Marlene Madenge: Young Scot Awards 2013: Cultural Diversity

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Written by Young Scot on in Strathclyde and West

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Ten years ago, Marlene Madenge, aged 21 from Glasgow, and her family escaped the bloodshed in the Congo for a new life in Scotland. Unable to speak English, it was her teacher Euan Girvan who encouraged her to do drama, showing a natural ability and talent. She landed a lead role in a play, The Circle of the Asylum Seeker, devised by a group of youngsters called ‘Da Chics’ performing in schools and festivals.

One of the key people in setting up Ignite Theatre, a free drama project for children and young people in the Knightswood and Scotsounhill, Marlene has helped to challenge cultural stereotypes. The Ignite Theatre Company, with members from over ten different countries round the world as well as many local Glaswegians has grown to be hugely popular.

When the hit BBC drama Waterloo Road relocated to Scotland, Marlene was cast in one of the main roles as Lula. Now an experienced television actress she has continued to work with Ignite, keen to put back into the community who supported her.

Click below to hear Marlene’s amazing story.

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