A glint of sunlight scatters into kaleidoscopic hues as Lupita Nyong’o holds up an uncut diamond to the sun in the De Beers: Where It Begins campaign video. Narrating a visual story of discovering a diamond in the rough to its transformation into elegant jewellery, Nyong’o recalls her own journey to stardom, “When I was five years old, my aunty recruited me to be part of these skits she was putting together to entertain the rest of the adults in my family. I fell deeply in love with performing from a young age, but I didn’t truly admit it out loud and with confidence until I was about 24.”
It was in her mid-twenties that the actress found her feet. Narrating further, she says, “This was a transformative moment for me when I felt like I had arrived at my true self and I could step into the rest of my life. The beginning is often small and unimpressive, but it can lead to large and impactful outcomes.” Only five years after her acting debut, Nyong’o became the first Kenyan and Mexican to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. “For my first Academy Awards in 2014, I received the gift of a custom-made, gold pinky ring with a frog on it, which is my family totem. Inscribed inside was the phrase, “Frogs can fly”. It captured how I felt that evening and is a reminder for me to this day that I am capable of exceeding even my own expectations,” she shares.
But it isn’t just gold that Nyong’o has a special spot for. “I do enjoy the occasional statement that diamonds can make with a casual outfit, especially the rough diamonds,” she talks of her glittering preferences. “They are both elegant and edgy. But I tend to save the wearing of more elaborate diamonds for marking special moments in my life. For me, wearing a diamond is a symbol that I acknowledge myself to be rare and special, and I allow myself to be seen,” she reveals. As part of the ambassador role, Nyong’o will also support De Beers’ Building Forever commitment. Talking about the initiative, she informs us, “De Beers is doing a lot of work that is important to me, including protecting the natural world and ensuring that the communities where they work are thriving and growing.
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