Playwright, novelist and poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, has joined forces with The Prostate Cancer Charity in a bid to raise awareness of the disease amongst men from African Caribbean communities across the country.
De Botty Business, a comedy specially written for The Prostate Cancer Charity by Benjamin Zephaniah, follows the experience of one man facing the possibility of being tested for prostate cancer and examines the surrounding cultural fears, myths and taboos to help inform African Caribbean men about the disease.
The play – the first event of its kind for the Charity – will premiere on Wednesday 5 March at the Hackney Empire, London, before embarking on a regional tour in Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool.
Ali Orhan, Community Involvement Manager at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said:
“Despite being the most common cancer to be diagnosed in men, prostate cancer is rarely seen as part of a main storyline and we are delighted to be working with Benjamin to help raise awareness of this important men’s health issue. It can be difficult to reach African Caribbean men and to get them interested in their health, but statistics show that African Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men – so it is vital that we reach these people.
“By talking about prostate cancer in a humorous way, De Botty Business will help us dispel common myths associated with the disease so that many more African Caribbean men will be aware of the truth behind the taboo. With the help of Benjamin and De Botty Business, we hope that African Caribbean men will recognise that prostate cancer is a disease which can no longer be ignored.”
Speaking of his work with The Prostate Cancer Charity, Benjamin Zephaniah, said: “Writing De Botty Business has been a fantastic way for me to get involved in the work of The Prostate Cancer Charity and connect the work they do and the work I do to the African Caribbean community.
“The most important thing I have learned about prostate cancer is not to remain ignorant about it. It’s about us. I want all African Caribbean men to be aware of the higher risk they face of developing the disease and am looking forward to seeing everyone come together at the premiere to support what has been a neglected and misunderstood cause.”
Tickets are available at www.hackneyempire.co.uk