From Somalia to Hollywood: The story of Barkhad Abdi
What’s worse than being born in Somalia, the world headquarters for hunger and then raised in Yemen, the official training base for Al-Qaeda?
Nightmarish yea? But it was the reality of a very malnourished looking Somalian calledBarkhad Abdi in the year 1999.
For this Somalian, moving to a large refugee camp in the western world was a welcome miracle. Anything to escape from his battered past and he got the best window to the land of opportunities with his family. America!!!
First opportunity was to go to school. Admission into the University of Minnesota brought tears to his eyes. He supported school by being a limousine chauffeur. Big words for ‘Driver’.
Next, he heard about some auditions for acting. His frail funny look, his past or current status would not intimidate or stop him from trying.
Fast forward to 2014 and Mr Barkhad is in a limousine only this time being driven as ‘the oga at the back’, and the destination is the 86th Academy Awards in the capacity of a nominee, after winning the British Academy Film Television Arts Awards earlier for best actor in a supporting role in the movie Captain Philip staring A-lister Tom Hanks.
Lesson : The extremely bright and beautiful tomorrow can’t be stopped by how ugly and dark it looks today.
With life, the turn can take 360 degrees with unbelievable transformation. Place a caterpillar on one hand and a butterfly on the other and see for yourself what is possible.
The distance between where you wish to be and where you currently are, is no reason to be discouraged. It is called grass to grace for a reason.
Even if you were beneath the grass, in the gutter, raise your head and fix your eyes on the stars. Forget the distance and move.
Like Barkhad Abdi you’ll leave this spot to ‘a whole new world, with new horizons to pursue, like a shooting star, you’ve come so far and can’t go back to where you used to be’. – Peabo Bryson
It can be so different from what you now know. Believe and act!