Thursday, 9 July 2015

Support artistic kids, Lupita nudges parents

Lupita Nyong’o, Kenyan Oscar Award Winner for Best Supporting Actress, has urged guardians to be supportive of children with an affinity for arts while attributing her success in the film industry to a distinctive and motivational pattern that fanned her passion.

Lupita shares a moment with students after a mentorship session at KICC
Speaking to students and artists during a session dubbed “Arts in Education” at the KICC; the Hollywood actress said she grew up in a community that fosters creative self expression and around guardians who “validated her dreams.”

“Without their constant and vigilant belief in me, I wouldn’t be where I am…a dream can only be realised when it is validated. First by yourself and then by those around you,” said Lupita. 

The actress frowned upon the fact that “arts education is often dismissed as non-essential” in Kenya and called on parents and teachers to create room for children’s self realisation. 

Reflecting back at the times that made her as an artiste, she credits her teacher, the late Mutegi Njiru, and her debut role as a passerby in the play Oliver Twist at Rusinga Schools as an epochal moment that kicked off her life on stage.

Mutegi Njiru, an English teacher at Rusinga and an ardent thespian would later die in the 1998 bombing of United States Embassy in Nairobi. The following year, Rusinga would introduce the Mutegi Njiru Memorial Shield to recognise students with exemplary contribution in the field of theatrical arts. Lupita Nyong’o was the first to clench the award.

The actress laid emphasis on reinforcing children’s abilities and talents as opposed to imposing careers on students. “Self expression is the most pure part of self; the part that yearns to communicate in a different way,” said Lupita.

On the fringes of mentorship session Patricia Kariuki, a Head Teacher at Rusinga Schools emphasized that guardians had an immense opportunity to up the chance of a kid’s success if they understood from the onset that achievers are not born but bred.

Lupita’s sister, Esperanza Nyong’o, an alumni of Rusinga School says the fact that the institution allowed her to freely exercise her talent saw her join the school’s football team eventually pursue Sports Management at Real Madrid Graduate School.

“If you reward and recognise intelligence only, you are inadvertently telling your child that only stature matters, that way you bring up a risk averse child. The idea should be to recognise effort so that children learn to take risks, make mistakes and take out lessons from their experiences,” said Patricia.

Lupita also lauded the Government for its efforts in making Kenya an attractive film-making destination through zero-rating film equipment and wooing Hollywood to shoot movies in Kenya. Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario confirmed that Richard Leakey’s story in the upcoming movie Africa, which features Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will be shot mostly in Kenya.  

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