Celebrity Interviews

Uzo Aduba on Refusing to Change Her Nigerian Name & “Orange is the New Black”

By Zaida Diaz

Emmy award-winning actress Uzo Aduba, from the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, stopped by Sway in the Morning to talk about season 5. She also breaks down what it was like to grow up in a traditional Nigerian household, alongside a powerful and selfless mother. “This is a woman that has poured everything into her children and still does – she’s my hero.”

She recalls that as a child she was teased about her Nigerian name Uzoamaka (meaning “the rhode is good“), therefore asked her mother to call her Zoe. Her mother’s response: “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky, then they can learn to say Uzoamaka.” As Udaba grew older she learned to wear her name with the upmost pride.

The actress tells us about how she was chosen for the part of “Crazy Eyes” as well as shares her favorite part from the latest season of OITNB.

During our interview, we also learned about Aduba’s background as an opera singer. Watch below as she sings live in studio.


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