Casely-Hayford, a cultural historian, is most well-known for his television series, including the critically acclaimed Lost Kingdoms of Africa (BBC) and the Emmy-nominated Tate Britain’s Great British Walks (Sky TV). He has also written extensively on historical Africa, most recently authoring Timbuktu, a Ladybird book published in 2018 by Penguin Random House.
Casely-Hayford also lectures frequently on Africa’s global importance and its under-recognized contributions to world history, trade, and visual and popular cultures. He delivered the opening talk at TED Global in Tanzania in 2017 and, in 2018, was invited by the Kenyan government to speak to the importance of museums in serving as economic catalysts and fostering contemporary art and artists for local, national, and international communities.
Casely-Hayford has served on the boards of many arts organizations, including the United Kingdom’s National Trust, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Caine Prize for African Writing. As director of Africa 05, he organized the largest African arts season in Britain, developing partnerships with hundreds of organizations across the nation to showcase Africa’s arts and cultures in local communities, galleries, theaters, and national museums.
Born in London, Casely-Hayford earned his PhD in African history at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and is the recipient of many honors. In 2018, he was named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his significant contributions to African art and culture.