If you could sum Athian Akec in one word it would be: range. The 20-year-old Londoner spent his teenage years giving talks at the Houses of Parliament, speaking out against the government’s racist and willful misunderstanding of the causes of knife crime, guest lecturing at London Metropolitan University and sitting on the board of a racial justice organisation.
Akec’s bio reads: “tryna bring my words into reality”. This motto, of being more than just talk, and making his wishes manifest, pervades all his public work. A skilled communicator, with a singular ability to analyse and explain the root causes of social injustice, Athian is motivated by a profound sense of justice and a desire to rectify society’s ills.
He’s written features in The Guardian, and Dazed, as well as an essay in the collection Black Joy, appeared on Al Jazeera; and recently featured on Loyle Carner’s new album Hugo. This willingness to work across high and low culture allows him to bring his messages – like challenging systems of institutional exclusion, or expanding the definition of Black excellence – to wide audiences. Whatever he does, Akec remains committed to the collective and his dream of a world in which all Black people can flourish.
Text Gazelle Mba