Akala began his career in the music industry back in 2003 and has since won both a MOBO award and a BAFTA award. Akala’s music repertoire is both deep and influential, with his albums The Thieves Banquet and Knowledge is Power, Vol 2 delivering an insightful view into several cultural issues. With such a passion for music, Akala founded The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company in 2009, exposing audiences globally to the parallels of Shakespearian work with that of modern-day rappers. The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company (THSC) was greatly received, gaining support from the likes of Sir Ian McKellen. THSC supports young people by showcasing their talents in the arts alongside other distinguished artists. This is done through tailored education programmes, pivotal to creating a different view of the arts and ultimately of young people themselves.
An articulate author, Akala has also written a number of thought-provoking books. In 2017 Akala released his debut children’s book, titled You Can Do Anything: Hip and Hop. A well-received tale, Akala writes to encourage children to grow up socially responsible, emotionally intelligent and most of all happy. Also writing for adults, Akala released NATIVES: Race and Class in the Ruins of the Empire, a biography that explores race and class throughout Akala’s life and Akala’s keen advocacy to rid the world of oppression and exploitation. As a keen historian, Akala has also authored The Dark Lady, a children’s book set in a Shakespearian world bringing light to what the Renaissance time was truly like.
Most recently known for his work in television and public speaking, Akala is no stranger to the camera. In 2018 his best-known TV appearance aired, titled Akala’s Odyessy which documented a journey he took traversing the Mediterranean exploring Homer’s poem The Odyessy. Another notable TV appearance was titled Akala Presents: The Ruins of Empires performing his poem of the same title. BBC’s Question Time was also fortunate to have Akala as one of their guest speakers, with Akala delivering a dynamic appearance on the show discussing racial injustice. Also a prominent feature in podcasts, Akala has worked on The Unfiltered Podcast. Most recently he has been named on the 2021 Powerlist of the Most Influential Black British People.
A keen advocate for helping the youth of today, Akala is frequently called upon to deliver addresses as a public speaker. Having spoken at a range of universities such as the University of Essex, Sydney University and Manchester Metropolitan University it is clear that Akala is a favoured speaker amongst future generations. In 2018 he was awarded honorary degrees, from the University of Brighton and Oxfords Brookes University. He has also delivered several TEDx talks, covering a range of subjects from education and mental health to youth crime, knife crime and rehabilitation, Akala is viewed as a role model bettering the future of the youth. Highly sought-after to deliver a range of talks, seminars and presentations Akala helps to boost confidence, build trust and improve social engagement.