When most actors are unemployed at any one time, what chance do you have when you're 6ft tall, black, and with a Glaswegian accent?

"You tend to get the ensemble roles," says Moyo Akande, smiling. "It's not always easy landing parts. But you just have to try harder."

The 25-year-old's determination has paid off. Right now, she's starring in Macbeth as one of the Witches, at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.

"To get this part is fantastic," she enthuses. "When I heard I was to be a Witch it felt like the best day of my life."

Akande admits there is still prejudice in the business, but she's had to contend with direct, or indirect, racism from a young age. Her parents were childhood sweethearts in Nigeria and moved to London to find work. Her dad, a chemical engineer, was offered a job in Glasgow and the family settled in Pollok, in the south side of the city.

"It was an interesting time growing up in Pollok in the Eighties, as one of the few black families," she recalls, with the emphasis on the word 'interesting'.

"We had some lovely neighbours and some not-so-lovely neighbours. There was a lot of prejudice around. You know what kids are like, they can be pretty horrible. I guess it made me quite shy and my mum worried and used to watch me on the quiet when I was at nursery and then in primary school.

"She was afraid I wasn't mixing with the other kids. So my mum and dad worked really hard to get away from the scheme. They knew if we hung around there much longer our futures wouldn't go in the right direction."

When Akande was eight, the family moved north of the city, to the cosy suburb of Bearsden.

"The kids were nice," she recalls. "People were nice. They seemed to actually embrace the difference in colour. My mother sent me to acting classes, to dance classes as well and it brought me out of my shell."

The confidence grew almost as fast as her height. "When I walked onto the stage I lit up. And I told my parents I wanted to become an actor. Now, a lot of Nigerian families encourage their kids to be doctors or lawyers, but my mum was happy with my choice, once she knew I wanted to act."

Akande auditioned for the Dance School of Scotland in Knightswood in Glasgow and landed one of eight places, out of hundreds of applicants.

"I knew that was where I belonged from the first day," she says, gushing. "It was tough love, but it spurred me on. Then, aged 17, I was accepted by Arts Educational, (the performing arts school in London.)

"It was scary thing to go to London. I cried for the first week because the course was so hard and there were so many emotions going on; they strip you down and build you back up again.

"But then I remembered my mum had come all the way from Nigeria to Britain to make a new life, without her family around."

Akande came to love life in Chiswick in West London. "Suddenly, my height didn't matter. And, as soon as I hit London I thought 'I've never seen so many black people in my life!' And on my first trip back home to Glasgow I got off the train at Central Station and realised I stuck out like a sore thumb."

Arts Ed, says Akande, is a demanding college, but it produces results. Eighty per cent of students from her year are working. Since leaving college, Akande has worked continually, in the likes of The Wizard of Oz and playing the White Witch in the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe with Birmingham Rep.

But is there a danger black, Scottish 6ft actresses are cast as exotics? Akande did appear as a radio producer in an episode of Bob Servant but River City has yet to call – and she can't play a typical Glaswegian wummin.

"Rainbow casting still needs to be addressed, " she says in a serious voice. "I don't want to delve into it too much but if you look at the Baftas in May, the only black person there was David Harewood, and he was just presenting. No one (black actor) was nominated. Lenny Henry mentioned this in an interview, and it's not just black actors, where are the Asian actors?

"It can be a help as well as a hindrance. There are not too many 6ft tall actresses with a Scottish accent around at the moment, although I can do accents. But I can't cut my legs off. Yet, if someone is looking for a striking image it can work in your favour."

Akande, who has also appeared in Peter Pan with NTS, says she's prepared to battle for the best roles.

"My inspiration is Josette Simon, the black actress who has worked with the RSC, and is at the forefront of the colourblind movement.

"She's opened so many doors for me. My ambition is to play Lady Macbeth, perhaps Titania, from Midsummer Night's Dream."

There's no doubt the Globe Theatre experience will make her a better actress.

"It's open air, of course and there are no microphones to project the voice. You can be performing while helicopters are buzzing overheard.

"It's a great challenge, and I'm determined to make the most of it. I love musical theatre, but I think straight acting is more my thing."

Akande adds, smiling: "I want to be a constant face. When I was growing up I didn't see anyone like me on the television at all. It would be nice if I could be a role model.

"And you know, perhaps River City could use a 6ft glamazon."

Macbeth runs at Shakespeare's Globe to October 13