Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Pic.: Vincent D'Souza
Of this year’s Oscar-nominated films, I have watched ‘Gravity’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and missed on ‘12 Years a Slave’. I was very keen to watch ‘12 Years a  Slave’; but, because it was screened only at select places, far off from where I lived, I somehow lost the chance. Now, after watching the Oscar acceptance-speech of Lupita Nyong'o (for Best Actress in Supporting Role in ‘12 Years a Slave), I felt the loss even more intensely!

The night before last, BBC was showing a special programme on Lupita. This young, lean and dark actress hails from Kenya. The programme was focusing on the impact Lupita’s spectacular glory had left on the oppressed nation. Every Kenyan young-one, who spoke to BBC, was proud and inspired... Success of one of them had lifted an entire Kenyan nation up... rather the entire African population, all over the world.  In fact, I feel, Lupita has lifted up the oppressed spirit of entire mankind!

“When I look down on this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child, that no matter where you are from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.” This was how Lupita concluded her Oscar acceptance-speech...

Read that again: “No matter where you are from – whether America or Russia, whether Germany or China, whether India, Kenya or Ethiopia... and, yes, whether you are White, Brown, Red or pitch Black... Whether you are born with a sliver spoon in mouth or deprived of a decent piece of cloth on your body.... Yes, no matter where you come from.... may the golden statue in Lupita’s hand remind every child on this planet, that his/her dreams ‘are’ valid!

What a power statement that is! I was blown away, fully!

Just a couple of days before she won the Academy award, Lupita was bestowed with another award - for Best Breakthrough Performance - at the seventh annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon hosted by Essence magazine. As you know, her speech before the celebrity audience at this ceremony has already gone viral! And it has gone so, for the right reasons.... For, this speech has made all of us sit up and take notice of what Lupita is saying in her speech: ‘The beauty of our inner beauty’! When I watched the video of Lupita’s speech, I was amazed by the maturity and wisdom she had been blessed with!

Lupita comes about as an incredibly intelligent, sensitive and mature individual. The quite dignity and confidence, which she exudes, stem from her unmistakable awareness of inner beauty! For a debutant young-actress – who is black as coal – to exude such grace and confidence in a place like Hollywood is extremely exceptional... I admire and respect this woman... not just for winning the golden statue but for firing our spirits with her golden heart!

I strongly recommend Lupita’s two speeches – Oscar acceptance-speech as well as the speech on beauty at the function hosted by Essence magazine - to each and every one around me...

Just to remind ourselves:

That, in life, true beauty has nothing to do with the color of our skin...

That, in life, true success has nothing to do with the conditions we are born in...

That, of all the gifts God showers upon us, the gift of being sensitive and confident is, in deed, the most priceless and precious one!

May ‘the Black Star’ inspire more and more and more!

Video courtesy: YouTube

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