3 Of Africa poets to bring out the feels2 minute read

When I think of talented female poets, British Somali  Warsan Shire immediately comes to my mind. I loved her poetry even before she shared some of her lemons with Beyonce’s Lemonade. The first time I heard her voice was when I read, “I have my mother’s mouth and my father’s eyes; on my face they are still together.” That line alone gave me severely delayed closure about my parents break up.

But beyond Warsan Shire, there are plenty of wonderfully talented poets you should know or reconnect with. Here are three I highly recommend.

1. Ijeoma Umebinyuo

Ijeoma Umebinyuo/Instagram

The brilliant lady who gave us this…

And gave third culture kids everywhere their favourite melancholic mantra, “So, here you are too foreign for home too foreign for here. Never enough for both.”

Ijeoma hails from Nigeria and is a proud Igbo-Nigerian writer. Check out her poetry and her stunning Instagram

2. Safia Elhillo

Safia Elhillo/Instagram

Safia is Sudanese by way of Washington, DC. She reminds us, “You are not a tenant of your own flesh. You are the landlady. You are the land. You have landed. Welcome home.” 

Haymarket Books


Along with Jamila Woods, Mahogany L. Browne, and Idrissa Simmonds, Safia has edited Black Girl Magic, A BreakBeat Poets anthology to celebrate and canonize the words of Black women across the diaspora. Which is available at Haymarket Books.




3. Yrsa Daley-Ward

Yrsa Daley-Ward/Instagram

Yrsa is a triple threat; a poet, model and actress of West Indian and West African heritage. She was born in England to Jamaican and Nigerian Parents. 

She encourages us…

Check out her books here and here.

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Julia Chanda Zvobgo is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Of Africa’. She was born in Zimbabwe and raised in The Netherlands. As an Afropean she is always looking for new and creative ways to “make the invisible, visible”. She is a co-founder and a member of 'ethnovision' a collective of visual anthropologists and filmmakers. Julia also volunteers as the Director of Communications & Development for Tariro House of Hope, an NGO that transforms the lives of children and their communities in Zimbabwe.