The 2022 graduating class of the University of Exeter got a real treat when Stormzy delivered a warming speech at the ceremony that praised and honoured their school efforts. He received an honorary degree for his outstanding contribution to society.
Michael Owuo Jr. (his real name), was described as an, “outstanding musician and wordsmith (who) inspires people to speak openly about their beliefs and fight for their rights,” by Professor Lisa Roberts, University of Exeter’s Vice-Chancellor. His college story was different from the graduating class however. In 2018, on the Johnathan Ross Show, he revealed that he was kicked out of college after a prank.
Stormzy created the #Merky Foundation in 2020, which pledged to donate 10 million euros, support social justice and Black empowerment, and tackle racial inequality. He runs #MerkyBooks, in partnership with Penguin Random House UK, which gives young and underrepresented authors the opportunity to publish poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.
His partnership with HSBC UK has ensured to help fund 30 of Stormzys Scholars for the next three years. Stormzy Scholarships has already helped six Black British students attend the University of Cambridge.
Stormzy is one of UK’s biggest rap stars, taking over Grime and Hip Hop with hits like Own It, featuring Burna Boy and Ed Sheeran, Vossi Bop, and Do Better.