Kokumo Rocks was born in Dundee in 1965, but was raised in the Fife mining village of Cowdenbeath. Hers was the only black family in the area, and she left school with no qualifications or spelling. It wasn’t until she attended university in the mid-90s that she was diagnosed as dyslexic.
In 1991 she decided to change the direction of her life following a near-death experience, and began to fulfil her life-long ambition to become a performance poet. Kukumo’s poetry explores the themes of love, race, freedom and imprisonment, and she does so with a sense of the importance of fun and humour – proud to include “the flabby bits”.
She describes herself as an African/Asian/Scottish writer and performance poet, and has performed in the UK, USA, India and Africa.
Kukumo – the name means “this one will not die” – lives by the motto “if you don’t ask you won’t get”, and believes that passion can turn the “mundane into excitement”. She has been inspired by poets including Maya Angelou, Benjamin Zephania and Ivor Cutler, but above all by ‘growing up black in Scotland’.