Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE (born 24 March 1967 in Hillingdon, London), born Ian Roberts, is a British actor, playwright, director, singer and broadcaster. In 2005 he became the second black Briton to have a play staged in the West End of London. (Ray Harrison Graham‘s Fringe First award-winning play GARY played at the Arts Theatre in 1990.) Kwei-Armah’s award-winning piece Elmina’s Kitchen transferred to the Garrick Theatre in 2005. He is currently the artistic director of the Young Vic theatre in London, succeeding David Lan.
Brought up in Southall, he changed his name at the age of 19 after tracing his family history, through the slave trade back to his ancestral African roots in Ghana. His parents were born in Grenada. He has four children.
Kwei-Armah’s son, who goes by the stage name of KZ, contributed production and vocals to Wretch 32‘s 2015 mixtape, Young Fire, Old Flame, and his third studio album, Growing Over Life, released in September 2016.