All About Donavan Christopher
Donavan Christopher, aka D-Bo General, is a rap poet, cultural reggae artist and a dedicated advocate for social justice worldwide. His work serves as a tool for self-expression and helps to motivate and inspire people of all ages. From early years education to upper secondary and university groups, Donavan’s school visits offer fun and thought-provoking presentations and workshops geared towards motivating and inspiring students to not only perform better in the classroom, but to become socially responsible members of a larger community.
Facilitating a safe and intellectually challenging environment, Donavan encourages students to express their views and opinions about challenging social issues, such as respect of self and others, tolerance and cultural diversity and bullying.
Donavan takes his message throughout Europe and has worked with a wide range of social organizations in the UK, including the West Yorkshire and Calderdale Police, Young People’s Service and Crimestoppers. He has also spoken and performed at anti-gun conferences in both Huddersfield and Leeds, focusing on understanding gangs in response to a rise in gun-related incidents throughout the UK.
Donavan’s School Visits
Donavan’s school visits are usually for a full day, however he is also available to give short residencies, half-day sessions (preferably with work arranged in a nearby school for the other half of the day) or days devoted to short presentations in a series of schools.
His school visits are lively and uniquemand they can be tailored to work with any year group or key stage, from infants to upper secondary. Focusing on the power of the written and spoken word, his performances and workshops aim to inspire students through active participation. Often performing in the Jamaican patois, he can touch on issues such as respect of self and others, insight to cultural diversity around the world we all share and bullying.
Objectives of Donavan’s School Visits:
• To support delivery of poetry from people of different cultures, engaging the thinking and writing ability of all involved
• To promote awareness of the contribution of living language to our understanding of the world around us
• To promote the value of communication, social respect and the arts in schools
The structure and content of Donavan’s visits are adapted to meet the requirements and expectations of the host school. As a general guideline, visits usually begin with an hour-long performance to the whole school, during which Donavan presents his trademark Rap Poetry in an interactive, energetic session of his original work. For the remainder of the day, Donavan runs a series of creative writing sessions for groups of students. He tailors each workshop to suit student needs, describes and demonstrates a number of different writing methods and ideas to help improve literacy skills. At the end of a typical school visit, students are encouraged to perform their work to staff, students and parents.
Follow-up work on Donavan’s visits is highly recommended, as the powerful messages that he leaves behind serve as excellent material to support cross-curricular activities in schools.
Donavan also specialises in running workshops geared towards more specific issues in schools. Please contact us to discuss further options.
RAPPAMAN TO THE RESCUE: REAL RESPECT!!!
From heads and sheds to Jack’s Golden Eggs and black history to frabbits loose in classrooms, Donavan’s new book of poetry is as diverse as one can get. There is literally something for everyone.
The main theme focuses on social and emotional well being, to be taken twice daily with two large spoons of humour.
Rappaman To The Rescue
You decide which room you enter at your leisure. There are also a few puzzles to resolve in the Short story apartment. Books with clues to review, a school full of unusual teachers, a game show, lost words. It’s all Pen-tastic! This book will change the way you view rap poetry. You will find yourself rapping away and performing them out Loud!
Rappaman Must be Red All Over
Donavan signs copies of Rappaman for students on the day of his school visits.
To purchase Donavan’s books, click here.
Samples of Donavan’s Poems
Black Cindarella (Performed in Jamaican Patois)
Where can I find; My Black Cindarella.
I’ve got to find; My Black Cindarella
Cindarella, she lose ar cultcha.
She get teef out of a muma AFRICA.
But here comes di prince AFRICAN warrior.
Cultcha ina han, deh ask all woman.
Which Cindarella could dis culture belong?
Some adem a say it belong to Mary Ann.
No No way she tek size 91.
Gud gosh! Woman a weh yu get yu size from.
Buckup ina house ina di Caribbean.
An every weh mi go Woman a look attention.
A squeeze an a squeeze, dem fut smell a cheese,
Mi afi say cease, mek di culture ketch breeze.
