Danai Gurira at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards

Danai Gurira speaks out on inspiration

Langalakhe Mabena
CHARITY begins at home.

Thata��s how Danai Gurira was raised by her grandmother who was eventually her first show business audience. Born and having spent her early years up to the age of ten in Harare, before taking on the world, everyday Danai had something for her granny.

a�?I grew up with a grandma who didna��t let us (with her siblings) leave the house without a speech or a song,a�? she said at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards last week.

Part of Danaia��s early audience was an American crew that also had Susan Taylor a�� an American editor, writer, and journalist.

She served as editor-in-chief of Essence from 1981 through 2000. In 1994, American LibrariesA� referred to Taylor as a�?the most influential black woman in journalism today.a�?

In front of Taylor all that granny taught Danai came alive.

a�?The woman (Taylor) whom I entertained performing in front of her at the age of nine back then in Harare, Ia��m today honoured in a magazine she edited for after thirty one years,a�? she added.

Gurira who was driven by obstacles she faced when she was young to become a strong woman. She also thanked other women who were part of the Black Panther cast including Kenyan Lupita Nyonga��o.

a�?Leading an army of women in the movie must inspire all sisters because that is a highlight that any woman can be a leader,a�? she said.

As the Zimbabwean culture is still flowing in her veins, the Harare-bred closed her nine-minute speech with a Shona word a�?Pamberia�?, meaning going forward.