Jenifer Lewis, Actress, St. Louis Walk Of Fame

Jenifer Lewis Had ‘The Hardest’ Time Recovering From Near-Death 10-Foot Fall In Africa

Jenifer Lewis is opening up about the near-death experience she had in Africa after falling 10 feet from a balcony.

Jenifer Lewis discussed her near-death experience in Africa, and her difficult 2023, after she fell 10 feet from a balcony in November 2022.

“I didn’t know you could be in that much pain and be alive,” Lewis, 67, told Robing Roberts earlier this week in a clip shared by Good Morning America. “I went from that high kick standing on my star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, five months later, I was on the ground of the Serengeti and that same leg couldn’t move.”

Roberts asked if Lewis thought she was going to die.

“I did,” Lewis replied.

Lewis was gearing up for retirement after wrapping Black-ish, getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Walk, and releasing her memoir, Walking In My Joy: In These Streets.

“I was going to retire, move back home,” she said. “I had traveled around the world and life was wonderful.”

But during “a trip of a lifetime,” as described by Roberts, the original Dreamgirls cast member had her life flash before her eyes. Lewis had checked into a hotel in the Serengeti during the evening and was let inside her lavish room without a tour.

“I laid out my safari clothes and I saw the infinity pool out on my deck. So I went out, I was just taking in that I was back in the Serengeti once again,” she recalled. “And I’m walking and all of a sudden, I had fallen 10 feet into a dry ravine full of boulders and stones and sharp rocks. There was a space that was not sectioned off and there was no sign that said, ‘Caution, 10-foot. drop.'”

With no street lights, Lewis didn’t realize the harrowing danger she was near while lying on the ground in pain. A flashlight and a call for help from her friend Laurie were her saving graces from the nearby buffalo and lion.

“When Laurie ran to get help, I heard a lion roar,” Lewis shared. “My last thought, because I’m Jenifer Lewis, was ‘What a headline! The King Ate the Queen: Pieces of Jenifer Lewis’ Body Is Being Flown Back to the States.'”

Surviving the traumatic experience has left Lewis “humbled” and more appreciative of life. She took her time revealing the incident to make sure that when she shared the story she would show everyone “how I got back up.”

RELATED CONTENT: OWN To Premiere Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards