How Do You Pronounce Marvel Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Name?

Often, actors have been limited by their names. Actor James Roday Rodriguez, of Psych fame, recently re-adopted his surname, Rodriguez, thanks to Hollywood’s changing standards.

Rodriguez claims that when he began his career, he wasn’t getting the parts he wanted because of his Hispanic surname. That was once a common theme in Hollywood. Martin and Charlie Sheen both changed their names to fit in to Hollywood. But some actors eschew the traditional Hollywood naming conventions.

Actors like Chiwetel Ejiofor aren’t about to change their names, and alter their histories, just to suit producers. 

Chiwetel Ejiofor has had a very successful career 

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor | Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Global Citizen

From Love Actually to the Marvel Universe, Ejiofor is no stranger to hit movies. He’s been in the acting biz since the 1990s. Even before he made a name for himself, he knew he would be acting forever.

According to an interview with The Guardian, Ejiofor has found life in theatre. “Without it, I simply would not be. My life would be so radically different from everything I’ve experienced and everything that’s brought me an amazing amount of joy.”

Ejiofor played Peter in Love Actuallythe husband of Keira Knightley’s character. He rocked the role, as he always does. Although Love Actually is a fan favorite, his most notable work is probably 12 Years a SlaveHe starred in the movie and won a well-deserved Academy Award nomination for his work. 

Now, he’s part of the ever growing Marvel Universe, which is basically guaranteed work for any actor. He played Mordo in Doctor Strangeand he’s currently filming the sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The English actor has amassed an impressive net worth for all his hard work.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has a fortune of around $12 million. Still, he won’t take on just any role just for the cash. He told the Guardian that “You can’t really play a part that’s not in you.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s name is easy to pronounce 

Although Ejiofor’s name may not be common in Western vernacular, it isn’t that difficult to pronounce. In fact, his first name is pretty phonetic. He pronounces it ‘chew-it-tell,’ which is pretty much how it is written. As for the last name, Ejiofor is pronounced ‘edge-e-oh-four.’ Not that far from the phonetic English pronunciation. 

Although fans may be intimidated by a name they’ve never seen before, Ejiofor’s Nigerian name is actually written in a way that should be easy for English speakers to pronounce. Chiwetel Ejiofor is an Igbo name. The Ibo language of Nigeria had no written component until after colonialism.

That means that the written component of the language used a Western alphabet to re-create Igbo sounds, making the written language easy to pronounce for those who read and speak English. 

Despite having an unconventional name, Chiwetel Ejiofor doesn’t think about it that often 


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Ejiofor’s name has a beautiful meaning. According to his interview with the Guardian, it means “God Brings” in Igbo. The Igbo people have a history of meaningful names. Ejiofor says that “The names are always deeply connected to something. There’s a name I mentioned in a film once, Obianuju. It means ‘to come into a place where there is plenty’. There’s something so beautiful, poetic and hopeful about parents naming their child that.”

As for himself, Ejiofor doesn’t think about his name often, but when he does, he likes the meaning. According to Ejiofor, “I don’t think about it much, but I enjoy that tradition. When we made Half of a Yellow Sun, the entire cast and crew, who were mostly Nigerian, stood together in the hotel lobby in Lagos on the first day. Everybody said their names and what they meant. It was powerful.”