CHAMPIONS of Africa: Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira is an American actress and playwright of Zimbabwean descent, best known for her role as Michonne on The Walking Dead, an AMC television horror drama series, and as the writer of the Tony Award-winning play Eclipsed. It stars Lupita Nyong’o and was the first play to premiere on Broadway with an all female and black cast and creative team.

In March 2012, AMC announced on a live broadcast that Gurira would join the cast of The Walking Dead, the highest rated series in cable television history, in its third season. Gurira plays Michonne, a katana-wielding character who joins a close-knit group in an apocalyptic world. Together they are forced to relentlessly fight flesh-eating zombies and certain of the few surviving humans, some of whom are even more diabolical and dangerous than the zombies themselves. Gurira had to learn how to ride horses for the show, which she enjoyed because it was a physical challenge.

She currently lives in Los Angeles, and speaks four languages: French, Shona, basic Xhosa, and English. She has taught playwriting and acting in Liberia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.