Northampton graduate, 21, reveals he illustrated for rap superstar Stormzy's new book about 'inspiring' role models in the UK

"Hopefully, anyone who gets a copy - especially young people - will be inspired. It's a reminder for them to go after whatever they want to do in life."

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 4:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 4:56 pm

A 21-year-old university graduate from Northampton has drawn illustrations for rap superstar Stormzy's new book - which is out on Thursday (September 16).

Denzell Dankwah, who graduated from the University of Northampton this year in illustrations, will have his drawings featured in 'Superheroes', a book for young people which highlights inspiring figures from all walks of life.

Sophia Thakur actually wrote the book while Stormzy's publishing company, Merky Books, will be publishing it.

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Denzell Dankwah and Stormzy

Denzell, from Wootton, said: "I contacted Merky Books [Stormzy's publishing company] in 2019 and they got back to me a few months later.

"The book is about celebrating role models in the UK and presenting them as superheroes for young people to look up to.

"I was excited [when he got the nod]. It was early 2020 when I got the email to say I'd be doing it. I was just excited and ready to work straight away. So I was working on the book during my final year.

"This was my first time illustrating a book, and to do it during lockdown is an achievement, I think."

Denzell said all his family and friends are big fans of Stormzy and are delighted for him.

The illustrator: "They are all excited, especially my sisters because they all love Stormzy. He's a big artist, and for him to offer this opportunity is amazing."

Denzell actually met Stormzy a couple of times over the last couple of years. Once at Madame Tussauds and another time at Stormzy's birthday bash.

"He was really cool. I shook his hand and he was really friendly.

"I illustrated a picture of him and gave it to him and he said it was sick and thanked me for working on the book," said Denzell.

On the book, Denzell said: "Hopefully, anyone who gets a copy - especially young people - will be inspired. It's a reminder for them to go after whatever they want to do in life."

Following his first big break, Denzell now has his eyes set on the future.

He added: "I'm just hoping to get into more illustrating. Maybe illustrate my own stories."

Click here to buy the book.