Spoken Word by Asma Elbadawi

Asma Elbadawi


29_Jan 2023






Back alley stage


Before 2014, not many people had heard of Asma Elbadawi. However, that all changed when the hijabi basketball player made headlines for lobbying the international basketball association, FIBA, to overturn the ban on hijab in basketball.

The stand she took over the hijab ban in basketball earned her the Rising Star in Sports trophy at the British Muslim Awards, the Women Of The Future judges high commendation in the Sport category, and The Muslim News Faezeh Hashemi Award for Excellence in Sport.

At the same time, she does not want “hijabi” used as a label for her activism, preferring to be thought of as a pro-choice advocate.

“I don't want to be a hijabi basketball player”

“I just want to be a basketball player. I don't want to be a hijabi poet, I want to be a poet."

Today, Elbadawi is not only known for her activism in the field, her basketball skills, and her work as a coach, she is also making her name as a spoken word poet as well.

Poetry’s lack of rules and structure have provided her with an emotional outlet by setting her expression free. As Elbadawi puts it, she found her voice through words she couldn’t spell. She now views her dyslexia for what it is: infinitely less important than her strengths in comprehension and verbal communication.

Asma has achieved so much - known as “Queen of the ball”, coach, mentor and Global Brand Ambassador for Adidas to winning Radio 1xtra’s Word First competition in Leeds and giving a TEDx Talk.

Watch her take the stage at 4.30PM on 29th January, 2023.