Discover 5 talented American actresses who are proudly Nigerian! Learn about their heritage, career achievements, and cultural influence.
We’ll take a deep dive into the lives of five remarkable women who have not only embraced their Nigerian roots but also made a name for themselves in Hollywood. From Uzo Aduba to Yvonne Orji, these women have blazed trails and inspired many with their talent and unwavering pride in their heritage.
Uzoamaka Nwanneka Aduba, better known as Uzo Aduba in Hollywood and around the world, is a Hollywood actress best known for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black.
This role earned her an Emmy in 2014 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, an Emmy in 2015 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2014 and 2015 for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series.
Uzo is very proud to be Nigerian and has given talks all over the world about how she is proud of her very Igbo name. She also made national headlines when she spoke in Igbo during her appearance on the Stephen Colbert show. She has since gone on to speak Igbo on red carpets, on social media, and anywhere else she can.
Jane Chika Oranika, better known by her stage name Chika, is an American rapper, model, and actress. Dr. Emmanual Oranika and Dr. Patience Otuonye Oranika gave birth to her on March 9, 1997. Her father worked for the Alabama Department of Transportation, and her mother was an Adjunct Professor at Auburn University. She has two sisters, Judy and Michelle Oranika.
She is proud to be of Igbo origin.
Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke, also known as Megalyn E.K., is an American actress best known for her roles in films and television shows such as 24, ER, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 90210, and House of Lies.
Ebubennem Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke was born in Spokane, Washington, to Igbo Nigerian father Onigwe Echikunwoke 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 was shot and contracted hepatitis B. He died later of liver cancer caused by the gunshot wounds.
Megalyn is an Igbo woman.
Yvonne Orji is an Igbo woman. She even said it herself in an Instagram post commemorating Nigeria’s independence day, writing:
I am an Igbo lady. Greetings, my name is Yvonne Anwuli Adaeze Orji. I AM PROUD TO BE NIGERIAN. ?????? #NaijaNoDeyCarryLast #AtAllAtAll #HappyIndependenceDay
Yvonne is proud to be Igbo and Nigerian, and her love of the culture shines through in her interviews, standup, talks, and everything else she does.
Yvonne is a proud Igbo woman.
Kerry Washington is an Igbo woman. When she married Nnamdi Asomugha in 2013, she became a proud Igbo Nigerian by marriage.
Kerry has carried Nigerian pride on her head more than many other Nigerian-by-birth American celebrities since becoming an Igbo Nigerian through marriage. On Uzo Aduba’s birthday, for example, Kerry wished her a happy birthday in Igbo, and Uzo responded in Igbo as well.
Kerry congratulated Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji in Igbo as well as English.