Okawa Shaznay was born in Cameroon. Shaznay later moved to the United States for higher education, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in accounting from Texas. Growing up Shaznay had developed interests in performing arts at an early age, while in secondary school she took part in several school and church plays and admired the ever growing Nollywood movie industry from her neighbouring sister country Nigeria. Before she left for the U.S she had taken part in a few Cameroonian productions.
Shaznay's first mainstream feature with Nollywood USA was her feature as Bonita in a movie called Caged, and she also starred as one of the lead characters in The Bet. She has done several other movies and has featured in movies alongside Nollywood's notables such as Desmond Elliott, Jim Iyke, Tonto Dike, Van Vicker, Ini Edo, and John Dumelo. Shaznay is considered as one of the few Cameroonians fast emerging and rising to higher heights in African cinema. She was cited in a notable UK based Cameroonian entertainment site as one of 2010's top 50 Cameroonians to look out for. In 2010, she participated in the Miss Africa USA contest,even though she did not win the title she represented her country elegantly as miss Cameroon USA at the time. Okawa Shaznay was nominated for best supporting actress in a Leading role for the movie "This is Houston", at the 2012 Cameroon Entertainment Awards.