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Spotlight On Somali Oscar Nominee Barkhadi Abdi






If you have been following the news, you will know its award season over in Hollywood. There has been ongoing nominations since the beginning of the year and as Africa, we have been hearing more of our Kenyan girl Lupita Nyong'o and her co-star in 12 Years A Slave, Nigerian-British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor being honoured from nomination to nomination but that's not all.

Somali actor Barkhadi Abdi is also representing Africa in high regard and has been nominated for an Oscar for his role in 'Captain Phillips' where he stars alongside Tom Hanks.

The former limousine driver in Minneapolis now turned actor is nominated in the category for Best Supporting Actor.




Fact File: Abdi, was born in Somalia and emigrated with his family to Minneapolis at age 14, was working as a limousine driver when director Paul Greengrass cast him in Captain Phillips. “I wasn't sure of myself,” he says. “I wasn't a complete actor. I was just auditioning with no previous experience. Paul Greengrass gets all the credit, honestly. He’s the one that believed in me and pushed me and, any time that I messed up, he was the one that would find a way to make me understand it so I could be that character.”



Wow! From driver straight to Hollywood and now Oscar Nominee? This is a case of 'when opportunity meets courage and determination'.  Onward and upward, Abdi. Go get them.


East Africans seem to be on a roll and not about to slow down. First Kenya's Lupita Nyong'o then Aamito Africa's Top Model from Uganda and Barkhadi Abdi for Somalia.
Could 2014 be the year for East Africans? I guess we just have to watch this space.

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Stella is the founder of WaAfrikaOnline.  A Pan-African at heart, passionate about Africa, human rights, women empowerment and girl child education. She's also into broadcasting. 
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