Glasgow-Born Singer-Songwriter Bumi Thomas Threatened With Deportation

Glasgow-Born Singer-Songwriter Bumi Thomas Threatened With Deportation

June 19, 2019

Glasgow-born singer and songwriter Bumi Thomas has been a long-time member of London's jazz scene and a member of the vibrant Steam Down community in South East London, but she is now facing potential deportation.

Having been taken to Nigeria at three years old, she came back to the UK aged 18 and has lived the rest of her life here like the rest of us, paying taxes, going to university as well as lending her talent to the pool of jazz culture. Thomas thought she was British with dual nationality. Her National Insurance number meant that she has never had a problem legally working, but when she was 25 and applied for a new passport, she found out that she had never actually been registered as a British citizen. It was only five months before her birth that this had become a requirement by law.

After a 10-year legal battle, Bumi has been refused either discretionary or indefinite leave to remain in June 2019 but has until Friday 21st June to appeal. If she does not appeal, she could face both detention and possible deportation.

Speaking about the ordeal on her GoFundMe page, she said: "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. 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 encouragement in my life, growth, art and journey. I am very grateful for your help, generosity, insights, energy and solidarity."

To donate to Bumi Thomas' appeal, head here.

Words: Aaron Bishop
Photography: Richard Barr