Now I Sing

3 January 2024: ‘Now I Sing: 50 poems to celebrate 50 years’ by Loraine Masiya Mponela

In the next of our serious of posts about how we can open hearts through the arts, we join Loraine Masiya Mponela in celebrating the publication of her second book of poems: ‘Now I Sing: 50 poems to celebrate 50 years’

The book is available here:

Painful pitfalls and pinnacle triumphs.Now I Sing by Loraine Masiya Mponela is both a lamentation and a celebration, offering 50 poems for the 50 years she has lived. This collection honours her people’s ancient wisdom while imagining her future. Reflecting on individual and collective journeys, it is a book about courage, fear, desperation and excellence.

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Opening Hearts through the Arts

See Life Seekers Aid:

Life Seekers Aid is a charity for asylum seekers and refugees, run by asylum seekers and refugees.

Founded in 2021, Life Seekers Aid is a successor to Camp Residents of Penally—CROP—an organisation established in 2020 by asylum seekers inside Penally Camp in Wales.

CROP worked for the welfare and rights of asylum seekers housed in this military camp during the pandemic, cooperating with local and national charities, legal and medical organisations, and official bodies.

Read more and see the artwork:

Updated 27 June 2022: ‘Adopt a Refugee’ – Loraine Masiya Mponela

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The other side of hope: journeys in refugee and immigrant literature

The other side of hope: journeys in refugee and immigrant literature is a UK-based literary magazine edited by refugees and immigrants. We exist to serve and celebrate the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide. 

We are proud to be the UK’s first literary magazine of Sanctuary, accredited by City of Sanctuary.

The second print edition has now been released and is also available online. With a forward by Lord Alf Dubs, it is a selection of fiction, poetry and non-fiction works written by those with with first-hand experience of displacement and seeking asylum. You can find out more here

I Was Not Born A Sad Poet by Loraine Masiya Mponela

THURSDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2022: Migrant Voice Ambassador and activist Loraine Masiya Mponela launches her first book

Migrants’ rights campaigner, activist and Migrant Voice Ambassador Loraine Masiya Mponela will launch her first poetry book this Saturday in Coventry, at the Herbert Arts Gallery and Museum.

The collection, titled I Was Not Born A Sad Poet, features 21 poems about Loraine’s life and experience of going through the British asylum and immigration system.

Loraine recently spoke with Migrant Voice about her book and her fight to have her refugee status recognised. She said: “This book has been documenting my own experiences as an asylum seeker. But a lot of these are collective experiences too.”

She finally received her status in August this year, but she told Migrant Voice she will continue to advocate for a better system for all asylum seekers, “until the last person is free.”

 Migrant Voice - Migrant Voice Ambassador and activist Loraine Masiya Mponela launches her first book
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I Was Not Born a Sad Poet

People who have been to StatusNow events will most likely know that one of our CoChairs, Loraine Masiya Mponela is an amazing poet who bring to life the experiences of people living without status through her words.

We congratulate Loraine, and welcome the publication of her first book of poetry:

“I Was Not Born a Sad Poet”

You can read more about the book, Loraine, and her poetry on her website here

Loraine Masiya Mponela: To the Racists

Loraine Masiya Mponela of CARAG: Speech given in Coventry following the shooting of Chris Kaba by Police

To The Racists

We are told black lives matter

Some of us believe this to be true

But sadly not enough …

Hear and read more:

There is more information about the shooting of Chris Kaba by police here:

Start with Hope, Change will follow

Little Amal’s Walk: Start with Hope, change will follow:


Amare has invited Little Amal to visit The Hague from 15 to 21 November 2021 and will welcome her as a special guest at the Open Festival on 19, 20 and 21 November.

“After the immense welcome Little Amal has received from so many thousands of people across the 8000km of The Walk, her visit to The Hague – city of Peace and Justice – is an important next step in the new journey and the new life of Little Amal. As Amare itself begins a new journey and a new life, it is right that Amal should open this new centre of art and welcome.” – Amir Nizar Zuabi

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‘Poetry and Settled Status for All’

Updated 10 January 2021: Poetry and Settled Status for All: An Anthology  is now available.

Edited by Ambrose Musiyiwa and introduced by Claudia Webbe, Member of Parliament for Leicester East, Poetry and Settled Status for All presents 114 poems and short prose pieces from 97 writers from around the world exploring themes that include lived experience of migration, refugee and undocumented migrant experiences, and the hostile environment.

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Imagine my reality: God I Love My Son

This years’ national Refugee Week theme is IMAGINE.  Below is a taste of reality for one of our network members, Loraine Mponela through poetry ‘God I Love My Son’ and a video as an element of the We Are Maokwo ‘Imagine, my reality project.

LAURA NYAHUYE who made the video below says: I listened to several audios and watched several videos from the content that we collated. We collated information in various languages. The audios that kept coming back to me was Loraine Masiya Mponelas audio. Loraine shared about her role as a leader/chairperson with Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group – CARAG  during COVID 19. The need to adjust and interact via zoom, searching for funding and supporting the A to Z needs of others. For example, phone credit, internet, housing, mental health, wellbeing, food to mention a few. Amid all this Loraine was/is worried about her health. While worrying for her health she is worried about her son whom she has been separated from for 9 years. 

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