Ejiofor was born in London's Forest Gate, to Nigerian parents of the Igbo tribe. His father, Arinze, was a doctor, and his mother, Obiajulu, was a pharmacist. In 1988, when Ejiofor was 11, tragedy occurred during a family trip to Nigeria for a wedding. After the celebrations, Ejiofor and his father were driving to Lagos when their car was involved in a head-on crash with a lorry. His father was killed, but Ejiofor survived despite being badly injured, receiving the scars on his forehead. Ejiofor began acting in school plays at the age of thirteen at Dulwich College and joined the National Youth Theater. He played the title role in Othelo at the Bloomsberry Theater in September 1995, and again at the Theater Royal, Glasgow in 1996 when he starred opposite rachael Sterling, who played Desdemona.
Image: Alessia Pierdeminecco