Danai Gurira is an American actress, writer, storyteller, and activist of Zimbabwean ancestry. The actress who is dynamic in the theatre world is best known for her star roles as the fierce katana-wielding survivor Michonne in The Walking Dead and as Okoye, the ferocious, elegant and dutiful leader of the all-female bodyguards in Marvel’s Black Panther.
Danai Gurira’s Bio, Age
Danai Jekesai Gurira was born on February 14, 1978, in the United States and raised in Zimbabwe. She was five years old when her parents moved her from Grinnell, Iowa, to their homeland of Harare. Her parents, Roger and Josephine Gurira are Zimbabwean academics. Before relocating to their homeland, her father worked as a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry while her mother was a librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She has three siblings, a brother Tare and two sisters Shingai and Chiwoniso Gurira.
Growing up, she was nicknamed Dede and only found out her real name was actually Danai when she was 5. The self-proclaimed Zimerican (Zimbabwean and American) actress actually wanted to be an activist and not an actress. At the time, the theatre was just a hobby. She made her debut in 7th grade as the title character, in the Zimbabwean play, My Uncle Grey Bhonzo. Gurira attended Dominican Convent High School, Zimbabwe but returned to America for college. She attended Macalester College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She further obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA in Acting) from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Danai Gurira is also a writer who has written four plays – a trilogy In The Continuum (2005), Eclipsed (2009), The Convert (2012) as well as Familiar (2012). While at NYU, she wrote her own monologues, which eventually bloomed into her first play, In the Continuum. She was nominated for a 2007 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for In the Continuum. The second of the trilogy – Eclipsed – is a Tony-nominated play, which starred her Black Panther co-star Lupita Nyong’o, becoming the first to feature an all-black female cast and creative team on Broadway in 2016. Her dramatic writing in The Convert earned Gurira a Whiting Award.
Danai Gurira has made appearances on shows such as Treme, Law & Order, Lie to Me, American Experience, and Life on Mars. She has also appeared in movies such as The Visitor (which earned her 2008 Best Supporting Actress award at the Method Fest), 3 Backyards, Ghost Town, American Experience, My Soul to Take, All Eyez on Me, Restless City, and Ma’ George.
Gurira made her claim to fame as the zombie-slayer Michonne in the enormously popular show The Walking Dead (2012). Her role as the fierce katana-wielding survivor consolidated her star status and also made her a household name. But her role as the kick-butt General Okoye in Marvel’s 2018 smash hit movie, Black Panther where she depicted a fearless feminine strength made her an icon. Gurira will be reprising Okoye for “Avengers: Infinity War. She also has an upcoming untitled film about elephant poaching in South Africa that will be produced by Jessica Chastain.
From making waves in the theatre world to ensuring her voice is heard by speaking out about violence against women, the Black Panther star is an activist who manages to balance activism and acting. Gurira’s career is built on female empowerment, paving the way for legions of females to follow. She is at the creative forefront of the modern women’s movement.
She co-founded Almasi Arts Inc. a nonprofit organization devoted to “see[ing] the Zimbabwean dramatic artists developed to their fullest capacity” and Love Our Girls a nonprofit organization that seeks to “validate our girls and women globally and lessens the gender gap inch by inch”. She also participates in other programs.
Danai Gurira who speaks four languages: French, Shona, Xhosa, and English has taught acting and playwriting in Liberia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The seasoned actress has appeared in several movies, TV shows as well as stage performances in the course of her career. Her current net worth is estimated to be $500,000, a value which is expected to grow in the near future following her continued success in the entertainment industry. The recent super-hero movie, Black Panther was a big hit which has grossed well over $727 million worldwide. Considering the success of the movie, the Black Panther star is expected to land bigger Hollywood roles and enhance her net worth.
Is Danai Gurira Married? Husband or Boyfriend
The 5 ft 6 in (1.70 m) tall actress is presumably one of those stars who love to keep their personal lives under wraps or she is just too busy with her career to date anyone as there are no records of her past relationships. Danai Gurira is possibly single. However, in 2015, she was rumored to have dated her co-star in The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus. This speculation was prompted after Norman Reedus locked lips with Gurira while on the set. But the Black Panther star has left her fans wallowing in their speculations as she has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.
Gurira is an active sportswoman who maintains a healthy and balanced physique. She loves swimming, playing tennis, fields’ hockey and running track. She lives in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.