Do not be afraid to fail forward. I think especially Wellesley women, myself included, sometimes experience failure and want to stop. You look at failure and you think, "There's something incredibly wrong with me," when perhaps you're on a learning curve and you have to look at that failure and see how is this a learning moment. "How do I take this failure and turn it into my future success?" Do not to be afraid to fail forward. If you're failing into your success, you learn from it, pick up the pieces that were good, and continue on.

I started writing in 2009 in a little apartment in Washington Heights in New York City. It was difficult to look around, and say “I'm a Wellesley woman. I believe myself to be incredibly smart, so why aren't my plays taking off instantly?” At the beginning, I thought it should be far easier. There was a moment of incredible doubt when I considered myself a failure. When I had a bad review I thought, "Oh, my lord, is my career over?" Outside eyes were looking at my work and had deemed it wanting. 

So yes, I've had many a moment where if I had stopped and believed my own insecurity or believed the thoughts other people had of me, I would have stayed in one position far too long instead of picking up pieces and starting to go forward into the dream that I knew that I had.

What's in my future? Part of my mission is to tell nuanced African stories. I want to disrupt the thoughts people have about Africans--whether that's a belief that we are impoverished or woe begotten. Right now I'm working in theater, but someday it could be television--I'm open to all media forms where I can tell a nuanced African story. That's where I see myself going.

Mfoniso Udofia is a first-generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator. She is writing and producing a 9-play cycle and has been profiled by the New York Times. She was nominated for #ThisIsLeadership by Fiona Maurissette '06 and Danielle Zarbin​ '16.