Wen mi tek a stop a saw a pretty lady.
She say dat culture it belongs to me.
An wen mi check it out it fit ar fut easy,
Mi bawl, Cindy Cindy, will yu marry me.
A saw yu in da dance an yu drove mi krazy.
Wen 12 O’clock struck, a took a likkle look;
Yu was garn in dem boats like sum teef an crook
Cindarella; a wanna give back yu culture.
I’ve got to find; my; black cinder;……reh……el…la la la la.
To Be or Not To Be
I can be you can be
Anything you want.
An astranought the king of sport
Even a judge in court.
The captain of the ship
Or the Master of the port.
A general in the army
Or bringing thieves to court.
One thing I’ll never be.
I’ll never be a nought.
A doctor a surgeon or even a nurse.
Just come to me if you’re ill or feeling worn or worse.
A teacher a preacher or an engineer,
Or make scary movies
Or buildings disappear.
A builder, designer like an architect.
Even at School it was my best subject.
A Prime Minister Executive the next President.
That would be too easy as am too intelligent.
A writer researcher or a star on a stage.
But one thing I’ll never be is a blank page.
Life is what you live
And life is what you make it
Don’t be such a sive
And go around and fake it
You can do it you can make it
Make it if you try.
If you really want it set your standards high.
Who decides, what different
Are we sure of wrong and right?
To be different is a strange
If you really know what different is
But who decides what different
What’s different Brown Black or White?
For you to know I’m different
You must be different too.
So who’s different difficult
Is it me
Or is it you?
But do I complain no I refrain
From trying to be like you.
That makes me different difficult
For not agreeing with your view.
Many are called
Called are many
The chosen are only a few.
So let’s try to compromise,
My wrong could be your right.
So I don’t care who’s different
Brown Black or White?
Blank paper became a bride,
When I never had anything to write
I just introduced my pen to blank paper
My pen did the rest
It spoke of how the paper was blank and bare
And had no structure.
So my pen decided to marry a blank sheet of paper
I was there at the wedding.
I was best man.
I held the ring.
The pen kissed the paper,
The paper cried.
She never thought she would be,
A beautiful blushing bride.
Now as you see they’re in harmony,
Together side by side.
She was once blank and bare,
But look now she’s full of a rhyme
When she thought no one cared.
Along came this pen of mine.
Recommendations & Reviews
‘Just to say that the visit from Donavan Christopher to our school was a massive success. He is fab!! Nothing too much trouble and he gives that bit extra….that really counts. Professional, inspiring the lot!! Our kids loved him.
Many thanks’ Ally Jewitt, Kirkburton Middle School
“Donavan was terrific! He connected with the kids on every level and they produced some great work. The large group in the hall loved his presentation, and he was also great with the smaller workshops. A rare talent!’ – Debbie Trafford, Librarian, St Peter’s School, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK
“What a great day we had with Donavan at our school! The children really enjoyed joining in with the raps and listening to Donavan. His enthusiasm had the school buzzing all day. The four workshops with KS2 were good and it was great to see the children’s efforts at the end of day performance. His book signing was also a delight! He provided Individual and thoughtful comments.” – Judith Wood, Literacy Co-ord., St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK
“I just want share how amazing our experience was. Donavan threw himself into his poetry, engaged with our kids and lit sparks in children we have never seen before. One example, a child (B) has fallen asleep in every assembly since being at school. He was up, dancing and literally giggled the whole way through ‘Black Cinderella.’ Donavan made the time between the workshops I had organised to visit B, and another child (R) who is completely blind, to make up rap songs with them. B would not let Donavan go- and followed him around the school. R’s quote of the day was ‘I take the poet home with me! At lunch time I had organised a session with our extended education unit (16-19 year olds) and Donavan had them all up dancing. This followed on to the end of the day performance, where a child from the poetry workshop stood up in assembly for the first time since she joined us eighteen months ago, and the whole school jammed and rapped to an enigmatic performance by Donavan. The talk around the school, in this day of budget cuts and limited money for enrichment activities, has not been ‘that was good’ but ‘we must get him back, that was amazing.’ I can honestly say through the rhythm, dynamics, enthusiasm and poetry of Donavan, every child who met him was touched and responded- a big deal in our school. Thank you.” – Kylie Cederblad, The Foreland School (a school for profound, severe or complex learning difficulties), Broadstairs, Kent, UK
