Wunmi Mosaku

Wunmi Mosaku (born 1986) is a Nigerian-born British actress,[2] known for her roles as Joy in the BBC Two miniseries Moses Jones (2009) and Holly Lawson in the ITV series Vera (2011–12). She won the 2017 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Gloria Taylor in the TV film Damilola, Our Loved Boy (2016). In 2019, she starred in the fifth series of Luther.[3]

Wunmi Mosaku
Mosaku at The Old Vic, Sunday, 14 November, 2010
Oluwunmi Mosaku

Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art (2007)
Years active2006present

Early life

Mosaku was born in Nigeria, and subsequently emigrated to Manchester, England, when she was one year old. She attended Trinity Church of England High School and Xaverian Sixth Form College. She also sang for eleven years in the Manchester Girls Choir. Her parents were both professors in Nigeria but were unable to do the same jobs in the UK. Her mother started a business and her father ended up returning to Nigeria.[3]


Mosaku graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2007 and made her stage debut at the Arcola Theatre in a production of Pedro Calderón de la Barca's The Great Theatre of the World. Since then she has also appeared in Rough Crossings, directed by Rupert Goold and based on the book by Simon Schama, at the Lyric Hammersmith; The Vertical Hour by David Hare and Truth and Reconciliation, both at the Royal Court Theatre and Mules at the Young Vic. In 2009 she appeared in Katrina a verbatim play which told six people's stories of their struggles of survival when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans August 2005. Mosaku was originally cast as Sophie in the UK premiere of Ruined by Lynn Nottage at the Almeida Theatre but had to pull out due to an injury.

In 2008, she appeared in the first of the UNDEREXPOSED exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery designed to raise the profile of black role models and celebrates the talent that exists among the Black British community. Her photo also appeared on Commercial Way, Peckham, London, as part of the exhibition. In 2009, she starred in the BBC Two series Moses Jones, for which she won Best Actress in a Miniseries at the Roma Fiction Festival.

She featured on the front cover of Screen International magazine June–July 2009 as one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow, and in 2011 was featured in Nylon Magazine's 2011 Young Hollywood issue.

In 2010, Wunmi Mosaku was named one of The Seven Fresh Faces of Toronto International Film Festival, for I Am Slave,[4] in which she starred. She plays Malia, a girl who has been kidnapped from her village in Sudan, and sold into slavery. For her performance Mosaku won awards such as Best Actress at the Birmingham Black Film Festival, Best Onscreen performance at the Cultural Diversity Awards and Best Female performance at the Screen Nation Awards. In 2011 Mosaku joined Vera and played the role of Holly Lawson but left the show after just one year.

In 2015, Mosaku played the part of Quentina, a traffic warden, in the three-part BBC series Capital based on John Lanchester's novel of the same name.[5] In 2016, she appeared in Playtest, an episode of the anthology series Black Mirror.

Mosaku won the 2017 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Gloria Taylor in the TV film Damilola, Our Loved Boy.

Personal life

When asked to list her personal heroes, Mosaku included her grandmother Anike Adisa, whom she described as having "taught me so many lessons"; actor Albert Finney who was her inspiration for attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; her colleague and former instructor at RADA, William Gaskill; Paul Newman, who she admired, not just for his acting, but also for his philanthropic efforts with Newman's Own; and Oprah Winfrey, who Mosaku considers "a superwoman."[6]



Year Show Role Notes
2007 *Sold: Episode #1.5 Firefighter ITV
2008 Never Better: "First Week Euphoria" Server BBC Two
2008 Doctors: "Who Do You Think You Are Kidding?" Nurse Kelly Strathairn BBC One
2008 The Bill: "Trial and Error: Part 1" Sophie Oduya ITV
2009 Moses Jones Joy BBC Two
2010 Silent Witness Charlie Gibbs BBC One
2010 One Night in Emergency Beautiful Nurse BBC Scotland television film
2010 Father & Son Stacey Cox RTÉ One, ITV
2010 Law & Order: UK Tamika Vincent ITV
2011 Vera Holly Lawson ITV
2011 32 Brinkburn Street Joy BBC One
2011 The Body Farm Rosa Gilbert BBC One
2011 Jo Angélique Alassane
2013 Dancing on the Edge Carla BBC Two
Truckers BBC One
2014 In the Flesh Maxine Martin BBC Three
2015 Don't Take My Baby Belinda BBC Three
Capital Quentina BBC One
2016 Black Mirror Katie Episode: "Playtest"
Damilola, Our Loved Boy Gloria Taylor BBC One
BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress
2017 Fearless DCS Olivia Greenwood ITV
The End of the F***ing World DC Teri Darego Channel 4, All 4, Netflix
2018 Kiri DI Vanessa Mercer Channel 4
2019 Lovecraft Country Ruby Dandridge Main role
2019 Luther DS Catherine Halliday BBC One
2019 Animal Babies: First Year on Earth Narrator BBC Two: 3 part wildlife series


Year Film Role Director
2006 The Women of Troy Helen of Troy Phil Hawkins
2010 Honeymooner Seema Col Spector
2010 Womb Erica Benedek Fliegauf
2010 I Am Slave Malia Gabriel Range
2011 Stolen Sonia Carney Justin Chadwick
2011 Citadel Marie Ciaran Foy
2013PhilomenaYoung nunStephen Frears
2016Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeKahina ZiriZack Snyder
2016 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemBerylDavid Yates
2019Sweetness in the BellyAminaZeresenay Berhane Mehari



  1. "Wunmi Mosaku. (1986-), Stage and screen actress". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  2. "TEN MINUTES WITH... WUNMI MOSAKU". Arise Live. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  3. Wise, Louis (23 December 2018). "Wunmi Mosaku interview: Idris Elba's new Luther sidekick on how she got into acting by watching Annie". The Times. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  4. Peter J. Thompson. "I AM SLAVE'S WUNMI MOSAKU ON BEING MENDE NAZER". Nigeria Films. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  5. "BBC One: Capital". BBC Online. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  6. "Wunmi Mosaku: my heroes and heroines". United Kingdom: The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 November 2014.

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