K h a d j a h  H a y d e n

"Be authentically yourself" Read our interview with writer & actor Khadijah Hayden...

Khadijah! Thanks so much for chatting to us today We can’t wait.


So, quick-fire round. What are you watching right now?


So, I’m currently watching two things. They Cloned Tyrone, which is on Netflix and Fatal Seduction which is a South African TV series. Those two, I’m hooked.


Perfect. What music serenades commute currently?


This sounds so obvious seeing as it was carnival, but Soca music. Anyway, any shape, anywhere. That’s basically it.


Last Q from the quick-fire, any books on the go?


Yes, I’m reading People Person by Candice Carty-Williams. It’s so good! It’s taking me so long to read though ‘coz I keep picking up other books.


We love that book! Have you read Queenie as well?




It’s amazing. Cool, now onto the main interview. Tell us about yourself and how you got into your creative writing.


Okay, so my name’s Khadijah, of course, I’m a writer and an actress. I’ve kind of always been into creative things, from birth, my parents put me into stage school and it’s just gone on from there. Writing though, that started in the pandemic, coz I was stuck at home and I was just like, ‘I’m gonna write my feelings’ and it basically just snowballed from there. And pretty much that’s it.


Amazing. It seems a lot of people started writing in the pandemic. Probably because of the sheer nastiness of what was going on around them and being stuck at home, but what’s beautiful is that it also created some amazing poets and work.


So, what would you say your work is about and who / what inspires you?


I think, I would say my work is, not so much about, me, but is it what affects me... so social and political issues that I feel strongly about, or even little things or topics such as representation, or other things like that… but I always try and make it comedic because I’m not a fan of trauma. Like shows about slavery, not my thing, I don’t watch them - I just try make people laugh ‘coz that’s naturally how I am. I’m a comedic person, so I just try and add that while also being able to serve a teachable moment.


Which leads me into someone who inspires me which is Lisa Ray. She kind of does that quite effortlessly I think, especially when you look like that. That’s who I would say is my biggest inspiration.


Gorgeous. Have you got any tips or advice for anyone who wants to do some more writing or get more creative?


I would say the biggest thing is, or one thing I’ve learnt is, be your audience… so, you can never… I feel like I can never get behind something that I didn’t want to see on screen myself, or that I didn’t wanna see on stage myself, or I don’t wanna watch or I don’t care about. And, if you see the vision, even if you get told a whole lot of no’s, or rejected, or ‘I don’t understand this’, it’s better to be able to explain or pitch yourself if you want to see that on screen or on stage. Be authentically yourself, what do you authentically wanna see? What do you authentically believe in? That’s what you use to fuel whatever you’re writing. And I think that would help with writer’s block – what’s the end point? Only you know the beginning and end, until someone else watches what you’re doing, right?


That’s some good advice. It’s all about being yourself!


One more question for you Khadijah, what’s next?


What is next… well right now, I’m in the process of developing a poetry book, which I want to be realised by my 25th birthday, which is called ‘25’ (laughs). So, it’s about, basically a collection of all my poetry, some I wrote when I was 13, and some now, so putting that all together. I’m also finalising a one-person show, which is about respectability politics for black history month – so yeah, they are two things I’m working on.


I’ve just recently had a show at Peckham fringe, so I’ll shout out everybody that was a part of that. Shout out Peckham and all that stuff, because they really were so helpful to me and helped releasing that, and it was my first produced show. So that was great!


Big congratulations on your show! Thanks Khadijah, it’s been great talking.



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