Film Honors South London’s “Bronze Woman”


The film about the Stockwell Park monument—a 10-foot tall sculpture of an African woman holding a baby—in South London celebrates life of Cecile Nobrega, who died at 94. She is hailed as a champion for race and gender equality, especially in the Caribbean community.

Two social enterprise groups have done a mini-documentary on the first British monument to a black woman following the death of the statue’s founder. [. . . The monument] was the brainchild of Guyanese-born Lambeth resident Cecile Nobrega, who passed away on November 19 at 94.

In her honour, one group Olmec, which was instrumental in the construction of the statue, worked with the other, Community Roots, to make a short film. The film features “The Bronze Woman” poem, which inspired the project and views of women in the community about what the statue means to them.

John Mayford, Olmec chief and one of the film’s directors, said: “We think that Cecile Nobrega was one of the most important race equality figures in Britain and it was an honour to continue the legacy of the statue legacy.” He added: “We are trying to make sure it is not just a statute but is an icon.” Tributes have hailed Nobrega, a teacher, sculptor, poet, musician and community activist, an icon.

Guyanese High Commissioner, Laleshwar Singh, who was involved in the erection of the statue, said he observed first-hand Nobrega’s determination and commitment as she lobbied and fund-raised for ten years. He said: “Cecile was a remarkable woman who has given so much to her community and to the land of her birth, Guyana.”

Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, who was also involved in the project, described Nobrega’s tenacity and beauty. She said: “She championed the role of women, especially those from the Caribbean community. She was someone you could sit down and talk to for hours.”

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