Rakie’s full name is Rakie Olufunmilayo Ayola. Born in May 1968, in Cardiff, Wales to a Sierra Leonean mother and a Nigerian father of Yoruba descent, the Welsh actress attended Windsor Clive Primary and Glan Ely High School, and was a member of the Orbit Youth Theatre, South Glamorgan Youth Theatre, South Glamorgan Youth Choir and the National Youth Theatre of Wales.
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She had her tertiary education at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying for a three-year acting diploma. Rakie began her career in the theatre, performing in a number of Shakespearean plays including Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth.She got married in 2004 to fellow actor Adam Smethurst and they are blessed with kids.