Moonlight's Mahershala Ali and Wife Amatus Sami-Karim Welcome a Baby

This is the first child for the couple, who wed in 2013

By Zach Johnson Feb 24, 2017 9:19 PMTags
Watch: How Mahershala Ali Will Celebrate His 2017 SAG Awards Win

Can 2017 get any better for Mahershala Ali?

As award season comes to a close, the Moonlight actor and his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim, have welcomed their firstborn child together. 

"Bari (Bar-ee) Najma Ali," the actor wrote on Instagram. "2/22/17 #pisces" 

Ali's wife announced her pregnancy in December, one month before he won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. At the time, Ali told E! News' Zuri Hall he was "looking forward to having a new teacher. Kids teach. They're the truth. I'm ready to learn my lessons and learn them well, and I hope I have something to teach our child."

As for his mini-me's name?

Bari (Bar-ee) Najma Ali 2/22/17 #pisces ?

A post shared by Mahershala Ali (@mahershalaali) on

"We're looking to do something simpler," he said during a Jan. 11 appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!. "My wife's name is Amatus Sami…but we're going to do something a little bit simpler for our child." Even so, Ali promised host Jimmy Kimmel they would "keep it unique."

Mahershala is actually Ali's "nickname," as his full first name is Mahershalalhashbaz. "It's the longest word in the bible," he said. "Mahershalalhashbaz was the prophet Isaiah's second son. It's a symbolic name, so he didn't actually have to live through life with that name...but I have to live through life with that name." As he later said on NPR's Fresh Air, "It means hasten to the spoils, speedy as the prey. I've also been told that another meaning of it is 'divine restoration.'"

Ali knows his first name is mouthful. "You should see TSA's eyes," he joked with Kimmel.

The actor—who next appears onscreen in Roxanne Roxanne and Alita: Battle Angel—is looking forward to spending more time at home with his wife, whom he met as a student at New York University nearly two decades ago. "She and I have known each other for a really long time," he told ELLE in 2014. "So, at this point, she's seen a big shift in things, but at the same time, she'll ground me real quick if I start feeling myself a little too much. She's very real—like, seriously."