Newham Academy of Music’s Zipporah, 8, lands Lion King role

Zipporah Fornah will play Young Nala in the Lion King.

Zipporah Fornah will play Young Nala in the Lion King. - Credit: Archant

Rising star Zipporah Fornah is hoping to make her rip-roaring debut in the West End production of The Lion King.

Zipporah started music lessons at the Newham Academy of Music when she was just three years old before joining the Newham All Stars choir and dabbling in drama and dance at the Deborah Day Theatre School in East Ham.

But the young cub, now eight, has been chosen to play Young Nala, the childhood friend of main character Simba, from May until November.

Zipporah’s tough training at Sylvia Young Theatre School prepared her for a gruelling rehearsal schedule until 6pm every day.

To land the part, she said: “At the audition, I sang ‘I Want To Be A Mighty King’ and danced.”

Her mother, Halimah Fornah, said Zipporah’s “voice really came out” while she was studying how to play the piano and drums at the music school run by Newham Music Trust.

She added: “The people who can share in Zipporah’s glory are her family, and everyone at Newham Academy of Music.

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“We thank the Lord for Zipporah’s God-given gift.”

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