INTERVIEW: The London poet who is shaking tables and starting important conversations

Hussain Manawer is a London poet who is ‘here to shift a cultural conversation that needs to be had’.

His debut solo EP ‘Am I Going Too Deep?’ was released via Virgin EMI last year and today he releases his latest body of work, ‘Mamma’s Kitchen’.

Hussain said he collaborated with his best friend to create the concept of the video.

He said: “All my life I found the kitchen to be a safe haven, a place of comfort, warmth and of course great food.

“I was blessed to have an upbringing like that, I wanted to use the kitchen as a platform to showcase the message of the track.”

The video highlights many important issues and also encompasses a full South Asian girl band.

That decision was very personal for Hussain who said there were exceptionally limited opportunities for South-Asian people on mainstream outlets, so it was important for him to create some.

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One of the main themes of Hussain’s new body of work will be bereavement as he lost his mother less than a year ago.

Asked about how this has impacted his work, he said: “Honestly speaking, it’s made my work entail everything it once missed.”

Grief is something that we will all have to face at some point but it can be particularly hard for young people who deal with the loss of a parent.

As someone who has also dealt with this I know how limited the resources are for young people.

I asked Hussain if he thought more should be done for young people dealing with grief.

He said:150% it’s the one thing in life that is certain, but yet we shy away from it completely.

“I can’t understand it.”

Alongside Hussain’s budding poetry career he also spends a lot of time advocating and campaigning for mental health awareness.

King’s College London recently awarded him an Honorary Fellowship for his contribution to mental health and public services.

He said: “I felt like Cardi B at the BETs, real talk.”

Hussain Manawer is a force to be reckoned with and he is only just beginning.

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