Roquemore was born in Los Angeles in 1984 and is named after the Xhosa people of South Africa. She started acting when she joined The Amazing Grace Conservatory, in ninth grade. After graduating high school, she moved to New York City and graduated from the Tisch program of the New York University.
Roquemore starred in her first major film as Jo Ann in Precious. In 2013 she was cast in a recurring role on Kirstie based on her work in the series' pilot. Her role, however, was recast after she was added as a series regular to The Mindy Project as a result of a three episode guest star stint.