Zain Asher and Chiwetel Ejiofor

Zain Asher and Chiwetel Ejiofor may have different names, and therefore it may come as a surprise to some that these two famous Britons are actually siblings. While Zain made a way for herself within journalism, before becoming an anchorwoman in CNN, Chiwetel has become a famous actor starring in movies such as “Amistad”, “12 years a slave” and “the Martian”.

Early life

Chiwetel and Zain were born in London in 1977 and 1983 respectively, to Nigerian parents from Enugu state. Their father was a doctor while their mother worked as a pharmacist. The father was killed in a car accident while the kids were still young. The mother, Obiajulu, therefore had to raise them alone for parts of the childhood.

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel started acting at the age of 14 in various school plays. He later joined the National Youth Theatre and got admitted into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. When Steven Spielberg cast him for a part in the movie “Amistad”, he left the academy after just one year. He quickly established himself as an acclaimed actor, and starred in several theatre productions, as well as movies such as:

  • Deadly Voyage (1996)
  • GMT – Greenwich Mean Time (1999)
  • It Was an Accident (2000)
  • Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
  • Love Actually (2003)
  • Serenity (2005)
  • Talk to Me (2007)

In 2013, he got the part he is probably most famous for, portraying Solomon Northup in the movie “12 Years a Slave”. The movie is based on Solomon’s own memoir.

Zain Asher

While Zain’s older brother was getting ahead in acting, Zain made her way as a journalist. She attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and graduated in 2006. After graduation, she got a job as a full-time reporter for Money Magazine. She also did news reporting for News 12 Brooklyn.

In 2013, Zain joined CNN as a business correspondent. She now anchors CNN Newsroom on CNN International. She also writes a monthly column in Money Magazine and steps in to host “Quest means Business” on some occasions.

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