We may not be aware, but quite a lot of celebrities were born in Africa. Some of them moved to Europe or the US with their families while some of them still reside in their home country.

Nevertheless, all of them had significant impacts on the society both with their brilliant works and their volunteering activities that raised awareness among millions.

If you are a big fan of the Walking Dead, one of your favorite characters would be Michonne, the savage survivor chopping zombies with her katana.

Danai Jekesai Gurira, who brought life to Michonne, was born in 1978 to Zimbabwean parents. Although she was born in Grinnell, Iowa, she moved back to Harare, Zimbabwe at the age of five with her parents.

Photo Credit: Danai Gurira

She returned to the United States to study psychology, followed by a Master of Fine Arts in acting at NYU. Following her graduation, she returned to Africa to teach playwriting and acting in Liberia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

During those years, she mainly wrote theater plays involving women empowerment. Her acting debut on theater wasn’t until 2009, when she took part in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone on Broadway. She received the Whiting Award in 2012 as an emerging playwright.

She first starred in the drama film The Visitor in 2007 and appeared in other films such as Ghost Town, 3 Backyards and My Soul to Take. Her TV breakthrough was in 2012 when she joined the cast of AMC’s the Walking Dead as the relentless Michonne.

She also appeared in independent films as well as motion captures such as Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.

She founded Almasi Arts Inc in 2011 to encourage arts education in Zimbabwe. She is currently the Executive Artistic Director.

In addition, she founded a non-profit organization Love Our Girls in order to address the inequality and problems faced by women in Africa and throughout the world. As of 2018, she has been selected as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

Happy Birthday Danai Gurira