Oakland Voices Alumni Spotlight: Ayodele Nzinga

An African American woman wearing a black hat and shades and red shirt and black jacket stands in front of a colorful mural that says "we got us"
Ayodele Nzinga poses for a photo in front of a mural that says, "We Got Us" by the organization AeroSoul in Oakland on July 19, 2021. Photo. by Beth LaBerge/KQED

Oakland Voices has trained dozens of community journalists over the years. We caught up with one of our alumna, Ayodele Nzinga.

The 24th season of the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc, Oakland’s oldest North American African theater company of which Nzinga is founding director, will be reprising August Wilson’s “Radio Golf” and Joe Turner’s “Come and Gone.” 

As the inaugural and current Poet Laureate of Oakland, Nzinga hosts “SpeakEasy,” a hybrid poetry and social commentary show. Nzinga also previewed a new work, “Oakland Love Life” (the city’s motto) as part of Oakland’s newly-declared Love Life Day.

Nzinga is also one of the artists in an installation curated by June Grant, titled “In the Banlieues/Centering the Margin: Oakland/Saint-Denis,” an international conversation between France, San Francisco, St. Denis, and Oakland about art and place as it intersects with development.

The short film, The Game God(s) (directed by Adrian L. Burrell), which Nzinga contributes the narrative and poetry to and appears in, won the BlackStar Film Festival Award for best short documentary, making it eligible for an Oscar.

Nzinga is partnering with Nomadic Press, headquartered in Oakland, on a poetry anthology about Oakland (submit here). She is also planning BAMBDFEST International 2023 International Biennial, a multi-day, multi-venue festival in celebration of the Black Arts Movement Business District, Black Arts & Culture, and economics in Oakland.

Author Profile

Please see the links in the byline above the story for more information about the authors of this articles.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.