Akala visits Forest for latest Look Out lecture

Akala, who won Best Hip Hop Act at the 2006 MOBO Awards, visited Forest to speak to Sixth Formers as part of the latest Look Out lecture.

During his talk, Akala discussed a wide-range of issues including imperialism, class and race, Shakespeare and hip-hop. Following his talk, Akala took part in a Q&A session, and extended his stay longer than planned by having lunch with the Sixth Formers.

Year 13 pupil Haroon Ahmed, 18, who introduced Akala to the School’s Deaton Theatre stage, said: “I’ve followed him for a long time. He’s not someone scared to speak honestly or give his opinions. It was refreshing to have him speak at the Look Out lecture and give his views in a different way than we are used to.”

He added: “It was a fantastic last lecture, and Akala definitely caused a commotion – a good commotion. We’ve never had a speaker get asked so many questions by pupils or stay so long talking to pupils once they’ve finished.”

Kennedy Clarke, 18, added: “It was brilliant to have him at Forest, he was a speaker that connected with us. We were all really interested in everything he said.”

Akala recently took part in the BBC’s Shakespeare Live alongside former Forest pupil Paapa Essiedu, who is getting rave reviews as Hamlet at the RSC.

This week’s Look Out lecture was the last of the academic year. The lectures are a series of talks which take place fortnightly at Forest and are designed to broaden pupils’ horizons and challenge preconceptions and ideas. The lectures consist of a 45-minute talk followed by a 30 minute Q&A.

Previous speakers have included Middle East expert Diana Darke, former BBC commentator Alistair Hignell CBE and speaker Shaun Attwood. The lectures will return in September.