Published on May 9, 2019 | by Alastair Gilmour


It’s a rap for actor Kema

A young Newcastle singer who attended an audition for an extra in the Ken Loach film I Daniel Blake and was offered the part of China, his next-door neighbour, makes his stage debut this month at Live Theatre, Newcastle.

Actor, rapper, singer and rising star Kema Sikazwe, (Kema Kay), stars in Shine, a show which he has both written and performs, mixing his own bittersweet coming-of-age story with an electrifying live soundtrack and heartfelt words.

Shine is about growing up in a world that doesn’t always accept you, but instead gaining self-belief, trusting your head and your heart and always chasing your dreams.

Kema, now 25, developed a passion for rap, singing and song writing at a local youth project, the Chat Trust, in Arthur’s Hill, Newcastle, where he spent most of his time as a teenager.

I Daniel Blake was filmed on location in Newcastle and won the Palme D’Or for Best Film at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, a BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film in 2017, and many other awards.

Shine, named after Kema whose name means “one who shines” in one of the languages of Zambia, runs until Saturday May 11 before transferring to the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, from Thursday 16 to Saturday May 18.

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Alastair Gilmour

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