Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira is an American actress of Zimbabwean heritage

Best known today for her portrayal of Michonne in the hit TV series The Walking Dead, I believe we will see & hear a lot more of the talented Ms Gurira.

The Gurira Family

Danai Jekesai Gurira was born on  Valentines Day,1978 in Iowa. Both her parents, Josephine Gurira & Roger Gurira were born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The family moved to the USA in 1964 where Danai was born, but returned to live in Harare after Zimbabwean independence in 1983. Danai, the youngest of 4 children was 5 years old at the time & she grew up in Zimbabwe.

Schooling in Harare

Danai graduated from the Dominican Convent High School in Harare. DC, as it is known locally, is a private Catholic day school that was founded by an Irish nun, Mother Patrick in 1892. A museum dedicated to Mother Patrick can be found in what was the grounds of a hospital she founded, now the Mukwati Building on Fourth Street that once housed the old mortuary.

Dorris Lessing – the Nobel Prize Laureate 2007, Maggie Chapman – Rector of the University of Aberdeen & Scottish Green Party fame & Kirsty Coventry – Olympic Gold Medalist 2008 attended the same school.


The actress currently lives in the United States. Her acting career has included various tv roles in Law & Order-Criminal Intent, Life on Mars (US), Law & Order, Lie to Me & 6 episodes of Treme. She has appeared in a number of movies, & been nominated for many awards including the Black Reel Award that has been won by Halle Berry.

Other achievements

Eclipsed. Danai wrote this 2015 play  about a group of women surviving near the end of the Liberian Civil War. The play made Broadway as the first to consist of an all black & female creative cast. Eclipsed won Danai the Playwrite Award during the Lilly Award for 2016. The play itself received many nominations & won other awards. The theme of telling women’s stories in modern-day war zones is highly topical & sadly set to grow as ever more real-life drama is being played out on a daily basis around the world.


Michonne’s character continues into Season 7 of the Walking Dead. The katana wielding mother who lost her family becomes a vital part of the group that battles to survive in a world filled with flesh-eating walkers – Zombie type ex-humans who walk without thought & have one urge, to eat current humans.

The aim of this article is not to tell the story of the Walking Dead, but simply to highlight the success of a woman with deep connections to the land of her heritage.

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