Way before the days of Wattpad, Fan Fiction and Twitter threads, we huddled around with our Blackberries bluetoothing the latest gossip and music – and nothing swept our school corridors and bus rides in more of a frenzy than the urban legend known as Keisha Da Sket. Forget Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Lord of the Flies – noughties kids from all over the UK immersed themselves, chapter by chapter, in the serialised online novel that became a fixture in Black British culture. Now almost 16 years later, the series is getting immortalised under Stormzy’s award-winning publishing print #MERKYBOOKS, with the title Keisha the Sket.
If you’re an avid Gen Z/TikTok-using teen you might not have been around for the seminal text conceived by Jade LB on Piczo, so here’s the lowdown. Following ‘girl from the ends’ and heroine Keisha, who has the unfortunate labelling of ‘top sket’, we are shown her life in the urban streets of London as long-time admirer Ricardo finally wins her over. With power, love life and a chance for a relationship all within grasp, trauma comes knocking and Keisha is left with choices that will define what type of woman she truly wants to be.
With the book set to launch October this year, it has been confirmed that fellow Black British writer Candice Party-Williams and south London storyteller Aniefiok Ekpoudom will write feature essays for the book, alongside a Caleb Femi poem.
While we wait patiently to dive ourselves back into the world of Keisha and Ricardo, we can’t help but think that a television adaptation could be on the way – A24, Rapman, Netflix, all eyes are on you.