“We had a great day and Donavan was excellent. The children thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and performance poetry and were inspired to create and write their own raps. Thank you!” – Michelle Bouabida, Headteacher, Moorend First School, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, UK
“I just wanted to write to tell you how much we loved having Donavan at Granton Primary. The kids loved him, the adults loved him and we want him back!! It’s not very often we find a speaker for everyone and we really had a wonderful day!” – Jess O’Callagahan, Reading Cafe Co-ordinator, Granton Primary School, London
“Donovan was fantastic, extremely enthusiastic and very good with the children. In particular I have been asked to mention by two members of our Senior Management Team about an incident that happened during one of the workshops he held. In our Year 4 class we have a little autistic boy, who is quite far along the spectrum. He doesn’t like to be involved in too many “Stand up and show me” acitivities, prefering to keep himself to himself. However, thanks to Dononvan’s enthusiasm and patience, the student actually got up and performed his own rap in front of his whole class!! Apparently it was very moving to see and Donovan must be thanked and praised very highly for this. Thank you for another thoroughly enjoyable day!” – Ruth Iles, Leader of Curriculum Development, Literacy Co-ordinator, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Primary School, Bradford
“Donovan was a huge success! He is truly a talented man, with such a wonderful way with children. He was loved by all from Pre-Nursery to Y8, not to mention all the staff. Thank you for sending Donovan our way; he will always be welcome back at ISM!” – Mrs. Sian Andrews, Headteacher, The International School of Moscow
“A huge thank you for the workshop from Donovan yesterday – he went down a storm! The pupils wouldn’t let him leave as they all wanted his autograph! Many thanks again – I’m sure we’ll be contacting you again in the future!” – Charlotte Cantwell, Literacy Co-ordinator, Tranmere Park Primary School, Leeds
‘Thanks so much for inviting us to the library. Donavan was really great. Some of the poems we got out of kids whose writing is not that great were just brilliant. The children said that they really enjoyed it. I used his work with my class to write an ‘I wrote this poem’ poem for their homework and another one on different. Miss Lawal the other class teacher fed back to ks2 in an assembly here the children read lots of their work out. We really enjoyed it, a big thank you for having us! Best wishes’ Cathy
‘The sessions yesterday were fantastic – thank you so much. I will contact the teachers for some feedback but to be going on with here are a few comments from Plymouth Grove Primary (the first session at Longsight).
‘I had a really good time and now I am confident writing poems’ Rabeeah
‘I think this is the best session I have had’ Zain
‘It was fun and funny. I learnt a lot about writing poetry and poems’ Karina
‘Mr Christopher is so funny. He taught me a lot about poetry. I really want to meet him again. He is a great inspiration’ Eryn
‘I enjoyed meeting a rap poet. It was funny and I want to do it again’ Cheyenne
‘Today I have learnt poetry isn’t that hard to do. I loved the poetry!!! Thanks!!!’ Natasha
‘Today’s event was amazing and the rap author is really talented’ Aiman
‘I liked today because Donavan is an inspriational guy’ Adam
‘I really liked this lesson and when I go home I am going to write poems’ Duaa
‘I really enjoyed it and am inspired to go and write poems my own way’ Kiera
‘Donavan is a great poet I really really enjoyed myself today’ Sajal
‘I think today was a great day because we learnt another meaning for RAP’ Faizaan
‘I think it was amazing and I think I want to be a rapper aswell’ Jaidan
‘I learnt that you can say poems bottom to top’ Nathan
Thanks’ Fiona Fulton, Neighbourhood Delivery Officer, Manchester City Council Neighbourhood Services, Longsight Library & Learning Centre
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Donavan Christopher, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015 or email him at email@example.com