London Artist And Steam Down Affiliate Threatened With Deportation

She was born in Glasgow and has been a vital part of the new UK jazz scene…

A Glasgow-born singer and songwriter, who’s a part of the Steam Down community in South East London, and the city's vibrant jazz scene, is being threatened with deportation.

Bumi Thomas was born in Glasgow, and despite being taken to Nigeria at the age of three by her father, returned to the UK at 18 and built a life here: attending college and university here, working here, paying taxes here, and making a significant contribution to music and culture here.

Now, however, Bumi says she is being threatened with deportation. She returned to the UK believing she was British with dual nationality, and her National Insurance number issued at birth meant she could work legally without any restrictions. It wasn’t until she was 25 – during a passport application – that she was informed her father had never registered her as British. This had become a legal requirement just five months before her birth.

Bumi says this was the start of an exhausting and expensive 10 year battle that has resulted in a refusal for either discretionary or indefinite leave to remain in June 2019 but with the right to appeal.

Her deadline to appeal is Friday 21 June. If she does not file an appeal, she could face detention and possible deportation. 

“Most of my life has been spent in the UK, it has been my home, the birthplace of my voice and evolution as an artist,” says Bumi on the GoFundMe page she’s set up to raise funds for her appeal. “My talents and personal reality was nurtured here. This forced return will cause a rift in the fabric of who I am as a human being.

“I really need your help and support to fight this decision, the funds raised will be used to pay for the services of an experienced Immigration Specialist who will draft a strong argument and file the appeal on my behalf on Human Rights Grounds.

“Your support at the pivotal crossroads in my life is simply invaluable. I can only express the most sincere and profound gratitude for your presence and encourage in my life, growth, art and journey. I am very grateful for your help, generosity, insights, energy and solidarity.”

Describing herself as a contemporary African, acoustic jazz-folk-soul singer/songwriter, Bumi says her style is inspired by her multicultural heritage: combining jazz, high life rhythms, Afro-beat, reggae and blues melodies, infused with folk and delivered with soul.  She is also a part of the Steam Down community, lauded as one of the most important forces in UK jazz today.

You can donate to Bumi’s appeal here.

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