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Our tribute to Professor Benjamin Zephaniah




Professor Benjamin Zephaniah was Fairfield House's first official Patron and ambassador.

His connection with the house is indelibly linked with the tv documentary Footsteps of the Emperor, which he made in 1999 with film director Shawn Naphtali Sobers, (who went on to become a trustee of Fairfield House CIC).



Benjamin's love and respect for the Emperor shone through the screen, and he wrote a poem specifically dedicated to Fairfield House, which features at the end of the film.



Benjamin's support continued behind the scenes, and in 2010 he added his voice to support the official campaign to stop the then council from selling Fairfield House off as flats to a private property developer.



Benjamin continued to support further screenings and sharing of the film to raise awareness, and most recently attended the Freedom of the City festival online screening in 2021 as the surprise guest for the Q&A, much to the delight of the audience.



Benjamin was personally known to other members of the Fairfield House community, and the overriding essence is of man who had deep integrity, a loyal friend, infectious humour, and a true warm lover of people.  His family have said in an official statement that they shared him with the world, and at Fairfield House we are thankful to have had some special moments with Benjamin, and the work he has done for us will live on for generations to come.



We join the world in offering our humble tribute to a wonderful human being. Words cannot express or communicate the deep gratitude we feel for his presence, and the deep sense of loss we now feel in his passing. His powerful work and wisdom will live on beyond all of us.



We send our deepest condolences and love to all Benjamin's family and friends.



Fairfield House, Bath CIC






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