Written by Oluwabukunmi Akinshipe | Cover Photo by John Russo

Born in 1987 in Stockwell, London to Nigerian parents, Cynthia Erivo has over the years gone on to build a successful career as actress, songwriter and singer.

An alumna of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she starred as ‘Celie’ in the 2015 Broadway revival of the critically-acclaimed movie  ‘The Color Purple’.

As a result of her astonishing performance, in 2016,  she won a Tony for her role in the movie and a Grammy (for the cast album) and would later go on to win a daytime Emmy award.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Cynthia Erivo is also well-known for having portrayed the title role in ‘Harriet’, a 2019 biographical film about American abolitionist Harriet Tubman and this led to her Academy Award nominations for Best Actress.

She is an award-winning Grammy, Emmy and Tony actress and only a step away from being the youngest EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards) winner. 

Singer-Songwriter, she also received another nomination for ‘Best Original Song’ for a song she co-wrote and performed for the film ‘Harriet’ titled “Stand Up”. She, alongside other cast members, sang the score for North America’s third highest-grossing musical ever; The Greatest Showman.

She is popularly known for her roles in 2018 ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ and ‘Widows’.

Having realised that she got physically and emotionally consumed by certain roles, Cynthia Erivo took to physical fitness as a form of cleansing. She felt it was essential for her in the process of healing her body and mind, and returning it to normal. She acknowledges how important it is to continuously remind herself that it is only a role and not actually a part of her.


Erivo proudly associates with her Nigerian heritage as is seen on her social media platforms and is proof that when Nigerians set their minds to achieve something, they go and get it done. 

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