The winner of a national live poetry contest today revealed his foster parents inspired his work and that he “wants to make them proud”.
Solomon Ogunmefun-Brooker was crowned National Poetry Slam champion at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday.
The 24-year-old had audience members welling up as he recited Unorthodox Beginnings, a poem about being raised by his white foster parents Victor and Patricia Brooker.
The musician, who goes under the stage name Solomon O.B, was born in Hackney but was taken into care with his brother Sam and sister Anu when they were all babies.
He calls his foster parents “nan and granddad” and spoke on stage about how he adopted their surname as a Christmas present.
Mr Ogunmefun-Brooker, who describes himself as a hybrid between a rapper and a poet, said: “They are the most loving people I’ve ever met in my whole life. Of course I’m biased.
“If we weren’t different skin colours you would have no idea we weren’t related. They showed us the same level of love and affection and pure dedication to raising us as they would their own children.
“We see so many fostering and adoption horror stories, and of course they are terrible, but our situation has been so beautiful and such a positive one.
“I think it’s important to share that and hopefully people can relate to it and hopefully it celebrates all that they’ve done for me. There’s a line in the poem ‘the whole family embraced us the same way that veins take in blood’ — they are all just our family.
“I showed it to them on Christmas Day. My nan is quite emotional, my granddad is more like an old fashioned man’s man. They tell me they are proud of me and that’s all I ever want.”
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