Uzoamaka Aduba is the talented Nigerian American actress who stole our hearts with her role as crazy eyes in Orange is the New Black. She is a two-time Emmy award winner and an inspiration to millions of ladies around the world. Today, we want to talk about three powerful lessons we can learn from what her mother taught her.
Leading Ladies are you ready?
Own your identity
As a young Nigerian girl surrounded by many white people, Uzo wanted to change her name when she was still in school. We love what her mum said and we think you should read it too. She shares the story in an interview with Improper;
“So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, “Why?” I said, “Nobody can pronounce it.” Without missing a beat, she said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.” Profound right?
Excellence is not negotiable
In a time when hard work doesn’t seem fashionable anymore. Everyone needs to hear this;
“My parents were less interested in what the pursuit was, so long as you pursued it with excellence. That is really the Nigerian mentality: putting your best self into it.
Hardwork doesn’t kill anyone
In another interview with Uptown Magazine, she tells about how that kept her going during the dark days of her career. My mother used to say, “I have never heard of nothing coming from hard work. I don’t know when it will come, but it will come.”