult feat. How can you do justice with words to that extraordinary twelve months, between the summers of 1998 and 1999, when the English club claimed the Premier League title, the FA Cup and UEFA Champions...

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The Quietus, 'Point Close All Quotes' - A Review

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2013 | 7:00 PM

Now that's what I call music writing. Having read "Point Close All Quotes", a 227-page anthology compiled by The Quietus to mark its fifth birthday, I am aware of the clichéd nature of my initial verdict: but that's my most authentic reaction, and so I'm sticking with it. The greatest...

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Britain's Personal Best, and Facing My Own Challenge

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 8:24 PM

So, as an ambassador of Britain's Personal Best, I'm one step closer to achieving the goal that I've set myself for this exciting initiative, and I couldn't be more elated about it. A few weeks ago, I challenged myself to sing in public during the weekend of the...

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Ukip's Season in Bongo Bongo Land

(45) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 6:26 AM

Today was a day of contrasts. I began it by considering the words of Godfrey Bloom, a Member of the European Parliament for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who stated his displeasure that so much foreign aid was going to "bongo bongo land". I continued my day by going to...

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Britain's Personal Best, and Courage as a Muscle

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 5:56 AM

Eek. Following my bravado of setting a public target, now comes the fear. As part of the new Olympic legacy project, Britain's Personal Best, I have challenged myself to perform a song that I have written in public. And now, in the vernacular, I am cacking it.

...
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The Time Project, by Lazy Gramophone: An Interview

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 11:35 AM

A few months ago, I was approached by the London arts collective Lazy Gramophone to contribute to an intriguing book project, "Time"; I had worked with them a couple of times over the years, and have found them to be one of the most innovative groups of creative people in...

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Stephen Lawrence and the Chase

(7) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 8:27 AM

Stephen Lawrence died 20 years ago today, and as I remember that period my chest is again hollow with fear. You see, the thing is with Stephen Lawrence was that it actually happened, that thing you were always afraid of as a kid. You were always worried that, no matter...

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Bringing Together Sport and Social Media: A Chat With the Founders of Sportlobster

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 12:43 PM

Earlier this week I attended the launch of Sportlobster, a social media platform where sports fans can have all the finely-tuned information that they might want at their fingertips. In an area that is set only to grow, it sounded like an original concept, and so I caught...

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'Zooming In, Zooming Out': A Conversation With Shannon Hardwick, Poet

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 5:25 PM

Shannon Hardwick is a fantastic poet whose acquaintance I was lucky to make several years ago. Hailing from Texas, drawing her influences from science, music and a keen study of the world around her, her work exudes a rare grace and optimism. On the eve of the publication by Mouthfeel...

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East African Women on FGM: "Sometimes They Just Call You Lazy"

(11) Comments | Posted April 7, 2013 | 7:00 PM

"Sometimes they just call you lazy."

On the last day of my Easter holidays, Dr. Phoebe Abe (or, as I know her, my mother) sat down in her living room with me and several women from Somalia, Egypt and Sudan. My mother, a GP, had for some time been looking...

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The Feel-Good Hip Hop Mixtape

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2013 | 6:37 PM

A few weeks ago, Carrie Armstrong (a fellow Huffington Post UK blogger) and I started swapping the occasional link to a hip-hop video, and since we're both huge fans of the genre we thought we should put a mixtape together of the best tunes that we knew. The...

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Child Abuse, the BBC, and Priorities

(2) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 9:56 AM

Child abuse. It's probably best to begin with these two words, lest they are lost in any of the analysis to follow. In fact, recent events have actually been an excellent study in how child abuse, however unwittingly, is enabled, neglected and allowed to continue. The initial revelations have been...

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Not a Paralympic Legacy: Belief and Benefit Cuts

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 8:21 AM

Belief is a uniquely potent force. There is something exhilarating about having certainty in your progress towards a goal: of being convinced that, regardless of the obstacles in your way, you are on the correct path. Successful athletes, as we saw at this summer's worth of Games in London, have...

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Coronation Street and Making Life Safe for Many Kenyans

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2012 | 6:03 AM

As Danny Boyle showed with his superb direction of the Olympics opening ceremony, art can be at its most compelling when used to convey a message of social progress. The use of mainstream entertainment to make careful observations about society is a well-travelled path; but, like Boyle, it appears that...

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'British', a Poem for London 2012 and Team GB

(1) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 5:32 AM

"British"

This is
What it means to be British -
To take part in a race,
Hoping to win -
But expecting a last-place finish.
Yes, this is British -
To make it all the way to a tie-break
And then brick it.

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