RARE  RISINGSTARS 2013 The UK’s Top 10 Black Students
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No. 9


Justina Kehinde Ogunseitan

BA English Literature
University of Cambridge
Arts and Community Activism
Justina Kehinde Ogunseitan

History was made in Cambridge this year, when the first all black and all female cast graced the stage for the production of Ntozake Shange’s ‘For Coloured Girls’.

The Fitzpatrick Hall theatre also witnessed a record breaking evening as its late show sold out for the first (and second time) in its history! Justina, who produced, directed and acted in the production, was unperturbed when the main student theatre refused to host her show, but fought to ensure that the message of the play went out to an audience in Cambridge.

“I fell in love with the play during my A levels and was desperate to see a piece of theatre that reflected me.”

‘For Coloured Girls’ also provided a platform for Justina to parade her two primordial passions: women’s issues and the arts.

Last year, Justina won the University Category of the Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry Competition for a poem submitted on the topic of female genital mutilation and also reached the regional finals of the Hammer and Tongue Slam Poetry competition. Justina has recently released YouTube poetry videos on the subjects of being a British Nigerian and on the Sex Trafficking Industry, performed at the first ever Black History Month event in King’s College, Cambridge and was a co‑winner of the Reinstein Jazz Prize 2013 awarded by St. John’s College.

Justina, who says that she has had her “heart broken for women’s issues”, continues to use poetry, spoken word and women’s groups to challenge perceptions and raise awareness of issues facing women today. While in Cambridge, Justina co‑founded ‘Fly’, a weekly discussion forum for female Cambridge University students from ethnic minority backgrounds to meet, network and discuss issues concerning politics, education and most importantly women.

“We wanted to create a forum to speak freely about the particular experiences of ethnic women. From the politics of our hair to the music we like, from our presence in the working world to very real experiences of prejudice.”

Alex is in pre-production for his debut short film which is being Before starting at Cambridge, Justina was part of her secondary school’s award winning Gospel Choir, which sang at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Opera House, and for the former archbishop Desmond Tutu. Justina’s public speaking skills have twice won her an award from the Rotary Club as the Best Public Speaker in Great Britain.

Justina is currently the Creative Editor for the women’s magazine ‘Magnify Musings’ and is set to bring her production of ‘For Coloured Girls’ to London in September 2013, so be sure to get your ticket while you still can!

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