Benjamin Zephaniah Biography and Lifestyle – Net worth, Education, family & Car Collection

Do you want to know more about Benjamin Zephaniah biography and lifestyle? We provide you all the details you need to know about Benjamin Zephaniah, including his birthday, educational background, family, personality, net worth, collection of cars, motion pictures, accolades, and cause of death. The table below has all of the facts about Benjamin Zephaniah biography.

Benjamin Zephaniah Biography and Lifestyle
Benjamin Zephaniah Biography and Lifestyle

Author Benjamin Zephaniah Biography

Full NameBenjamin Zephaniah
Nick NameDa Ben, the shi ren.
Date Of Birth15 April 1958, Handsworth, Birmingham, England
Died7 December 2023 (aged 65)
ProfessionPoet / playwright / author / actor
FamilyWife-  Amina (marriage- 1990; divorce- 2001)
Marital Status Married
Home TownHandsworth, Birmingham, England
Present AddressBirmingham
Total Net WorthApproximately 5 Million US dollars.
Benjamin Zephaniah Biography and Lifestyle

Benjamin Zephaniah Lifestory

Born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England, on April 15, 1958, Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah was a multidimensional British talent recognized for his work as an activist, writer, dub poet, and actor. He made important contributions to poetry, teen fiction, and even acting and music, leaving a long-lasting impression on a variety of literary disciplines.

Early Life and Education

Zephaniah was raised in Birmingham’s thriving Handsworth neighborhood, which is sometimes referred to as the “Jamaican capital of Europe.” His parents were a Jamaican nurse and a Barbadian postman. Despite having dyslexia, he was able to find his love of writing at a young age. His childhood gift of an antique manual typewriter marked a turning point in his life and served as inspiration for him to pursue writing.

Zephaniah’s poems were greatly impacted by Jamaican street politics and music. At eleven years old, he gave his first public performance in a church. By fifteen years old, the Asian and Afro-Caribbean groups in Handsworth were beginning to take notice of his work.

Zephaniah made the decision to reach a wider audience outside of the black poetry community in response to obstacles such as a criminal record and a period spent in borstal. He relocated to London at the age of 22, where he experienced the racial unrest of the 1980s.

Poetry and Written Works

Zephaniah openly questioned the traditional understanding of poetry and was one of the founding members of a London workers’ cooperative in Stratford. His debut poetry collection, “Pen Rhythm” (1980), sought to transcend scholarly boundaries and challenge conventional poetic conventions. Works such as “The Dread Affair: Collected Poems” (1985) critiqued the justice system in Britain.

The poet explored a wide range of subjects, including his travelogues in “Rasta Time in Palestine” (1990) and his experiences researching Bloody Sunday, which had an impact on the collection “Too Black, Too Strong” (2001).

Zephaniah’s literary talents were most notably displayed in “Talking Turkeys” (1994), a book aimed at youngsters, and in “Face” (1999), a book meant for teenagers.

Screen Maestro and Rasta Rhythms: Benjamin Zephaniah’s Unique Acts

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah not only had appearances on TV in the 1980s and 1990s, but he also made a lasting impression on the acting world as preacher Jeremiah “Jimmy” Jesus in the television series “Peaky Blinders” (2013–2022). With a deft change of pace, he provided comedy to QI on the BBC in 2020.

When Zephaniah’s album “Rasta,” which was more than simply an album but also a musical dedication to action, was released in 1982, it touched a nerve all throughout the world. Nelson Mandela was moved by his songs, forging a positive connection between social justice and music.

Zephaniah was a steadfast supporter of equality, veganism, and animal rights who turned down an OBE in 2003. His legacy is a distinct fusion of Rasta rhythms, on-screen charisma, and a resounding cry for justice that will always be ingrained in our cultural fabric.

