Paul Boakye

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Paul Boakye
Paul Boakye (2016).jpg
Paul Boakye in 2016
Born (1963-09-28) 28 September 1963 (age 57)
Tollington, London, England
Known forWriter, editor, campaigner, marketing executive, and entrepreneur

Paul Boakye is a British writer, editor, campaigner, and marketing executive. He is best known for his provocative drama, Boy with Beer,[1] and for his work as editor and creator of Black Britain's premiere men's lifestyle magazine, DRUM.[2]

Early life[edit]

Paul moved to Jamaica with his father in 1966, returning to England after seven years.[3] He attended Hollydale Primary School in Nunhead until 1975 and went to Sedgehill School for the next five years.


He was editor of DRUM magazine (2003-2005) and received a Creative and Life Writing master's degree at Goldsmiths, University of London. As a Commissioner for the Power Inquiry, he contributed to Power to the People,[4] a report on the future of democracy in Britain debated in Parliament. He has been a guest speaker/broadcaster for radio and TV, as well as a regular newspaper reviewer on BBC Breakfast.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Boakye has won the UK Student Playscript Award with Jacob's Ladder (1986) and the BBC Radio Drama Young Playwrights' Award with Hair (1991).[5] His controversial stage play Boy with Beer is published by Methuen Drama in Black Plays 3[6] and is described as Britain's first black gay play. He is also the author of No Mean Street[7] for Kuffdem and Red Ladder Theatre Company, Wicked Games produced by Leeds Playhouse, and the video drama Safe for Birmingham Health Authority and The Young Men's Video Project.

Boakye was invited to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his sexual health promotion work with African communities in Britain, which has included editing a selection of ground-breaking health promotion publications.


  1. ^ "Boy With Beer by Paul Boakye". National Theatre: Black Plays Archive.
  2. ^ "DRUM: Black Britain's Premier Men's Lifestyle Magazine". Bishopsgate Institute.
  3. ^ John Peel, ed. (2004). "Home Truths". BBC Radio 4. You see, his dad had run off with their housekeeper in 1966 and took the boy with them to Jamaica when he was only 3-years old. Mum was left to fend for herself and his baby sister here in England. Living the life of Riley on the island, the boy is chauffeur-driven to and from school. He spends weekends idling on daddy’s new farm presided over by an evil stepmother. That is until his father is arrested for possession of marijuana and the boy is shipped off back to England to a mother of whom he has no memory.
  4. ^ Power to the People (PDF). 2006.
  5. ^ Alison Donnell, ed. (2013). Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture. Routledge. His debut play Jacob's Ladder (1986) took the UK Student Playscript Award. In 1991, Hair, portraying the cultural gap between a Jamaican single mother and her British-born son, received the BBC Radio Drama Young Playwrights' Award. In his self-produced Boy with Beer (1992), Boakye chooses to deal with hitherto taboo subjects including the making of a black gay couple, bisexuality and AIDS.
  6. ^ Yvonne Brewster, ed. (1995). Black Plays III: Vol 3 (Play Anthologies).
  7. ^ Alison Benjamin (4 June 1993). "Colour Prejudice". Times Educational Supplement. Unlike conventional teaching methods, which youth workers feel have made little impact on black teenagers. No Mean Street is a powerful, physical drama set in the heart of black street culture that speaks their language. "See those leaflets and booklets," said Gillian Gottshalk, a 22-year-old youth worker at The Mill in Bristol, pointing to an information rack after the performance. "This play has made more of an impact than hundreds of those. They don’t mean anything to black teenagers."

Further reading[edit]


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