Let Lupita Nyongo’s story challenge us too

Oscar award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has had a hugely positive impact on Kenyan youth, especially girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Since bagging the coveted global crown in March last year, Lupita has made choice statements that should inspire every Kenyan youth. Despite coming from a privileged family, she talks directly to poor girls with messages such as ‘no matter where you come from, your dreams are valid’.

At Seme in Kisumu County, she told youths that domestic challenges, poverty and unsupportive relatives at home should not define their future. That everyone was created to achieve more and be the best the world can offer.

Coming at a time when many educated and skilled youths are uemployed and others wasting away in alcohol and drug abuse, Lupita’s fairy story should help spark positive action.

There is something everyone can be good at if only you put your mind to it and work towards it. The Oscar award for acting had eluded African actors for decades before Lupita won it and became a darling of Hollywood. Her latest endeavour to save endangered elephants is also laudable.

Kenyan parents and guardians should identify their children’s talents and nurture them. There is nothing more reassuring than a parent’s encouraging words to a child’s dreams.

Whereas teachers play an important role in children’s upbringing, parents who abdicate their responsibility, expecting the school system to fill the vacuum are courting disaster. As for our education system, it should accommodate talents of learners. This is a challenge to all Kenyans!

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Lupita Nyong'o