Mar 22, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Rwanda-born Ncuti Gatwa to play first black Doctor Who in series

Rwandan-born Ncuti Gatwa is the new lead in Doctor Who, for the third and final of the 2022 specials, airing in October.

At the announcement this week , Gatwa said: “There are no right words to describe how I feel. A mixture of great reverence, beyond excitement and of course a bit of fear.”

Gatwa will be the first black actor and the 14th person to play the lead in the British television series, which has been produced by the BBC is broadcast. He replaces Jodie Whittaker, who took on the role in 2017.

“This role and show means a lot to many around the world, including myself, and each of my incredibly talented predecessors came with a unique responsibility and… the privilege with the utmost care. I will do my utmost to do the same,” he said.

Gatwa, an award-winning actor, played Eric Effiong in the Netflix series Sex Education and won a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor on Television and three BAFTA nominations for Best Mama le Comedy Performance that year.

He will also star in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie alongside the Hollywood actors Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, which is set for release in July 2023.

Doctor Who is the story of a Time Lord named Doctor, an extraterrestrial being that looks like a human. He explores the universe in a time-travelling spaceship called the Tardis, which appears as a blue British police box. As the Doctor morphs into different characters, a new main character takes over.


Gatwa was born in 1992 in Nyarugenge, Kigali. His family immigrated to Scotland in 1994 to escape the Tutsi genocide.

Gatwa grew up primarily in Dunfermline and Edinburgh. He attended Boroughmuir High School and Dunfermline High School.

He studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, where he received his BA in Acting in 2013.

He has worked as an actor at the Dundee Repertory Theatre, appearing in several productions.

In 2015 he appeared in a supporting role in the miniseries Stonemouth, a 2020 adaptation of the novel of the same name.

Im that same year he appeared in the Kneehigh theatrical production of 946, adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s book The Amazing Story of Adolphus.