Actor Malik Yoba made a name for himself when he appeared in the famous movie "Cool Runnings," where he played the beloved Yul. Since then, the actor has gone on to build a life for himself.
Malik Yoba was 26-year-old when he played Yul Brenner in "Cool Runnings," and 28 years since the movie debuted, Yoba remains a popular actor, although he owes his fame to the show.
After "Cool Runnings" the 54-year-old got a starring role as NYPD Detective J C Williams on the police drama, "New York Undercover," and later on, he played more intriguing roles including FBI Special Agent Bill Harken on the "Alphas," Jim Hudson in "Revolution," and Vernon Turner in "Empire."
Although he is known for playing cool roles, Yoba had a strict religious upbringing as a Sunni Muslim. Yoba was born Abdul-Malik Kashie Yoba in 1967 in the Bronx, New York to Erutan Abdullah Yoba and Mahmoudah Young Lanier.
Being an actor was always his dream, and after his graduation from school, he got a job working at the Negro Ensemble Theatre in concessions, playing different roles.
For the most part of his growing days, Yoba lived as an activist and volunteered to help raise youth leadership in his environment. It was in 1989 that he got his first movie role in "Seriously Fresh."
His acting skills soon landed him other leading roles in movies like "Bull," "Thief," "Defying Gravity," and "Revolution." He later featured in "Soul Food" "Why Did I Get Married? and its sequel "Why Did I Get Married Too?"
The talented actor was honored with three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series in 1996, 1997, and 1998 for his role in New York Undercover.
FACTS ABOUT YOBA
While most fans know him for his roles in movies, not many know that the actor has been through some hard moments in his life, and some proved to be life-threatening.
Yoba's career would never have seen the light of day if he had been killed after being shot at age 15. The actor revealed the near-death experience on his Twitter page, noting that was the reason he never owned a gun.
Since then, Yoba championed a cause against the illegal possession of guns as he felt he had been given a second chance at life, and he decided to spend it on a noble cause and saving lives.
As part of his contribution to make the world a better place, Yoba founded a company, "Iconic32," which aims to educate young people by driving social values through pop culture.
Also, fans must have wondered why his time on "Empire" was cut short; well, reports have it that his comments about his character on the show cost him his job, and Lee Daniels, the show creator, did not want him back.
Yoba loves to use his social media to inspire and help his fans live better. He has a strong social media presence and has a lot of followers on his Instagram, showing how active he is.
DIVORCE AND PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIPS
The actor has three children from two previous relationships; daughter Dena and another son Josiah and a daughter Pria who was born in 1999. He was previously married to Cat Wilson, but the couple divorced after three years of marriage.
Yoba admitted that the split left him in shock as he felt they would have lasted longer. However, their divorce was hinged on the fact that they both had busy lifestyles and had become incompatible.
HE LOVES TRANS-WOMEN
Yoba shared the biggest news of his life when he revealed his admiration for transgender women. The actor explained that he is a man who loves transgender women, and he had struggled with the secret for a while.
In a post he shared, the actor noted that he also felt the self-imposed shame that came with being attracted to trans women, and that he spoke up to help others in his shoes come out of their closet.
His revelation was met with mixed reactions from fans, and while some fans supported him, others criticized him. The actor confirmed that his children faced some backlash from his revelation, but he thanked those who supported him.
His baby mama, Terry Vega, with whom he shares two kids, commented on his post, noting her support for him and his sexual preference. She also confirmed that the actor is in a trans relationship but slammed him for keeping their kids in the dark.
She criticized Yoba for failing to put his family first and inform their children while he had been preparing his Instagram post for months.
Yoba went on to apologize to his children in his post, explaining that he did not understand everything himself and was willing to ask questions and get more clarity.
Yoba has since used his platform to urge his followers to respect those in trans relationships and also advocate their rights. In addition, he condemned any form of attacks on people based on their preferences.
Terry Vega and Yoba share two of the actor's children, and although they never got married, parenting their kids had been a priority. The duo's kids are a cute blend of their parents.
Vega has gone on to find love and frequently shares her man and new life on social media. From her Instagram posts, Vega is a thriving businesswoman and a published mom. The talented author seems at peace with her world.
Being a mom is undoubtedly the best part of her life as she loves to share pictures of herself and her sweet daughters. She also seems to share a good relationship with her daughter Dena who she shares with Yoba,
Dena once took to her Instagram to gush over her love for her mom on Mother’s Day. She wrote, “I miss u more than you know. it’s wild not seeing you every day anymore but I guess that’s why facetime exists lol... I love you 4ever mommy. Happy Mother's day.”
For Yoba, being a father of three is his biggest privilege and while he does his best to be the best model to his children, he also hopes his career can inspire them to reach for their dreams.