An award-winning poet and jazz singer, Justina Kehinde made theatrical history in 2012 directing, acting and co-producing the first all black all female production on a Cambridge stage, Ntozake Shange’s ‘For Coloured Girls […]’, before successfully selling out the London production. In 2013 she gave a TEDx keynote and in 2014 produced and directed the classic South African political-musical ‘Sophiatown’. In 2017 she was selected out of 150 applicants for Damsel Develops directorial mentorship scheme, co-writing and directing a scratch of her first original play, UMUADA, which debuted at the Bunker Theatre in Southwark, London. Developing the script, UMUADA went on to headline the 2018 PlayMill festival at the King's Head Theatre to an overwhelmingly positive response. Justina Kehinde is currently working on extending the play into a full-length production. She is a member of the Royal Court Theatre’s 2019 Writing Group and Young Vic Director’s Programme.
A former programme-assistant and consultant for FORWARD, the UK’s leading African women’s campaigns and support organisation, Justina Kehinde has facilitated leadership trainings across East Africa and the UK equipping young women with the skills to be advocates against sexual and gender-based violence
Winner of the 2012 Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry Competition, 2014 Hammer & Tongue National Slam runner-up and winner of the 2015 Cambridge Anti-Slam and Reinstein Jazz Prize, she has performed at a range of renowned venues including The Royal Albert Hall, Latitude festival, Brainchild festival, the Lyric Theatre, featured on Sky 1’s prolific arts programme, ‘What’s Up’ and the BBC. She has been commissioned by the Women’s Equality Party, Powerful Media and the Icelandic Government to name a few. Her poetry explores diasporic identity, human trafficking, hybridity, womanhood and mental health.