“Many of my teachers predicted I would fail in life. This book is proof to me that I didn’t fail and a reminder that
we are all created in our unique ways, with our own paths and
interests and identities.”
Asma Elbadawi is a British Sudanese (born in Sudan and raised in England) Sports Inclusivity Consultant, Basketball Player and Spoken Word Poet. Elbadawi holds a BA Hons in Photography, Video and Digital Imaging and a Masters in Visual Arts. Her dual cultural heritage deeply influences her creativity with her main focus being female empowerment. She is best known for her involvement in the globally successful FIBA ALLOW HIJAB Campaign. This campaign saw the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) allow Muslim women to wear the Hijab in Professional Basketball and as the 2015 Words First Leeds winner which is a National poetry competition partnered by BBC Radio 1Xtra and the Roundhouse.
Belongings is, as it sounds, a collection of thoughts and feelings that depict the very heart of Asma Elbadawi’s life as a British Sudanese woman. A life that contains multiple influences, expectations and juxtapositions. Her poems are raw and unfiltered – Asma holds little back in her work, covering subjects personal to her such as migration, mental health, racism and sport.
These lines that started out as spoken pieces have finally made it to the page, to be read and savoured. Asma presents you with that which is hers. Her Belongings.
Someone once told me
You should fear writers
They will dissect your wounds
And present you with them as words
Sharp enough to pierce right through you
Let you question
At what point did you drop your armour long enough for them?
To read all your fears
Watch you grapple with your mind
Wonder if you’re strong enough to lay with your nightmares
And come out of the other end gasping for air
Use whatever remaining breaths you have left to drag your limbs to safe haven
Bathe in your dreams
And make them a reality
Or if you will choke
The same person once told me
That you should never trust a poet
They have the ability
To spin silk-smooth words that will leave you enchanted
Believing everything they tell you
Holding on to every thread
Drop your armour
Pied pipers, you will find yourself dancing to their sweet tunes
Follow them into whatever danger zone they planted
For them to leave you hanging
No one stopped to ask how do writers and poets translate raw emotions so eloquently?
What whirl-wind of a storm must their life be in to feel so deeply?
Luckily someone once told me that there is power in your words
People will always fear people like you
Never lose your voice
Use it even if it’s shaking.