ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

Following her unforgettable feature film debut in 12 Years A Slave, Lupita Nyong'o became an Oscar winner, the fashion world's most daring icon, and a major star on the rise. Now, the multifaceted actress is adding another impressive title to her resume: global elephant ambassador.

Nyong'o will use her platform to speak on behalf of these at-risk animals after speaking with conservationists, businessmen, and the press at the Villa Rosa Kempinski in Kenya. As a Kenyan herself, Nyong'o delivered an impassioned speech about the grave reality of poaching African elephants for their ivory.

As an ambassador for conservation organization WildAid, the Hollywood star will actively campaign against the callous sale and consumption of ivory, which leads to the deaths of more than 30,000 elephants every year. With her signature poise and laudable eloquence, here's just some of what Nyong'o had to say about the merciless slaughter of these highly intelligent creatures.

Visiting a national park and elephant orphanage proved to be "life-changing"

After having some face-to-face contact with the elephants, it was clear how merciless they've been treated just for the sale of their ivory. She encouraged everyone to get educated on the injustice:

I am proud of my Kenyan heritage and part of that heritage is the incredible wildlife haven that we have in our care. Let’s begin today to learn more, know more and do more to save the elephant.

She used her knowledge to push for a change for a species that's quickly becoming extinct


In encouraging all of us to get educated about the issue, Nyong'o also invoked our emotional side. How could somebody read the following questions and not want to do something immediately?

Did you know elephants travel in families led by the matriarch and each elephant has unique features and a distinct character?” Did you know an elephant is poached every 15 minutes?

She backed up her claims with convincing facts and figures

To really get the major Kenyan bigwigs to recognize the pressing nature of this crisis, Nyong'o wisely appealed to their wallets:

I have learnt that an elephant kept alive is worth a million dollars for the whole economy while a poached one gives a few thousands to a few people

As a result, poaching does not just cause devastation in elephant populations, it also steals from the Kenya economy and only gets a few thousand dollars for callous poachers.


For its part, WildAid is hoping that Nyong'o's star power combined with her sincere dedication will cast a larger light on this widely overlooked issue. Local businesses, especially those involved with tourism, were thrilled to have her on their side.

This story serves as a reminder to just how much celebrities can do with their platform, and it's beyond uplifting to see somebody working toward real change. In short, Lupita Nyong'o continues to be an inspiration, and I sincerely hope that doesn't stop here.

(Source: Daily Nation)


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