Seven year old Nylah Abitimo-Jones was born in Gulu, Uganda and now lives in Cheltenham with her mum, dad and sisters Amito and Akele. Nylah has had a very memorable experience of ‘lockdown’! On 8th June Nylah performed her poem ‘Black’ in front of over 5000 people at the Black Lives Matter protest in Cheltenham. Inspired by rapper Dave’s song ‘Black’, Nylah’s poem centres around self-love and explores her own experience of being Black with pride. Nylah finished off her performance by asking that we ‘learn Black History in schools’ and added that ‘Africa is Not A Country!’ Since then, videos of her performance have been watched across the world by millions, reposted and shared by celebrities like Missy Elliott and platforms like NAACP, NowThis, BBC, Al-Jazeera across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
Black Lives Matter: What it means to be Young, Gifted & Black in 2020
Nylah’s performance caught the attention of Blue Peter producers who asked Nylah to write a poem for their Silver Badge week. She wrote ‘Shine’, a poem that encourages people to believe in themselves and try something new and performed it live in the Blue Peter studio in July. Nylah loves to sing, rap and recite lyrics as poetry wherever she is, with her family and friends. She dreams of being a singer, dancer, actor and rapper when she grows up. Nylah’s will perform some of her poetry, including a brand new poem called ‘UG’, a playful celebration of culture – from the food she loves, her Ugandan Acholi ancestry and hair.