Photo by Paul Blakemore.
Malaika Kegode is an award-winning writer, performer and creative producer based in Bristol. Her work is focused on uplifting and celebrating the overlooked and misunderstood. Beginning her arts career as a performance poet in 2014, Malaika has since developed her practice to encompass theatre, radio and film writing.
Winner of the Kevin Elyot Award (2022) and shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Award (2019), Malaika has also been included in the BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s most influential Black & minority ethnic people. She has performed around the UK at a number of celebrated venues, festivals and literary events, and worked with a wide-range of organisations as a writer, teacher and performer.
Malaika has been performing with folk-inspired prog-rock band Jakabol since 2018. Together they have performed at music and theatre venues alike - bringing a unique, exciting blend of poetry and music to diverse audiences. In 2021, Malaika and Jakabol collaborated on Malaikas debut theatre show Outlier, which was produced for Bristol Old Vic’s main stage. The show, directed by Jenny Davies, fused together spoken word, original music from Jakabol, animation and digital projection by Christopher Harrisson to tell Malaika's autobiographical story. The show earned critical success, fantastic audience reaction and will tour to a mixture of studio theatres, rural venues and colleges in 2023.
As a workshop leader, producer and mentor, Malaika has worked with organisations such as Arvon, Synergy Theatre Company and Narcotics Anonymous. She is passionate about helping people realise the value of their stories.
Malaika also works in film. She won the Eslpeth Kydd Memorial Prize for her screenwriting portfolio in 2021, and has worked as an associate curator for Watershed and a resident artist for Encounters Film Festival. Her debut short poetry-film Wide as the Sea, an exploration of millennial Queer culture, was made over the 2021 lockdown on a £10 budget. It has been shown at various film events and festivals.
Her poetry collections Requite (2017) and Thalassic (2020) are published by Burning Eye Books.