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Rakie Ayola On Her Welsh Background, Imposter Syndrome & Black Women In TV

The character of Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter franchise, is known for her bushy hair, exceptional intellect, her activism for the equality of house-elves and her immense sacrifices. The franchise might be named after Harry but any true fan (like myself) knows that Hermione was the real hero. When Harry Potter and The Cursed Child came to stage it was a beautiful sight to see the character played by a black woman, and being a Harry Potter fan and from Wales, I almost fainted when I got the chance to interview Rakie Ayola – a Welsh talent like no other.

In the height of lockdown, we set up a video call and Rakie graciously spoke with me for almost two hours, unpacking her journey from Ely, a council estate in Cardiff, to some of the biggest stages and TV productions across the nation. The usual awkwardness of introductions didn’t happen – we are both from Wales so after immediately establishing that we are from neighbouring cities, there