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So Inspiring! 14 Year Old Ghanaian Street Vendor Wins Award at 2015 Venice Film Festival for His 1st Acting Role in ‘Beasts of no Nation’



Attah Abraham

Oscar Award – winning actress Lupita Nyong’o once said, “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

This saying truly exemplifies the story of 14-year old Ghanaian street vendor, Attah Abraham, who won the Marcello Mastroianni’s Best Young Actor Award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.

He won the award for his lead performance in a Beasts of No Nation, alongside Idris Elba, Citifmonline reports.

Abraham was discovered on the streets of Ghana during the shooting of the Netflix soon-to-be released movie.

Director of the movie, Cary Fukunaga, says Abraham was randomly selected on the streets, and that the teenager had no prior acting experience.
Impressed by his outstanding peformance, Fukunaga has decided to fund Abraham’s education.
“For Abraham, he’s only 14 so we had to get him up to speed in school, so right now we put him into boarding school back in Ghana so he can get up to normal 14 year old academics. By nature of us crossing into these people’s lives you have some responsibility there to make their lives better…”
Photo Credit: Citifmonline


  1. Andrew

    September 14, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Even with little formal education? Nice of the producers not to think of rushing him into movie full-time.

  2. Somto

    September 14, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    When God Almighty says yes nobody can say no.

    • Audrey

      September 14, 2015 at 6:33 pm


    • Jesus Lover

      September 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      God will do it just like that!

  3. ATL's finest

    September 14, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Whao Congrats to him and what a great way to start my day! Yes, Lupita was right with her quote. And also, if your dreams don’t scare U then your dreams isn’t big enough.. I’m glad he’s back in school. Fame can come & go but one thing that no man/woman can inherit from U is your degree and it can never come and go.. Spread your wings Lil’ Angel for the sky is your limit. Keep on shinning.

  4. Queesley

    September 14, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Wow! So inspiring

  5. bruno

    September 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    him and idris are getting some serious oscar buzz for this their movie.
    him for best actor in a lead role and idris for best actor in a supporting role.

    award season is fast approaching, good movies with strong acting, have started popping out here and there. I’m so excited.

  6. sheetu

    September 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    i got goosebumps reading this. May my dreams become valid too

  7. Tari

    September 14, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    By nature of us crossing into these people’s lives you have some responsibility there to make their lives better…”
    A word to live by.

  8. Busarni

    September 14, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Bia BN, why did you remove that Bolanle’s post? You suddenly turned HYPO expert, hyping unnecessarily.Better for you,,

  9. Ammagh

    September 14, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Wow. Abraham ,u are favored ! Nyame nni wanim .

  10. judy

    September 14, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Congratulations to him! He has a great future ahead

  11. Anna

    September 14, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Bella Naija, why are you editing comments before you show them???

    You changed my comment on a previous post, and I know this because I wrote the original down somewhere on my laptop.

    • Peaches

      September 14, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Hahhaha lmao! U got me rolling wig that “Original” 🙂 @ BN quit tempering with comments and leave as it is. That’s what make it fun to read esp all the Ebonics I’m learning from Nigerians 🙂

  12. Ify

    September 14, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    For an African Child Actor I am very impressed

    Cos yall know – 99% of nollywood child actors are not that great. Acting is not encouraged in Africa amongst african kids. I remember movie critic MsTilii wrote an interesting article about (Nollywood Child Actors) several years ago. I wonder why Africans do not encourage more kids to act like Hollywood does (Eg Drew Barrymore, Shirley Temple) – who saids they have to quit school to do it?

    Congrats young man. Always keep school first.

  13. bafe

    September 14, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    It is also nice to know that the award winning movie is based on a Nigerian novel and the title of the novel and the film is borrowed from a Fela album !! Splendid ! Can’t wait to watch the film.

  14. MsTiLii

    September 15, 2015 at 1:10 am

    I am so proud of this young man and from his humble beginnings, Lupita saids it best during her Oscar speech, NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE FROM YOUR DREAMS ARE VALID. who woulda thought this young man will go from being a street vendor to winning this huge award. Its a miracle – I am so proud of him and smiling ear to ear. Definitely will do a piece on him on my blog. I havent watched the movie nor read the book – but i am now desperately searching for that book to read at least until the movie comes out for all of us to watch. Idris and his crew all did well too (at least i was impressed watching the short trailer and very eager now to watch) and we all cant wait to watch and support this movie. Congrats.

    ps: yes Ify you are right, i did write an article way back in 2009 on our kids (ghana , nigeria etc) and acting. We need to encourage them more.

  15. papermoon

    September 15, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    God bless Fukunaga, God bless Abraham.

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