Award-winning rapper Stormzy receives honorary degree from University of Exeter
Award-winning artist and philanthropist Stormzy has received an honorary degree from the University of Exeter for his “outstanding achievements in the field of higher education, philanthropy and widening participation”.
In his graduation speech Stormzy, whose real name is Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, said that he was “extremely blessed and grateful” to receive this degree.
I have been so richly blessed by God and I don’t just mean financially, I mean with love and life and family and joy, and with peace and with purpose so, to put it simply, I’ve beared fruit and I share fruitHonorary graduate Stormzy
The University of Exeter’s Vice Chancellor Professor Lisa Roberts stated “We are proud to honour Michael for his remarkable contribution to society and extraordinary talent”. She added that “He is an outstanding musician and wordsmith […] he inspires people to speak openly about their beliefs and fight for their rights”.
Stormzy praised his fellow graduates’ “guts, grits and dedication” and also gave a “shout-out” to his mum who was present in the Great Hall.
In 2018, the rapper launched the Stormzy Scholarship, which has since financed six black students studying at Cambridge University. In 2021, Stormzy and HSBC UK pledged £2m to support another 30 students over the next three years. He also created the #Merky Foundation in 2019, pledging £10m over 10 years to “elevate, support and amplify the issues and the voices of the black community”.
Mr. Owuo also set up an imprint with Penguin Random House UK in 2018, which provides a platform for “bold voices from untraditional spaces that are inclusive and intersectional”.