Danai Gurira

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Actress, Playwright
Danai Gurira
Danai Jekesai Gurira
Born Danai Jekesai Gurira
(1978-02-14) February 14, 1978 (age 38)
Grinnell, Iowa, USA
Nationality Zimbabwe
Education Macalester College, Tisch School of the Arts
  • Actress
  • Playwright
Years active 2004 to present
Known for Acting
Parents Roger Gurira (father) and Josephine Gurira (mother)

Danai Gurira is an actress, playwright and a producer who is based in the United State of America (USA) who rose to fame in 2004 when she starred in a drama series Law and Order: Criminal Intent. From then onwards, Danai has been a force to reckon with, producing, directing and starring in many films. She has also won many accolades.


Danai a born Danai Jekesai Gurira on 14 February 1978 in Grinnell, Iowa City in USA.[1] Her father, Roger Gurira was a chemistry professor and her mother Josephine Gurira was a librarian. Danai's family relocated to Zimbabwe in 1983 after having been reading in USA for almost to decade.[1]


Danai stated that she started acting at 13 after when attended a Children' Performing Art workshop.[2] From then onward, Danai never looked back. After finishing her high school studies, Danai relocated back to USA. She started to focus on her acting career after graduating from Macalester College with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology.[2] She was enrolled at Tisch School of the Arts.[2]

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In 2004, Danai launched her professional career as an actress when she starred in a drama series, Law and Order: Criminal Intent. The following year, she co-authored, In the Continuum and also starred in the play. She won several awards for her role in the play.[2] In 2007, she starred in the film, The Visitor and her popularity on screen increased.[1] Danai is mostly celebrated for her role in the American television series, The Walking dead in which she stars as Michonne who is always engaging in long and running battles with zombies. She is set to appear in the new Marvel Comics movie Black Panther as Okoye who is described as the leader of the Dora Milaje which is the elite Wakandan security force. The movie is set for a July 6, 2018 release.[3]

Philanthropic work

In 2011, she co-founded an organisation called Almosi with the aim of promoting the growth of arts in Zimbabwe.[2]


  1. Obie Award for her play In the Continuum and Outer Critic Circle Award (2006)
  2. Black Reel Aard for Best Actress (2013)


  1. Law and Order: Criminal Intent (2004)
  2. In the Continuum (2005)
  3. The Visitor (2007)
  4. Ghost Town (2008)
  5. Come and Gone, Life on Mars (2009)
  6. 3 Yard, My Soul to Take (2010)
  7. Treme, Restless City (2011)
  8. The Convert, Treme, The Walking Dead (2012)
  9. Mother of George (2013)
  10. Familiar (2015)
  11. Black Panther (2018)


Danai was selected to read Lynn Nottage's play Foundation (The Re-introduction of Udire) in New York, USA and Kudzai Sevenzo was selected to be part of this event.[4]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 About Danai Gurira, FaceBook, Published:2010,Retrieved:28 January 2015"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 AP Gurira: Zim helped shape theatre passion, New Zimbabwe, Published:6 Jan 2014, Retrieved: 28 Jan 2015"
  3. Megan Peters, Danai Gurira Cast In Black Panther, Comic Book, published: July 23, 2016, retrieved: July 25, 2016
  4. , Sophia Chese Sevenzo stars in Danai Gurira's new production, The Herald, Published:28 Jan 2015,Retrieved:28 January 2015"