African-Caribbean theatre in London, UK has found an advocate in Sophia A. Jackson, founder of Afridiziak Theatre News. Jackson saw a need for a platform that celebrates the work of African and Caribbean creatives in theatre, so she created “Afridiziak.” Ten years later it has grown into a hub for black theatre.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was working as an entertainment journalist, and I felt there was a need for a one-stop online resource for all things related to African-Caribbean theatre productions. I saw a gap in the market and wanted to celebrate African-Caribbean professionals within the theatre industry and spread the word about black theatre.
What is the inspiration behind the name of your business?
Afridiziak is a word I made up. It means ‘in love with African-Caribbean culture.’
What is one thing you tell yourself to stay motivated?
Who inspires you the most?
Theatre, as a whole, seems to be going through a transitional period where we have an abundance of theatre productions featuring people of colour both on stage and behind the scenes. This inspires me to keep shouting about theatre and encouraging people who might not think of going to the theatre is something they would enjoy.
It’s an exciting time in theatre!
I’m at the stage (geddit?!) where I can hardly keep up with the amazing talent that is emerging from theatre – from acting to writing excellence.
What else needs to change?
There are still many doors to be kicked open and ceilings to break, but we have a come a long way from where we were ten years ago. Theatre is still very much elitist though, for example, press nights still seem to be lacking in diversity and I often go to the theatre and wonder where my fellow brothers and sisters are.
What message do you hope the world is getting from your work?
That we celebrate people of colour within the theatre industry and champion theatre that is not necessarily mainstream but still has an audience.
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