5 Actresses Of African Descent Making Moves In Hollywood

More and more African Actresses are getting recognition for their hard work in Hollywood and across the global film scene. Here are 5 of them who inspire us every day. 

1. Lupita Nyong’o

Photo: @lupitanyongo, Instagram.

Lupita Amondi Nyong’o was born in Mexico City on 1st March 1983 to Kenyan parents with dual citizenship. Her family returned to Kenya when she was a year old and raised her there. She studied at Hampshire College, Massachusetts for her Bachelor of Arts degree and at Yale University for her Masters. She broke out in Nollywood with 12 Years A Slave (2013), and since then, she has featured in movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Queen of Katwe (2016), Black Panther (2018), Little Monsters (2019) and Us (2019), among others. She has also been nominated for and won numerous awards for her groundbreaking roles in these movies.

2. Yvonne Orji

Photo: Pinterest.

Yvonne Anuli Orji is a Nigerian-American actress and comedian. She plays the much-talked-about role of Molly in the television series, Insecure.  This role got her several nominations including the Primetime Emmy Award and three NAACP Image Awards. Before Insecure, she starred in the comedy film, Night School, alongside Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. She’s also the creator and star of HBO Special, Momma, I Made It.


3. Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Photo: @gugumbatharaw, Instagram.


Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha Raw was born to a black South African doctor and a white English nurse. She’s an English actress well versed in British television and stage productions. She has appeared in movies and series like Doctor Who (2007), Larry Crowne (2011), Belle (2013), Beyond The Lights (2014), among others. She also featured in an episode of Black Mirror’s Season Three (2016). She has been nominated for and has won multiple awards for her roles in movies, series and stage productions.


4. Chipo Chung

Photo: @chipo.chung, Instagram.

Chipo Chung was born to a Chinese mother and Zimbabwean father. She spent the first two years of her life in refugee camps in Mozambique and was raised in Harare. At eighteen, she moved to the United States. Today, She’s an actress and activist based in London. She has appeared in movies and series like Proof (2005), The Last Enemy (2008), In The Loop (2009), Camelot (2011), Into The Badlands (2015-2019) among others.


5. Carmen Ejogo

Photo: Pinterest.

Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo is an English actress and singer who was born to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father in 1973. She began her career as the host of the Saturday Disney morning show from 1993 to 1995. However, she is best known for her roles in Selma (2014), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), True Detective (2014), Sparkle (2012) and recently, Netflix series Self Made (2020). Her role in Selma earned her two awards for Best and most outstanding supporting actresses. 

Big ups to these amazing African Actresses showcasing Africa’s creativity in Hollywood. We have no choice but to stan!

Read 12 really interesting facts about Angelique Kidjo. 

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