Shonka Dukureh, Actress and musician, who portrayed Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in Baz Luhrmann’s film Elvis, was found dead in her Nashville apartment on 21 July 2022. Nashville police department tweeted that no foul play was evident and she was discovered in the bedroom of her home Kothe Way apartment that she shared with her two young children.
The actress, who performed alongside Doja Cat at Coachella this year, graduated from Trevecca Nazarene with a degree in education and held a theatrical degree from Fisk University, according to WPLN-FM. Shonka said she briefly taught second grade before working with inner city youngsters through after-school and summer programs in an interview with the station last month.
Shonka is a graduate Fisk University graduate.
“My deepest condolences to the family of Shonka Dukureh. Shonka graduated from Fisk and called Nashville home for many years,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said in a statement via Fox17. “Her powerful voice and artistry will live on through her music, and we honor her memory on this sad day.”
Meet Elvis Actress Shonka Dukureh Family Members
On 10 July 2022, Shonka Dukureh posted a video of herself singing the song of Curtis Mayfield. She also showed her aunt Jackie, her mother’s baby sister, and her grandma, when all of them celebrated her grandmom’s 84th birthday on 7 July.
It was the only time, she shared something related to her family members.
Did Elvis Actress Shonka Dukureh Leave Behind A Husband?
Shonka Dukureh (nee White) was previously married to her husband Semabala Dukureh. There isn’t much detail on their marriage and they tied the knots a decade before. However, we assume that the marriage hit troubled water which eventually led to the separation.
According to Nashville Ledger, Shonka filed for divorce on 18 May 2011. So, they were divorced for more than 10 years. Currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee, Semabala is 51 years old at the time of this article.
However, Elivs actress Shonka Dukureh was likely single at the time of her death. On her Facebook, the talented actress and musician had stated that her relationship status was single.
Furthermore, Shonka never publicly discussed her marriage and relationship. Hence, we don’t know much about her dating and married life.
Actress Shonka Dukureh Kids
Yes, actress Shonka Dukureh left behind two children. After seeing her unresponsive, one of the kids ran to a neighbor’s apartment and dialed 911 just before 9:30 a.m., according to the police. She has an older son and a younger daughter, both below the age of 14. She had featured them both once on her IG in June 2022 post.
Shonka’s daughter’s name was Naiya. Her son has appeared in a few of her Instagram videos.
Actress Shonka Dukureh Parents
Actress Shonka Dukureh was born to her father James Arlington White in Charlotte, North Carolina. Born in February 1951, her father is 71 years old at the time of his article. Not much is known about her parents besides that. Other family members of Shonka include, 58-year-old Cecilia White from Nashville, Tennessee, and James White Jr (likely her brother).
The list also includes Katherine White, a middle school teacher at Metro Nashville Public Schools, Melissa Springer White from Palmdale, California, and Bessie W White from Charlotte, North Carolina who is her grandmother.
What Was Actress Shonka Dukureh Cause Of Death?
The cause of Shonka Dukureh’s death is currently unknown. Autopsy results are pending from the medical examiner. She was 44 years old at the time of her death.
Where Was Actress Shonka Dukureh Born?
Shonka Dukureh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was living in Nashville, Tennessee for over a decade.
When Was Actress Shonka Dukureh Born?
Actress Shonka Dukureh was born in September 1977.
How Much Was Shonka Dukureh Net Worth?
Shonka Dukureh’s net worth was above $400 thousand.
Shonkawas a well-known gospel singer in the Nashville region, and her acting career was just getting started. She loved the arts, but teaching was her first love, according to Nashville-area news source WPLN.
“I taught second grade for a little while over at Buena Vista Elementary in Metro Schools, and then did a lot of work with inner city youth doing after-school programming, summer programming — those programs that we need during the break so that kids can have a positive place to be,” Shonka said.
Shonka reflected on her breakthrough role in “Elvis” in an interview she shared on Instagram last week, writing, “Gratefulness is where I live cuz my granny, gmama, momma, family modeled and instilled it in me. It isn’t a posture of less than or crumbs scraping, but one that acknowledges good things aren’t a guarantee and when we encounter them thankfulness, gratefulness is the least we can express.”
Was Actress Shonka Dukureh On Instagram?
Yes, actress Shonka Dukureh was on Instagram (@iamshonkadukureh) and Facebook.