Ben Okri on Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

I am one on whom providence has worked its magic reversals.

Behind me are silent stories, like a storm.

I have worn History around my neck, like chains.

Freedom is a difficult lesson to learn.

I have tasted the language of death till it became the water of life.

Ben Okri reads Diallo’s Testament, a sonnet inspired by the portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, the first of a black African Muslim and freed slave. The portrait went on tour around the UK and Okri ran creative workshops exploring Diallo’s story and his position on both sides of the slave trade.