‘I realize that people don’t realize that I am Nigerian, I am Nigerian, Igbo kwenu! Ahah!’
Cynthia Erivo has been nominated in the best lead actress category for her astral performance in Harriet Tubman biopic ‘Harriet’ and a second nomination in the category of the best original song for ‘stand up’ the soundtrack for Harriet. The British actress is currently the only person of colour to have been nominated this year, guess you didn’t know she’s Nigerian.
Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo grew up in a proud Nigerian household where Igbo and English were spoken freely, she was raised by her mum Edith Erivo, a nurse who always knew her daughter was destined for the stage. Her father who was barely in the picture disowned Erivo at age 16. Erivo got all her support from her mother and sister who are both in the health field.
She made her Broadway debut in 2015 playing Celie in The Color Purple, a bestselling African-American classic which got her a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award and a Daytime Emmy Award. She also got a Grammy Award for The Color Purple Best Musical Theatre Album in 2016.
The self-proclaimed fitness fanatic is also a recording artist, she has co-written and performed “Fly Before You Fall” the soundtrack to the American musical drama Beyond the Light. She also performed God only knows a tribute to musicians who had died over the past years alongside John Legend at the 59th annual Grammy Award In February 2017.
What do all these nominations mean?
Cynthia might now become the 2nd Black actress to win an Oscar for a lead role since Halle Berry in 2001. Cynthia Erivo could become the youngest person to receive the honour of having an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT) a privilege only a few in the Entertainment industry can boast of.
We are extremely excited for her and can’t wait to see her walk that stage to win that Award!
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