Arts + Culture

Swazi-Born Actress Noma Dumezweni To Star As Hermione In The Highly-Anticipated ‘Harry Potter’ Play

Swazi-born actress Noma Dumezweni has been cast as Hermione Granger in the London West End reimagining of Harry Potter.


Amazing news from London’s West End. In the forthcoming stage reimagining of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger will be played by the Swazi-born Noma Dumezweni.

Titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Palace theatre production is based on an original story written by Jack Thorne (the play’s writer), John Tiffany (the play’s director) and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling. The show will open in July 2016 as a two-part play intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings. Dumezweni will star alongside Jamie Parker (as adult Harry Potter) and Paul Thornley (as adult Ron Weasley).

The story is set 19 years after the book series ended, and casts Potter as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three. A synopsis on the play’s website explains:

“While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

Born in 1969 in Swaziland to South African parents, Dumezweni, 45, moved to England at a young age. Her work in the 2005 London West End revival of A Raisin In The Sun won her the 2006 Olivier award for best performance in a supporting role. In February, she’ll make her directorial debut with South African writer and playwright Mongiwekhaya’s I See You at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

Last month, Dumezweni was heralded for stepping in last minute to fill the title role in Penny Skinner’s Linda after Kim Cattrall withdrew. The actress had just one week to prepare before press night. Speaking with The Guardian on how she managed to pull it off, Dumezweni brought up her South African upbringing:

“I met the company on Friday afternoon, read with them and was blocked so I knew where to move... They said: ‘Don’t worry, just read it.’ So I had my script on stage until the beginning of last week. What’s been amazing is I haven’t had time to think about it. And the company has been extraordinary. I’m from a South African background and there’s this phrase – ubuntu – ‘I am because we are’. And that’s what this is about.”

With one fell tweet, JK Rowling expressed her approval of the casting and dismissed any of the impending backlash: “Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione”

"SA Rappers Out Here Killing Y'all," M.I Abaga On Nigerian Rappers

M.I has fueled a debate about the state Nigerian hip-hop with his latest song, "You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life."

Nigerian star M.I Abaga is back with a punch and taking aim at all of his fellow Nigerian rappers.

The track—which sees M.I. drop lines like "none of you rappers is real enough... that's why these fans are not feeling ya'll," "SA rappers out here killing ya,ll," and "rappers are singing now just to get popular, yuck"—has sparked a debate across social media on the current state of Nigerian hip-hop.

There's been some calling out M.I for not supporting young Nigerian rappers like big rappers do in South Africa. These years have seen the likes of Cassper Nyovest and other big SA stars supporting younger talent.

Others, however, have taken up the challenge and started responding to M.I's track over the "Fix Up Your Life" instrumental. M.I's been retweeting the responses and, in a way, the track's been getting a lot of the young rappers M.I calls out some more attention.

M.I and his label Chocolate City have also been in the news lately over suing Nas for not delivering a good verse.

What do you think? Is Nigerian hip-hop in decline?

See some choice tweets below.

Video: Looking at the Roots of IsiPantsula Culture Through Some of Its Leading Voices

This new video shows us why South African Pantsula is much more than just a dance move.

Pantsula is more than just a dance, it's a cultural movement and it's being revived through enthusiastic South African youth.

Keep reading... Show less

In Photos: Migos' Culture Tour in Johannesburg

ATL trio Migos' Culture Tour had two South African stops–in Durban on Friday and Johannesburg on Saturday.

We attended the Joburg leg of the tour, and the group didn't disappoint, although the event itself was unacceptably disorganized. South African rappers Riky Rick and Nasty C gave great performances, especially the latter.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.