Photo by Paul Blakemore.
Malaika Kegode is a writer, performer and producer based in Bristol. She has performed around the UK at a number of celebrated venues, festivals and poetry events, such as Tongue Fu, Out-Spoken at The 100 Club, WOMAD, Boomtown Festival and BBC at the Edinburgh Festival. She has also worked with a number of organisations including Roundhouse, Historic England and Elstree Studios. She has been shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Award, had her work displayed at the Arnolfini in Bristol and has acted as tour support for Saul Williams at The Fleece.
In 2018 she was included in the BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s 100 most influential black & minority ethnic people.
Malaika has been performing with folk inspired prog-rock band Jakabol since 2018. Together they have performed at music venues and theatre venues alike - bringing a unique and exciting blend of poetry and music to diverse audiences. In 2019 they supported Dizraeli at the Arnolfini.
In 2021, Malaika's debut theatre show Outlier was produced for Bristol Old Vic’s main stage. The show, directed by Jenny Davies, fused together spoken word, original music from Jakabol and animation to tell Malaika's autobiographical story.
Malaika’s work tells of how we can find beauty and hope through the darkness. Her overall themes of family, mental health, addiction and love always have an undercurrent of optimism and strength. Her performance style has been described as “filmic” and “musical”.
As a workshop leader, she has worked with organisations such as Arvon, Cheltenham Literature Festival and Narcotics Anonymous. She is passionate about helping people realise the value of their stories. As of Autumn 2021, she is a Resident Editor at Bristol's celebrated Rife Magazine, helping a multi-disciplinary team of young creatives to help make their ideas happen.
She has worked as a producer for Roundhouse, Watershed and Strike A Light. She is also founder and lead producer of Milk Poetry, an organisation that produces innovative spoken word events in a supportive environment.
Outside of her poetry work, Malaika studies film. She has worked as a programme selector for Encounters Film Festival and Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.
Her two poetry collections Requite (2017) and Thalassic (2020) were published by Burning Eye Books.