Grime star Stormzy has announced the first independent title to be released under #Merky Books – his publishing imprint with Penguin Random House.
The 25-year-old musician revealed he would be championing the importance of diversity and inclusion in higher education by publishing Taking Up Space, written by Cambridge university graduates Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi.
Taking to Instagram, we told his 1.9 million followers: ‘These 2 girls are incredible and this book is going to shake culture trust me, please follow them and also @takingupspacebook more details and information to come soon!!’
Taking Up Space is billed as ‘a guide and a manifesto for change’.
‘Diversity and inclusion have become buzzwords, especially in education, but it is time that we had honest conversations about what those two words truly mean, especially for young black girls’, the authors commented in a joint statement.
‘This book seeks to fill the gap of often incomplete conversations about widening participation and inclusion at university. It will be the book that we wish we had before going into university and we hope it provides a comfort to those who will inevitably share our experiences.’
When the Stormzy announced #Merky Books back in July he said that he was driven by a desire to give a platform to ‘talented writers that don’t always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen.’
The Big For Your Boots hitmaker will mark the official launch of the partnership in November by releasing his own book entitled Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far.
The #Merky Books imprint is part of a growing #Merky empire, which already encompasses a music festival, a record label and the Stormy Scholarship, which will pay for two black students to attend Cambridge University.
‘It’s so important for black students, especially, to be aware that it can 100% be an option to attend a university of this calibre.’ he said of his motivation to help two BAME students fulfil their dreams.
‘When students are young, academically brilliant and getting great grades, they should know that’s an option.’