Jade Anouka is a star of the stage and rising star of the screen. She can currently be seen in Cleaning Up, ITV’s new Thursday night drama with Sheridan Smith, playing Canary Wharf cleaners looking to fill their boots with some of the extreme wealth that surrounds them on a daily basis.
This year, she also plays a DJ in Idris Elba’s new Netflix comedy Turn Up Charlie and appears in promising British film Fisherman’s Friends with Daniel Mays and Tuppence Middleton. Anouka has also previously appeared in Doctor Who, Trauma and Chewing Gum, but it is on the stage where Anouka is best known – particularly as one of the leading lights in Phyllida Lloyd’s groundbreaking, inspiring all-female Shakespeare trilogy at the Donmar Warehouse and on Broadway.
Anouka is also a published poet and regularly performs her work (check out I Am A Woman on YouTube, below), a writer, and has given a TEDTalk (Being Black, Being a Woman, Being Other), right here in Peckham, where we meet.
Like some of her peers, Anouka is combining acting with activism. As her profile becomes bigger and voice becomes louder, she is making active change, kicking off last year with Black Panther Peckham.
I knew there are a lot of young people in the area who could benefit from seeing Black Panther
“When I heard Black Panther was coming out, I just knew it was a massive deal,” she says. “I was always a massive superhero fan but never experienced anything like this. How amazing it would have felt to see this as a teenager. The women in it were so powerful.