Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2018

Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life.

In the early 1980s, when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations and on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere and to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books. His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant.

By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the world (a feat which he achieved in only one year), and he hasn’t stopped performing and touring since. Nelson Mandela, after hearing Benjamin’s tribute to him while he was in prison, requested an introduction to the poet that grew into a lifelong relationship, inspiring Benjamin’s work with children in South Africa. Benjamin would also go on to be the first artist to record with The Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela.

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah is a truly extraordinary life story which celebrates the power of poetry and the importance of pushing boundaries with the arts. 
 

©2018 Benjamin Zephaniah (P)2018 Simon & Schuster UK

What listeners say about The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    187
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    179
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    175
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Who Knew?!

I’ve listened to enough audio books by now to recognise that my voice sensitivity is real so for someone like me the quality of narration can be a vexed subject.

When I listened to the sample , I wasn’t enamoured with Ben’s narration ,if I’m honest it sounded a bit wooden . I got the book anyway because i thought he’d have a tale or two to tell.

I’m so glad that I did.This man has been living a life . He readily acknowledges his engagement in the darker corners of street life and the price he paid.Colourful, totally candid and utterly heartfelt I can do no more than commend this story of a man who with good reason is unapologetically himself. Long may it continue.A beautiful story.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I’ve never listened so intently

Thank you Benjamin. Thank you to Adam Buxton for making me aware of Benjamin. I feel as though I relate in so many ways.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, absorbing

I was enthralled throughout. The story is told with vivid clarity, great honesty. It brings Benjamin Zephaniah’s life and the fascinating time he has lived through to life in a way that I found totally absorbing. And he comes across as a wise, principled, erudite and lovely man.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

full of surprises but also everything I hoped for

What a naughty boy BZ was at times, however when he talks us through his incredibly tough youth and young manhood his illegal behavior almost seem reasonable response to an unfair world this beautiful and gentle man found himself forced to inhabit.
Lincolnshire is lucky to have him.
Bless BZ

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic

fantastic start to finish
brought alive by the author narrating
wpuld give 100 starts if possible

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational and thought provoking

I downloaded the audio book because I had seen the play “Refugee Boy”., I didn’t know much else about the author. This is simply the best autobiography I have ever listened to. A great orator and a very thoughtful voice. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Easy, adventurous and inspirational listening

I loved listening to Benjamin telling his story. Short chapters that flowed well. His values framing all that he did. Really interesting and thorough. Much more than a poet.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Easy listening & inspiring

I loved it . Thank you Benjamin for the insight to a lad from Brum who done good, real good .. and still faces the disgusting ignorance of racism today.
A beautifully crafted account told by the man himself of course ❤💛💚

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great listen, enlightening and entertaining.

I was never bored listening to Benjamin. One person I'd like to share a beer or two with.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it!

A brilliant and honest account. Benjamin Zephaniah takes you on the journey of his life.