Guyanese Achievers: Blue Plaque Unveiling For Cecile Nobrega – London UK – June 1, 2019


International Educator, Playwright, Composer and Renowned Poet

Cecile Nobrega

“Find me a place in the sun, in the sea, on a rock, near an Isle,” is the opening salvo of a poem written in 1968 by Cecile Nobrega.  The poem was titled The Bronze Woman, which was published in her first book of verses, soliloquies, and celebrates the women of the Caribbean and elsewhere.  However, Cecile Nobrega’s poem would go on to inspire the first public statue of a Black woman in the UK.

The Bronze Woman

The 10-foot bronze statue of a woman holding a child was unveiled in 2008 as part of the 60th anniversary commemorating the arrival of the Empire Windrush.  The sculpture, a physical representation of the Bronze Woman poem, was created to symbolise the strength and resilience of women as mothers, their essence as nurturers, and future aspirations for their families and themselves.

The statue proudly stands in a Lambeth Park known as Stockwell Memorial Gardens, a stone’s throw away from where Cecile lived.   

As well as an accomplished poet, Cecile Nobrega was also an Educator, Poet, Playwright, and Classical Composer.  She was born Cecile Burgan in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1919.  Her parents were William Granville Burgan and Imelda Burgan.  The former was the Canon of several Anglican churches in East Demerara where Cecile spent her formative years, before eventually travelling and working in a number of different countries around the world.

She eventually came to Britain in 1968, and settled in Lambeth, where on November 19, 2013 at the age of 94, she passed away:

PLAQUE UNVEILING – June 01, 2019

On 1st June, 2019, exactly 100 years to the day Cecile Nobrega was born, a Blue Heritage Plaque,  installed on her former home in Lambeth, only a few hundred yards away from the Bronze Woman Statue, will be unveiled.

  • Where: Lee Samuel House, 10 Nealden Street.  London, SW4 9QX
  • When:1st June 2019
  • Time: 12:45pm – 1.45pm

Some Quotes in relation to the upcoming unveiling on June 1st 2019:

Eve Nobrega (daughter – on behalf of the family) said: “We feel very privileged that we will be present at the unveiling of this plaque from the Nubian Jak Trustees, honouring an outstanding Guyanese woman”.

UK High Commissioner for Guyana, H.E. Frederick Hamely Case said: “A truly remarkable sister of Guyana who set the bar for high-achieving women from Guyana and the Caribbean in general.”

Mayor of Lambeth, Cllr Ibrahim Dogus said: “Unveiling a Blue Plaque on June 01, 2019 is a wonderful and fitting tribute to Cecile Nobrega, who worked so hard to ensure recognition for all women and their contribution to society; but, especially for those who are underrepresented and from the underdeveloped world.”

CEO of the Nubian Jak Community TrustDr JakBeula, said: “Cecile Nobrega was a citizen of the world.  A proud daughter of Guyana who had an international perspective of herself, and the importance of Caribbean women globally. “

Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, Cllr Sonia Winifred said: “Cecile Nobrega was an inspiration to women of the world.  Proud and defiant as the Bronze Woman she so aptly describes in her poem and so positively projected through the beautiful statue in Stockwell Memorial Gardens.”

Professor Gus John, said: “It is fitting that Nubian Jak is erecting a plaque in honour of this inspirational African woman, one of the most outstanding of her generation, who helped to change Britannia through her cultural creativity and activism.   Given the lamentable representation of black people in post-war British history, one hopes that the plaque would motivate this and future generations to learn more about Cecile and her rounded contribution to education, art and culture in Britain’. ”

Sister Empress Jai said: “It is said that “nothing never happens before the time”.  What a compliment to the Bronze Woman Monument and a lasting legacy to Our Stalwart Woman of the Caribbean – Mother Cecile Nobrega. I feel so very proud of this fitting tribute.”

Interviews are available on request.  Contact Tracey Francis at:

Organiser: Nubian Jak Community Trust

The Nubian Jak Community Trust will be erecting a 7 ft Granite Memorial Statue to Commonwealth Nurses in October, to Commemorate 70th (71st) anniversary of the formation  NHS, arrival of the Windrush, and naming of Whittington Hospital (all in 1948).

  •   Additional Information:

Please contact the Nubian Jak Community Trust team.Tel: 0207 692 4880

Website:, Email: on Twitter @nubianjak

Nubian Jak Community Trust is a registered charity, governed, administered and managed by a volunteer Board of Trustees

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  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/29/2019 at 1:21 am

    U-Ming wrote:

    Yango’s classes were the most fun.

    Thanks for sharing Clyde.


  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/31/2019 at 12:35 pm

    Clement “Yango” Yansen BOOK LAUNCH 1993

    with John Agard – Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/31/2019 at 12:38 pm

    Part 2 – Book Launch

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