#WCW Danai Gurira, Protector Of The ‘Black Panther’
Known for being the katana wielding and kick-ass action hero on hit television series The Walking Dead, Danai Gurira is a gem that shines and gives hope to Zimbabwean actors. When she is not slaying Zombies as Michonne, this talented woman is also a playwright. She has some big productions to her name which include In The Continuum and The Convert.
Born Danai Jekesai Gurira, she is the daughter of a lecturer Roger Gurira and librarian Josephine. Danai was born in 1978 in the United States after her parents had moved of there. She then returned to Zimbabwe to do her high school at Dominican Convent in Harare, after which she moved back stateside to further her studies bagging a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the New York University. Having created her name in the stage play circles with some of her plays making it to Broadway, she finally got acclamation for her role in The Walking Dead. She was cast into the upcoming biopic depicting the great Hip Hop legend, Tupac as his mother Afeni Shakur in the upcoming movie All Eyez On Me.
However the most interesting role that Danai has been cast into is that of Okoye in the Marvel blockbuster-in-making, Black Panther. She plays the leader of the ‘Dora Milaje’ who are the personal bodyguards of the Black Panther (not that he cannot protect himself!). We have already seen how deadly the Dora Milaje can be in Captain America: Civil War, where on of them, Ayo (potrayed Ugandan born actress Florence Kasumba) instructs Black Widow to, “Move or be moved!” We sure can’t wait how Danai will fit perfectly into this Africa ‘inspired’ superhero movie!
Being selected to portray a character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a great honour for anyone in the acting business and it is special for us as a Zimbabwean actress is managing to breakout in an industry previously guarded for traditional ‘American’ actors. In Black Panther, Danai will star alongside ‘black’ Hollywood heavweights who include Micheal B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o. Arnold Chirisa is one of the few actors who also managed to break into the limelight with his role as Man Friday in Crusoe and also a cameo role in Sleepy Hollow.
February 2018 which has been set as the release date for Black Panther is seemingly a long way off. The featuring of Danai in it will really drive the horde of ever-growing Zimbabwean Marvel fans to the cinema. It’s going to be lit!