So this girl is set to go off, as a poet laureate (Shire was the actual Young Poet Laureate of London in 2014), she is about, and probably is already, to receive accolades between the grunges of MTV and then high brow Vanity Fair, for her “spoken words” at various interludes on Beyonce’s latest visual album, Lemonade.

We have to dissect the person behind Beyonce and Lemonade, before she is forgotten for who she really is. It’s an oddity to find a 26 year old writing in such an affecting manner about African migration to Europe, having been born to parents from Kenya, but having migrated from Somalia to London, where she has always felt like an outsider who was in limbo.

And as Beyonce has so forcefully made out that this is an album about Black women and power, what will be overlooked is that Shire is a voice for an African generation that migrated to Europe, she is a language unto herself, for belonging, displacement and coming of age. She is not just about black power for women, if at all. Her poetry is about her parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and the moments of reflection for a home that once was. With fifty thousand Twitter followers, Shire is getting her point across, and her latest venture into a music industry that is dominated by black politics at the moment, she will only rise higher and higher.

Photograph by Amaal Said

 

Photograph by Amaal Said