Meet Taikirha Miller. She is a model, an actress, a voice-over artist and a rising junior at Kensington’s Albert Einstein High School. The 16-year-old was recently selected by Serena Williams to be the voice of her daughter Olympia’s doll, Qai Qai, in a new YouTube series.
Qai Qai, pronounced quay-quay, is the favorite doll of Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian’s 4-year-old daughter Olympia. Williams, who recently announced her retirement from tennis, has partnered with Invisible Universe to bring the doll, Qai Qai, to life. The doll first appeared on Instagram in 2018.
“Everyone needs to find their voice, and I’m happy Qai Qai found hers in Taikirha,” Williams, 40, told PEOPLE. “Qai Qai has built a massive community on Instagram and TikTok, and I think her loyal fans will love getting to know her on a deeper level. Now that she’s found her voice, the possibilities for the franchise are endless.”
Qai Qai has attained special status as a best-selling doll on Amazon. The doll has more than 3 million followers on social media and her own YouTube channel. In September, the Adventures of Qai Qai authored by Williams will also hit the shelves.
On her Instagram account, Miller from Silver Spring now identifies as the “Voice of Qai Qai doll” in addition to her other identities as an actress, dancer and model. Miller attributed her success to hard work.
“Everything I’ve had the opportunity to do is great, and I wouldn’t change any of it at all, but…” she explained, “Serena Williams didn’t handpick me for those things.”
Miller told PEOPLE that she had just wrapped up competing in a national pageant when she learned she would voice Qai Qai.
“I found out about [it] two weeks ago when I had just got off the stage from a national pageant,” she explained. “I was doing casual wear, and I went to find my mom in the lobby, and she was like, ‘Good job, Qai Qai.’ And she said it so suddenly, and I wasn’t sure what she was talking about.”
“And then it clicked in my head, and I got really excited and started screaming in the lobby,” she recalls.
Her selection by Williams is no fluke. She has worked on several voice-over projects like the ones for the Disney Dreamer Academy and Jordan Brand. Nonetheless, she describes her latest project with Williams as her biggest.
While Miller is creating a niche for herself in the voice-over industry, she is optimistic about achieving her childhood dream of studying political science and becoming the first female president.
So far, the voice actress, who said she has been bullied since second grade, has written I Am: 30 Day Affirmation Journal for Teens, which she sells on Amazon to help those having self-worth issues. She has also formed a limited liability company called Tai It [email protected] which will center on anti-bullying messages through the performing arts, according to Bethesda Magazine.