3 Inspiring Ways Uzo Aduba Was Influenced By Her Mother


Uzoamaka Aduba is a Nigerian-American actress. She is best known for her role as crazy eyes in Orange is the new Black. The multi-talented, two-time Emmy award winner hails from Achi in Enugu State. She has done so well for herself- even beating Beyonce to earn roles in movie.

These are three things you probably never knew about her mother’s influence on her:

Her mother never wanted her to change her name

Growing up amongst white folks, a young Uzoamaka considered changing her name but her mother put her feet firmly down. She shares the story in an interview with

“So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, “Why?” I said, “Nobody can pronounce it.” Without missing a beat, she said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”

Her parents insisted on excellence

Uzoamaka has always displayed excellence in her career. In an interview with Uptown, she sheds light on how her family influenced that part of her

“My parents were less interested in what the pursuit was, so long as you pursued it with excellence. That is really the Nigerian mentality: putting your best self into it. It does not about being number one, but no Nigerian parent will ever complain about that!”

Her mother had a strong philosophy about hard work

In another interview with Uptown Magazine, she tells about how that kept her going during the dark days of her career.

‘My mother used to say I have never heard of nothing coming from hard work. I don’t know when it will come, but it will come.’”

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