Igbo kwenu! We all know that a number of successful actors, actresses, musicians, and entertainers all over the globe are actually Nigerian. I have done about three posts in the past about Hollywood celebrities you never knew are Nigerian and if you’re interested in reading those posts, you can find some at the bottom of this post.
Today, I decided to go more precise and count down 5 Hollywood Actresses You May Not Know are Actually Igbo. Are you ready to find out who they are? Then let’s go!
1. Uzo Aduba
Uzoamaka Nwanneka Aduba popularly known in Hollywood and around the world as Uzo Aduba is a Hollywood actress most popular for playing the role of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. This role earned her an Emmy award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015.
Uzo is very proudly Nigerian and has given talks around the world about how she is proud of her very Igbo name and she also made national headlines when on her appearance during the Stephen Colbert show, she spoke in Igbo. She has gone on to speak Igbo during red carpets, on social media, and everywhere she seems she can.
Jane Chika Oranika known professionally as Chika, is an American rapper, model, and actress. She was born on March 9, 1997 to parents Dr. Emmanual Oranika and Dr. Patience Otuonye Oranika. Her father served in the Alabama Department of Transportation and her mother worked as Adjunct Professor at Auburn University, also she has two sisters named Judy Oranika and Michelle Oranika. She is proudly of Igbo descent.
3. Megalyn Echikunwoke
Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke, born May 28, 1983, also known as Megalyn E.K., is an American actress, known primarily for her roles in movies and series such as 24, ER and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 90210 and House of Lies.
Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke was born in Spokane, Washington, to Onigwe Echikunwoke, an Igbo Nigerian father, and Anita Laurie, an American of European descent. Her father, an immigrant to the United States, was a survivor of the Nigerian Civil War, during which he suffered gunshot wounds that resulted in him contracting hepatitis B. He later died of liver cancer stemming from the gunshot wounds. Megalyn is proudly Igbo.
4. Yvonne Orji
Yvonne Orji is a proud Igbo. She even said it herself in an Instagram post on Nigeria’s independence day where she wrote:
I am an Igbo woman. I am Yvonne Anwuli Adaeze Orji. I am PROUDLY NIGERIAN. 💪🏾🇳🇬👊🏾#HappyIndependenceDay #NaijaNoDeyCarryLast #AtAllAtAll
Yvonne loves being Igbo and Nigerian and her love of the culture has come out in her interviews, her standup, her talks, everything.
Yvonne is very proudly Igbo.
5. Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington is proudly Igbo. When she in 2013 married her husband Nnamdi Asomugha, she became a proud Igbo Nigerian by marriage.
Since becoming an Igbo Nigerian through Marriage, Kerry has carried the Nigerian pride on her head more than a lot of other Nigerian-by-birth American celebrities. For example, on Uzo Aduba’s birthday, Kerry wished her happy birthday in Igbo and Uzo responded too in Igbo.
When congratulating Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji, Kerry also congratulated her in Igbo.
When she posted a picture with Yvonne Orji on her birthday, Kerry captioned the picture:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! To this hilarious, talented, brilliant burst of energy and light…@yvonneorji. Even though you troll me for my directing tactics, love you big time my Naija sis.
It is very clear that Kerry Washington really loves being a Nigerian woman. Nne, we welcome you!