Ini Dima-Okojie wasn’t always famous—but that’s about to change. The Nigerian-born comedian has been steadily building his reputation as a stand-up, starting with the Laugh Factory in Hollywood in 2011 and moving on to the international comedy festival Just For Laughs in Montreal this past summer. In addition to the acclaim, he was recently cast as one of the stars of Jordan Peele’s new TV show, Key & Peele, which airs Wednesdays at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central.
4 Things you might not know about her
1. Ini Dima-Okojie has come a long way from her days as one of Forbes’s 25 under 25, but she didn’t get to where she is without some incredible work ethic and ambition. When asked what goals she still wants to reach in her life, she answered I want us all to be successful, meaning not just herself, but people around her and those who are invested in her success. 2. On top of being an award-winning actress, Ini also has an interest in advocacy and philanthropy. She told Complex that she founded her company, I Am More Than Me, to tell stories about young girls in Nigeria. 3. One thing you might not know about this incredibly talented woman is that even though she might have played Viola Davis’ daughter on How To Get Away With Murder, they’re only 12 years apart! 4. Did you know that Ini is Nigerian? That means if you don’t know anything else about her already, you should make sure to watch Black Panther when it comes out because it will star Michael B Jordan (and Lupita Nyong’o).
How she got her start
Ini Dima-Okojie was born in London but raised in both Nigeria and South Africa. She started acting as a child before going on to graduate from NYU with a degree in theater. Since then, she’s appeared on TV shows like The Killing and HBO’s True Blood. However, her breakout performance came as Amanda Waller’s bodyguard and right-hand woman in the 2016 film Suicide Squad. Though many people might not have recognized her face, they’re sure to recognize her voice: Ini provided the voice of Abigail in Disney’s Oscar-winning animated movie Zootopia.
Other things you may not know
Since starting on YouTube in 2006, Ini has gathered over 2.6 million subscribers and over 690 million views! That’s a lot of followers! She’s got a diverse catalog of videos including make-up tutorials, product reviews, health & fitness tips, and more. Other than her social media success, she also had an acting role in 2012’s Paperboy starring Jaden Smith and Zac Efron. Who knew that there was so much to know about this breakout star?
What’s next for her?
The future for Ini is bright with her breakout role on the OWN hit drama series Greenleaf. She has since taken on various roles in both television and film, including a leading role as Motown founder Berry Gordy’s youngest daughter, Diana Ross. Due to this turn of events, we will continue to see her flourish and become one of Hollywood’s newest darlings. What is next for Ini? Well at this point it seems like anything goes! With all these new acting gigs, who knows what she could be up to next? From TV to Film, there are so many possibilities and I am excited to see what she does with them all. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from her soon enough!
Here’s how to get involved with INIxFashionWeek
Launched in 2015, INIxFashionWeek was an event conceived by fashion designer Ini Dima-Okojie. Its purpose was to create awareness for and showcase emerging designers of African descent. However, in 2016, INIxFashionWeek transformed into a platform for high-end designers, artists, and influencers from all over the world who are paving the way for diversity and multiculturalism. They did this by partnering with key players in the industry such as Brooklyn Museum, AIGA Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art NY/NMAH Smithsonian Institution Washington DC, and many more. They also invited designers including Christian Siriano (the winner of Project Runway), Dion Lee (Hong Kong Fashion Designer), and Lazaro Hernandez (creative director at Carolina Herrera). Their goal? To spark discussions about race relations, representation, and inclusion in fashion while celebrating cultural achievements through design.