#WCW: Sophie Okonedo [Profiling Nigerians in Hollywood]

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InfoNubia’s special feature for #WCW [Woman Crush Wednesday] is Sophie Okonedo.

Ms. Okonedo is the daughter of a Nigerian father and an Ashkenazi Jewish mother. Unfortunately, her father left them when she was five years old; so, she was raised by her single mom in relative poverty. She held on to her mother’s Jewish faith.

Okonedo has acted in many movies, including some iconic ones like Hotel Rwanda, The Secret Life of Bees, After Earth, Aeon Flux, and Mrs Mandela. She has featured in some TV shows including the BBC’s The Escape Artist, The Slap, Oliver Twist, Criminal Justice, Scream of the Shalka, Father & Son, etc.

Sophie okenedo

Her list of awards include:Academy Awards – 2004 Best Actress nomination; Black Reel Awards – 2005 Best Actress-Drama (Hotel Rwanda); Image Awards – 2007, Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie/Mini-Series (Tsunami: the Aftermath); Hollywood Film Festival – 2008, Ensemble Acting of the Year (The Secret Life of Bees); and Tony Awards – 2014, Best Featured Actress in a Play (A Raisin in the Sun).

She received an OBE in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honors. She’s also been nominated for several awards including the Golden Globes, British Independent Film Awards, BAFTA TV Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Sophie okenedo

INTERESTING FACTS: Sophie Okonedo has one daughter from a previous relationship (‘Aoife’). She said once, “I feel as proud to be Jewish as I feel to be black” and calls her daughter an “Irish, Nigerian Jew”.

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