Community project ‘Dopereaders Club,’ founded by creative entrepreneur Que ‘The Wolf’ [full name Kweku Quakyi] partnered together with Penguin and Poetic Unity and gave five spoken word artists each copies of Wanda Coleman’s Wicked Enchantment to read and take in her words.
Wanda was rejected by the literary elites during her lifetime, now the Washington Post dubs her “Wanda Coleman is not just wickedly wise, she is transcendent.”
Que and his team set up a table discussion for the group to have open conversations about specific language within the anthology of selected poems in a bid to increase literacy skills and raise awareness amongst young people and aspiring authors across London.
To highlight the campaign they created an interactive educational video guiding people on creating sonnets – a poetic structure and type, led by acclaimed poet and author Terrance Hayes. The educational video and social media campaign, which has been released today, aims to increase literacy skills specifically creative writing and reading amongst BAME young people. With nine million adults in the UK suffering with poor literacy skills, the World Literacy Foundation estimates this cost to society standing at around £37bn.
Illiterate adults are also likely to suffer from isolation and lack self-esteem. Books, newspapers, email, the internet, bank accounts, instruction leaflets, written directions: all are beyond their reach. They are unable to help their children with schoolwork, reinforcing a cycle of illiteracy. On top of that, there is a pervasive sense of shame and secrecy. “It’s a lifelong disability,” said Fiona Evans of the NLT.
Founder of this project, Kweku Quakyi said: ‘Reading has been a lifeline for me in terms of expanding my knowledge, helping me to learn things I otherwise wouldn’t have. It has also increased my social understanding, provided a platform to reduce stress and led to me writing my own pieces. Not only have these skills helped me in life, they are invaluable in my career in business and my community work. I hope this campaign as we take it around London and beyond will inspire others and break down this skills divide.’
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Notes to editors:
Kweku ‘Que’ Quakyi, founder of Dopereaders, is a social entrepreneur and freelance event coordinator. His interests lie in the live music industry, youth culture, education, storytelling and creating opportunities for others. These coupled with his core values of integrity, teamwork, community and hard work, have directed him to co-creating & delivering projects with brands, working with talent, working in the education system, and founding projects that align with his core values and interests. He has over ten years’ experience working in the creative industries having worked with brands such as Universal, Sony, Google and Penguin Randomhouse.