Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Danai’s dilemma

By Bridget Mananavire

Black Panther star Danai Jekesai Gurira has opened up about the struggles she went through trying to accept her Zimbabwean heritage, until the time she adopted both America and Zimbabwe, hence calling herself a Zimerican.

Danai Gurira as Okoye in Black Panther
Danai Gurira as Okoye in Black Panther

Gurira in one of her write-ups in Glamour said after being told of her real name at the age of five, she refused to be called by that name.

“Both Zimbabwe and America resonate in me in equally significant parts and can’t be extricated from each other,” Gurira said.

She moved to Zimbabwe when she was five years old and held on to her American identity.

“There (are) a lot of ways that I was being influenced by that culture, but there comes a point when you’re like, ‘wait a minute, what is so wrong with what we’ve got going on already’? And why is it so diminished even in our own eyes, on our own land?” she says in an article by bustle.com

She said it was not until she was in her teens that she began to question why she was so determined to reject her heritage.

“To me at this point, it’s just so clear. Why would you not find value in all the stunning things that are of you?” she says.

“There’s such a fascinating exploration to embark upon once you have embraced your truth and the truth of your people, your heritage, and your history.

“And then you realise that you have a very particular role to play in perpetuating even more of your people’s greatness.

“You don’t actually have time to dally about in other people’s idea of greatness and diminishing of you. You don’t have time for that.”

“There are some esteem issues that come with the assault of being colonised and being dominated and being marginalised. But we have to push through those and embrace and immerse ourselves in the stunningness that is of us,” Gurira was quoted.

“You have to get on that one man boat and go out into the raging storm until you get to the break of a new day.

“You have to get to the point where it’s like this is not truth, and consequently it is no longer going to be my truth. And now I’m going to embrace the power of who I am and where I’m from.” DailyNews