Harry Potter’s Noma Dumezweni delivers spellbinding speech: “I am a refugee child”

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Jasmine Andersson
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past fifteen years, it’s pretty safe to say that you’ve heard of Harry Potter.

Beyond obsessing over when exactly our Hogwarts letter would arrive, we were enchanted by the classic tale of good vs. evil, which saw the dark magic of Lord Voldemort flourish in a world of uncertainty and panic.

Sound familiar?

Thankfully, just like the wizarding community, we have our own heroes here in the real world – one of which is, undoubtedly, the forthright Noma Dumezweni.

Dumezweni, who played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, won a gong for the Best Supporting Actress at The Olivier Awards.

And, when she stepped up to collect her gong, she used her time in the spotlight to remind everybody about the plight of refugees all over the world.

A Swaziland native herself, Dumezweni came to the UK with her family forty years ago, and reminded the audience that she is also a refugee child.

“I arrived in this country as a refugee child, with my sister and my mother. It's going to be 40 years this year celebrating being in this country. Family, it's all about family. Families feeling safe and finding your safe place,” said Dumezweni.

“I am so, so privileged to be an actor, to be able to make plays and tell stories with the majority or people in this room,” she added.

“I suppose what I'm trying to say – and this is my political bit, if you don't mind – is that I am a refugee child.”

The critique comes on the back of the government’s refusal to accept more than 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next four years.

In comparison to Jordan, which has taken the most refugees after accepting 2.7 million people into the country, the UK’s efforts seem all too meagre in comparison.

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has also voiced her concern about the crisis.

Tweeting to her 10 million users about the crisis, the author reminded the public to consider their plight of refugees with empathy.

“If you can’t imagine yourself in one of those boats, you have something missing. They are dying for a life worth living,” she wrote.

A record 65 million people forced to flee homes since 2016, says the UN.

Pictures: Rex Features


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Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez