If you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, you need to stop what you’re doing and get your ticket now! If you have seen it, then chances are you fell in love with the general of the Dora Milaje, Okoye. She was portrayed by Danai Gurira who played Michonne on the hit AMC show The Walking Dead and has also starred in Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead and Into the Badlands. Here are ten things you might not know about Okoye and her actor Danai Gurira. 10 Things you didn’t know about Okoye from Black Panther
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1) Okoye’s backstory
As an infant, she and her brother were sold by their father to T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka. As such, she has been a part of Wakanda since birth. She was chosen to serve in an elite group called Dora Milaje that served as personal bodyguards to members of the royal family. Every member is trained in unarmed combat and various weapons of war, making them one of Wakanda’s fiercest fighting forces.
2) Dress like her (OK…I couldn’t resist!) 10 Things you didn’t know about Okoye from Black Panther
Wearing all black helps Okoye exude a formidable aura, but it’s also practical. Whether she’s riding horseback or battling enemies, there are no visible straps or clasps in her ensemble. Despite her impressive stature, she looks comfortable and moves with ease. The key to making any outfit look professional is creating some visual contrast, whether it be through color or texture—the print of her waistcoat keeps things interesting without sacrificing function.
3) Appearance is important but attitude rules
In Marvel’s universe, Okoye is actually a villain named Nakia. In an alternate reality, however, she became General of Wakanda’s elite team of female warriors known as Dora Milaje and totally changed her ways. To be fair, it wasn’t just because she felt bad for killing a man – she was swayed by T’Challa himself. The king had convinced her that what made someone truly good or evil was not their looks but their attitude.
4) She knows how to lead 10 Things you didn’t know about Okoye from Black Panther
If a king or queen were ever to fall in battle, it would be up to her to take over, as she’s next in line. This is why her character has such an impact on audiences—Okoye knows how to lead with confidence and conviction, despite not having any formal training in politics or governance. We don’t want her to become queen (we like T’Challa), but we admire that she can step up if she has to.
5) She has an accent and is proud of it
Gurira uses her native South African accent when playing Okoye, which she incorporated even before landing a role in Black Panther. I do it all the time, she told reporters during a visit to Marvel Studios earlier in 2018. Even if it’s just with my friends or someone that I went to school with or even people who are native to where I’m from.
6) She can be sensitive but she doesn’t take shit 10 Things you didn’t know about Okoye from Black Panther
The Oscar winner has played fierce female warriors in both Black Panther and Gone Girl, but she admits that there’s one major difference between her warrior characters: In real life, I am not like [Okoye]. I am much more sensitive. In my role as an actor, I have to access a certain type of strength. There is an audience out there that is like her.
7) Her sense of humor gets her through tough times
During a press junket, actress Danai Gurira revealed that she based her character, General Okoye of Wakanda’s all-female special forces, on her mother. My mom is funny as hell, she said. She can take any situation and make a joke out of it.
8) She makes her own way in life and career
As a young woman in a male-dominated nation, it’s unlikely that she would have been able to fight her way into her position as general of Dora Milaje. However, she was able to train hard and become as powerful an ally for T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as he is for Wakanda. The plot makes it clear that training together has made her his equal.
9) She helps people find their place in Wakanda
Okoye is one of T’Challa’s most trusted advisors, and she does much more than just protect his throne. The general and war chief to Wakanda’s king helps people find their place in their country—as well as serving as a protector of justice who fights for what is right.
10) She does not allow anyone to give up on themselves.
In an interview with Bustle, actress Danai Gurira revealed that one of her favorite things about her character is how she never allows anybody to give up on themselves. This quality is particularly poignant because if anyone in Wakanda has a right to feel hopeless, it’s General Okoye (for reasons I will elaborate on later). Instead of giving up, though, she finds solutions and fights for change. We can all learn something from her example. (source)
How to Make a Cosplay-Ready Dora Milaje Costume
As Danai Gurira’s character Okoye once said in the movie Black Panther, I am the general of the Dora Milaje, and you will respect me as such. Gurira’s portrayal of Okoye demonstrates the essence of what it means to be part of this fictional group of elite women warriors who serve as King T’Challa’s bodyguards. If you want to channel your inner Okoye and make an epic Okoye costume, here are some tips on how to do so!
Step 1: Buy a plain catsuit 10 Things you didn’t know about Okoye from Black Panther
The first step of making your own cosplay costume is to buy a plain black catsuit. Although there are many options out there, I’d recommend one from Spandex World or another high-quality seller of stretchy items. If you want something very similar, however, you can also look for dance leotards at local dance supply stores.
Step 2: Add your own embellishments
Beads, feathers, and other embellishments can add personality and style to your DIY cosplay. The right additions can take a basic look from good to great—or elevate an already amazing costume into next-level territory. Here are our top sources for inexpensive but fun add-ons
Step 3: Go Shopping for All the Accessories
If you want your costume to look like Okoye’s, then you’ll need all these pieces: 1 x boots (like Chelsea Tactical Boots from Amazon), 1 x army green jacket (like USA Army Field Jacket from Amazon), 2 x fingerless gloves with studs on them (like these Black Tactical Boot Gloves from Amazon), 1 x army green pants, 1 x body armor top, 1 x patterned scarf, and 2 x beaded necklaces.
Step 4: Learn how to do your makeup like Queen Ramonda 10 Things you didn’t know about Okoye from Black Panther
Okoye’s mother and King T’Challa’s wife, who is played by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o. If you want to go for a similar look on your own (you do), follow these simple steps