FRI, 23 OCT 2020

This October we’re celebrating Black History Month by highlighting some of the incredible voices and stories from our community.⁠⠀⁠

This week we had the chance to sit down and chat with the lovely Yaa, who’s been super involved in the life and culture here at Hackney Church. Whether it’s leading services, encouraging our Youth or just bringing the joy and the fun to our church community.

PICTURED: Yaa Appiah-Badu

Hey Yaa, could you tell us a little bit about you?
I grew up in Birmingham and moved to London thirteen years ago to train as a dancer. I stopped dancing professionally two years ago and now I’m studying physiotherapy. I’m Ghanaian, I’m from the Ashanti tribe and my great, great, great, great (really not sure how many greats are meant to be in there) grandfather was the Ashanti King. Fun fact, Yaa means born on Thursday…I was born on a Monday so not too sure what happened there!

Tell us about someone who’s deeply influenced your faith?
My parents have been so formational in my faith. It’s funny as a child I used to hate watching TD Jakes on TV, always listening to Gospel music in the car and being made to read Psalm 91, but as an adult I find myself doing exactly these things with such joy!
Another person that has been formational in my faith is my best friend Miranda. You know those friends who will tell you things straight whether or not you want to hear it? Yeah, that’s her and I love her for it. Iron sharpens iron right?!

Amazing! What does it mean to you to be Black and Christian?
Coming from the Black Pentecostal Church I love how people pour out their love for God with such freedom. Their worship is so vibrant, passionate and unapologetic. It’s a truly beautiful thing to see elements of this emerging at Hackney Church when we have Nicky leading worship along side Caz and Nate.

What’s one thing that you’d like people to know about Black History Month?
There are so many incredible Black people that need to be acknowledged for their contributions and celebrating them over Black History month is honestly such a great start, but can I be real? Someday in the future I hope to see the conversation moving past one month, as our collective history does not exist without Black people! We are not a side dish, we are jollof rice and fried plantain, as well as the roast beef and Yorkshire puddings!