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Stormzy reveals first title to be released on #Merky Books


AFTER ANNOUNCING the launch of his publishing imprint with Penguin Random House UK, rapper Stormzy has revealed the first title to be published under #Merky Books.

Taking Up Space by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi will be the first offering from the imprint, and is a book tackling issues around access to higher education, billed as "a guide and a manifesto for change".

Issues covered in the book will include challenges of access, unrepresentative curriculums, discrimination in the classroom, the problems of activism, and life before and after university.

Amidst discussions surrounding a lack of diversity and inclusion at higher education level, the book "seeks to fill the gap of often incomplete conversations about widening participation and inclusion at university", according to its two authors - two recent Cambridge graduates, whose own insights will be interspersed in the book with their conversations with students past and present.

Sharing the news on Instagram, Stormzy wrote: "Oi I’m sooooo gassed to announce the 2nd book that will be released on our #MERKY Books w/ Penguin - “Taking Up Space” written by the PHENOMENAL Chelsea Kwakye (@chelseakwakye) & Ore Ogunbiyi (@oreogunbiyi) - these 2 girls are incredible and this book is going to shake culture trust me, please follow them and also @takingupspacebook more details and information to come soon!! ???????????????????? PRE ORDER LINK IS IN MY BIO!!! So make sure you pre order guys ????????❤️"

Tom Avery of #Merky Books, said Kwakye and Ogunbiyi were "determined to tackle what is one of the biggest issues in education and in society today with intelligence, insight and humour", calling Taking Up Space "an important book: an indispensable guide as well as a manifesto for real and lasting change". It will be published by #Merky Books in summer 2019.

According to NME, Kwakye was the only black girl in her school year to read History at Homerton College, Cambridge. She recently graduated with first-class honours, and in her final year was Vice-President of the African-Caribbean Society. Ogunbiyi is a Politics and International Relations graduate from Jesus College, Cambridge, and was behind the Benin Bronze repatriation campaign, the #BlackMenofCambridgeUniversity campaign and was President of the university’s African-Caribbean Society.

AUTHORS: Ore Ogunbiyi and Chelsea Kwakye (Photo credit: Instagram)

Jointly, they commented: "Diversity and inclusion have become buzzwords, especially in education, but it is time that we had honest conversations about what those two words truly mean, especially for young black girls.

"Through our stories and the experiences of past and present university students, this book seeks to fill the gap of often incomplete conversations about widening participation and inclusion at university. It will be the book that we wish we had before going into university and we hope it provides a comfort to those who will inevitably share our experiences."

#Merky Books is also due to publish a book based on the Croydon-born MC, entitled Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far.

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