8 Things We Can Learn From Lupita
“No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid”. Lupita Nyong’o
1. Dare To Dream and Work.
Whether you’re Kenyan, Mexican, Nigerian, Ghanaian, American or British. All of us can be like children with dreams. It’s never too late to believe in them and pursue them. If you are familiar with my writings you know am committed to inspiring people to live their dreams. Lupita is a very talented actress, but no doubt years of hard work were also involved in achieving her dream. Contrary to what many assume, hers is not an overnight success.
2. Remind People There Is a Big Picture.
At the Oscars she salutes people no longer alive who are part of the films big picture. Like Patsey the slave girl whose role she acted brilliantly. That sad truth is that sometimes just like in Lupita´s case – moments that bring us much joy may have been born out of someone else’s pain. We may not understand how, but all of us are part of Gods bigger picture.
3. Publically Acknowledge Others Role In Your Success.
In her speech Lupita emotionally expressed her gratitude to Steve McQueen for putting her in the position that showcased her talent. She also thanked many people by name. The names mean nothing to us, but she acknowledges she couldn’t have done it without them. Sometimes when we make it, we forget it takes a village to raise a child. Acknowledge and give thanks for the people in the background, your family’s training, and your brother Junior. With our words we can share the stage with friends and family who believed in our dream. These are the people who will be there when the Oscars stage lights go off.
4. You Are Someone’s Role Model.
No doubt Lupita has become a role model and style icon for many irrespective of skin colour.
She is beautiful, has style, elegance, and oozes self-confidence and authenticity that makes blacks proud. Like her own role model Alek Wek these celebrity sisters demonstrate black is beautiful. And natural hair looks hot on Hollywood’s red carpets. Granted some sisters rock natural better than others. Whether you do weaves, wigs or bold, wear your style with confidence. I love how beautifully Lupita rocks her natural hair. Wish I could imitate her; Id also save money on extensions…But my small head doesn’t allow J I believe I will stick to my braids…
5. Believe Your Mother.
Mothers play a huge role in training us to become who will be. What we believe at an early age helps shape our self-esteem. In the Black Women in Hollywood award speech Lupita shares how her mother told her she was beautiful and taught her a life lesson – You can’t eat beauty. In other words, don’t rely on your looks to sustain you. Let’s speak words that plant seeds of confidence in our children before the world tells them they are not good enough because of their skin or race. Beauty has no shade. For too long blacks have believed the lie that white is better and superior. Listen to Lupita share how she overcame her self – hate and feeling unbeautiful because of her “night-shaded” skin here.
6. God is a Miracle Worker.
He created you and me and Lupita wonderfully and fearfully. With your unique nose, hair, lips, physique, gifts and talents. Whatever skin colour – you are beautiful inside out.
We may never wake up and find our childhood bargaining prayers for lighter skin were answered overnight. Sometimes God answers our prayers differently. Like bagging an Oscar with the very first Hollywood role, three years after graduating from Yale School of Drama. Somewhere in a Hollywood a talented but struggling actress sits down on the edge of her bed in a run-down motel; dejected and exhausted. She’s still waiting to be discovered and has lost count of how many auditioning’s she has been to. Countless times she has heard the painful words “Sorry maybe next time” She wonders if there is a God who cares…
Learn about Lupita´s prayers in her emotional speech at the BWH awards here.
7. You May Be a History Maker.
When we dare to pursue our dreams we can impact society beyond our wildest imaginations. Sometimes all it takes is one Steve McQueen to discover you, and believe in your potential. In interview with New York Times McQueen said Lupita is extraordinary. By giving this beautiful ebony skin toned sister the platform to shine, McQueen played a significant role in propelling her to unprecedented fame in history. The recent announcement that both the memoir and movie will be used in high school curricula ensures that people will be discussing the movie for years to come. May this create an equality awareness irrespective of ebony or ivory skin tones. Americas history that sugar –coated the brutal realities of slavery is being retold and our Lupita is in it.
8. Be Some Ones Steve McQueen
There are so many untold Solomon Northup stories out there. So many hard working extraordinary Lupita´s waiting to be discovered. What a disservice to the world when potential is left undiscovered and what a sad tragedy when such stories go untold…
12 Years of Slavery made history on 9/03/2014 as the first film directed by a black man, with a predominately black cast, to win an Oscar award for best picture. 161 years after the memoirs were published, McQueen dedicated the award to the 21 million people who still suffer from slavery today. May the movie create a fresh awareness of the horror and oppression of slavery and the pain and devastation brought about by colonialism.
Your life’s script may not include an award winning film or a best supporting actress, but by supporting someone’s dreams your own may in turn came true, positively impacting many people’s lives. Generations to come.
Whatever the case, as our Lupita so well put it – your dreams are valid. I believe goals are dreams with deadlines, and if we do what it takes despite the obstacles; with Gods help, our dreams can came true.
May God bless you and give you the desires of your heart.
Copyright © Nancy Gathecha