Central Foundation schoolgirl’s ‘freedom’ poem being broadcast to the nation on BBC

Semma Begum and the anthology with her poem to be aired on BBC Radio 4. Picture: Central Foundation

Semma Begum and the anthology with her poem to be aired on BBC Radio 4. Picture: Central Foundation School - Credit: Central Foundation

Teenager Seema Begum’s strong poem on her thoughts about identity, freedom and being a Muslim woman in east London has been chosen to be broadcast nationwide on the BBC.

The 16-year-old from Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow wrote the poem when she was 14 after being inspired he nationduring a ‘slam’ poetry workshop.

The poem was published earlier this year in an anthology of British Muslim women’s work, The Things I Would Tell You, which was launched at Waterstone’s in Piccadilly.

Seema was asked at the launch in April what inspired her to write such a strong piece.

“Women are often told, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that’,” she said. “The workshop allowed me to express my thoughts around these issues and I felt inspired to put my thoughts down.”


You may also want to watch:


Her poem, Uomini Cadranno, Italian for ‘Men will Fall’, explores identity, the sense of belonging and women’s empowerment.

The anthology’s editor, Sabrina Mahfouz, who ran the slam poetry workshop at Central Foundation, reads Seema’s poem in the Radio 4 broadcast on October 15.

Most Read

Sabrina recalls: “The class was one of the most engaged I’ve ever taught—their feelings on freedom, social justice and equality were palpable and inspiring.”

The anthology also includes work by renowned writer Imtiaz Dharker and other notable women writers.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus