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Lupita Nyong’o stunned the world after her captivating performance in Steve McQueen’s ‘12 years a Slave’ film and has since redefined the boundaries of what it means to be successful and beautiful.


Lupita despite her success has stayed true to herself and humble, “As an actor, although the cameras are on me and the lights are on me, it’s really not about me at all, and that always helps me get out there and do the thing I’ve been hired to do, because I am fighting for what my character wants. And if I’m pursuing that, then I’m OK. I’m good.” She works hard and recognises the hard work of her colleagues and that is what makes her a great role model for women around the globe.


From a very young age Lupita started acting in Kenya as a teen, doing all she could do to tap into the industry. She started by working behind the scenes of a film, The Constant Gardener as a production assistant where she met Ralph Fiennes, who advised her to become an actor only if it was what she really wanted to pursue. For any of us at the start of our career, start at the bottom even if it means doing mundane tasks. You will have your foot in the door and be around people who you aspire to become. These people may even become your friends and if you show your potential they will notice you and you will be able to work your way up.


After working as a production assistant she developed her craft as a filmmaker by directing, editing and producing a documentary, In My Genes back in 2009 which addressed the discrimination targeted at people with albinism in Kenya. She was also pushed into the limelight of Kenyan television show, Shuga an African soap opera series that promoted HIV awareness and safe sex by looking into relationships amongst the youth in Nairobi.

What can we take from this?

Volunteer and create your own projects to show potential employers that you have a genuine passion to grow within your chosen industry. It will show motivation and drive to make something of yourself which employers will appreciate.


Lupita has become an international film maker, award winning actress and fashion icon based on her drive to achieve her potential. She is now at a stage where she is enjoying the benefits and rewards of her hard work with multiple awards and nominations. But it doesn’t stop there… Like Lupito, always continue to develop, always continue to learn and always continue to grow. There is something always better around the corner.
Be the best you can be and show the world what you are made of!

Romana Shah

Romana Shah

Romana graduated with an undergraduate degree in English language from Sheffield Hallam University and then went on to do a Masters in Public Relations. She worked for two years in-house for a South Asian Fashion boutique where she wrote articles for the South Asian press and managed the brand of the company. Romana then moved on to be successful on the Taylor Bennett Foundation training programme which equips and supports individuals from ethnic diverse backgrounds to get into the PR and communications industry. Romana recently joined Flame PR because she enjoyed the opportunity to tap into the financial and tech sector. Alongside her PR duties she also works with the sales team to get new business for the agency.

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