Books: Poetry

  • Pen Rhythm (1980)
  • The Dread Affair: Collected Poems (1985), Arena
  • City Psalms (1992), Bloodaxe Books
  • Inna Liverpool (1992), AK Press
  • Talking Turkeys (1994), Puffin Books
  • Propa Propaganda (1996), Bloodaxe Books
  • Funky Chickens (1997), Puffin
  • School’s Out: Poems Not for School (1997), AK Press
  • Funky Turkeys (Audiobook) (1999), AB hntj
  • White Comedy (Unknown)
  • Wicked World! (2000), Puffin
  • Too Black, Too Strong (2001), Bloodaxe Books
  • The Little Book of Vegan Poems (2001), AK Press
  • Reggae Head (Audiobook), 57 Productions


  • Face (1999), Bloomsbury (published in children’s and adult editions)
  • Refugee Boy (2001), Bloomsbury
  • Gangsta Rap (2004), Bloomsbury
  • Teacher’s Dead (2007), Bloomsbury
  • Terror Kid (2014), Bloomsbury[70]


We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me (2022), a biography of Mona Baptiste written by Zephaniah and illustrated by Onyinye Iwu.[71]

Children’s Books

  • We are Britain (2002), Frances Lincoln Publishers
  • Primary Rhyming Dictionary (2004), Chambers Harrap
  • J is for Jamaica (2006), Frances Lincoln
  • My Story (2011), Collins
  • When I Grow Up (2011), Frances Lincoln


Kung Fu Trip (2011), Bloomsbury
The Life And Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah (2018), Simon & Schuster[22]


Playing the Right Tune (1985)
Job Rocking (1987). Published in Black Plays: 2, ed. Yvonne Brewster, Methuen Drama, 1989.
Delirium (1987)
Streetwise (1990)
Mickey Tekka (1991)
Listen to Your Parents (included in Theatre Centre: Plays for Young People – Celebrating 50 Years of Theatre Centre (2003) Aurora Metro, also published by Longman, 2007)
Face: The Play (with Richard Conlon)

Acting Roles:

Didn’t You Kill My Brother? (1987) – Rufus
Farendj (1989) – Moses
Dread Poets’ Society (1992) – Andy Wilson
Truth or Dairy (1994) – The Vegan Society (UK)
Crucial Tales (1996) – Richard’s father
Making the Connection (2010) – Environment Films / The Vegan Society (UK)
Peaky Blinders (2013–2022) – Jeremiah Jesus


Rasta (1982), Upright (reissued 1989), Workers Playtime (UK Indie #22)[72]
Us An Dem (1990), Island
Back to Roots (1995), Acid Jazz
Belly of De Beast (1996), Ariwa
Naked (2005), One Little Indian
Naked & Mixed-Up (2006), One Little Indian (Benjamin Zephaniah Vs. Rodney-P)
Revolutionary Minds (2017), Fane Productions
Singles, EPs

  • Dub Ranting EP (1982), Radical Wallpaper
  • “Big Boys Don’t Make Girls Cry” 12-inch single (1984), Upright
  • “Free South Africa” (1986)
  • “Crisis” 12-inch single (1992), Workers Playtime
  • Guest Appearances
  • “Empire” (1995) Bomb the Bass with Zephaniah & Sinéad O’Connor
  • Heading for the Door by Back to Base (2000) MPR Records
  • Open Wide (2004) Dubioza kolektiv (C) & (P) Gramofon
  • Rebel by Toddla T (2009) 1965 Records
  • “Illegal” (2000) from “Himawari” by Swayzak
  • “Theatricks” (2000) by Kinobe

This is the complete Benjamin Zephaniah biography and life story. If you liked this post, feel free to share Benjamin Zephaniah biography with your friends and family.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where was Benjamin Zephaniah born?

Benjamin Zephaniah was born on 15 April 1958, in Handsworth, Birmingham, England

What was Benjamin Zephaniah’s profession?

Benjamin Zephaniah’s profession is a Poet, playwright, author and actor.

What is the net worth of Benjamin Zephaniah?

Benjamin Zephaniah’s net worth in 2023 is approximately 5 Million US dollars.

Who is the Current Spouse of Benjamin Zephaniah?

Benjamin Zephaniah’s spouse is Amina.

What was the cause of Benjamin Zephaniah’s death?

Benjamin Zephaniah passed away due to brain tumour.

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