May 21 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Monday, June 18, 2012
Muswell Hill actor and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah said his OBE was a tribute to the “immigrant’s dream” that brought his parents to the UK from the West Indies.
Mr Kwei-Armah, who has lived in the area for many years, worked as an actor and singer before getting his big break playing paramedic Finlay Newton in BBC1 hospital drama Casualty.
He even started out on a pop career in 2003 with an album called Kwame, but the production of his play Elmina’s Kitchen at the National Theatre the same year took his career in a different direction.
He continued to write for the stage and television and now sits on the board of the National Theatre.
Last year, he was named as the new artistic director at Baltimore’s Center Stage Theatre in the United States, and now spends much of his time overseas.
He said: “My mother came from a tiny village in a small island in the Caribbean. If she were here today on this announcement, I perceive that it may have validated much of the pain, suffering and self-sacrifice she, my father and many other family members of the Windrush generation went through to give their children a shot of living what I would of course call the West Indian dream, but what is in fact, the immigrant’s dream.
“A dream that although far from complete, has made our country a warmer, more equitable place than it was when they first arrived on its shores. It is with this narrative at the forefront of my mind that I say I am truly humbled to have been given this award.”