Life lessons with Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa

The actor gets emotional when he talks about what he's learned from his mum

GOOD ADVICE: Ncuti Gatwa on set as Eric Effiong in Sex Education

IF YOU’RE doing this social distancing thing right and catching up on shows you’ve missed, we’d thoroughly recommend you add Netflix’s Sex Education to your watch list now.

Ncuti Gatwa plays scene-stealing Eric Effiong in the hit show and his character is constantly giving advice (good, bad and ugly) to his friends.

We sat down with Ncuti to find out some of the best lessons he’s learned from others, including from his amazing mum who came Rwanda and raised him and his two siblings on her own, and what he’d like people to learn from him.

What’s the important lesson you’ve learned from your mum?

Ah, there’s so many. Every day is another lesson. When I think about my mum I can actually just get emotional. I think just make yourself – happy yourself [laughs]. Happy yourself, like, you’ve got to concentrate on your happiness, you don’t always have to be people pleasing. Concentrate on what makes you happy and stick with that. 

Eric is often giving out advice. What’s the piece of advice from a friend that you always return to?

Once you make a decision stick with it. As in, if that’s what you want to do, then that’s fine, don’t apologise for that and be like, ‘oh no, if you want to do something let’s do that instead’.

I’m a libra so it’s very difficult for me to make decisions.

WASH YOUR HANDS: Eric Effiong’s instructions have never been more apt

What would you like to teach others?

To face their front. I mean, I guess this is kind of like my mum but face your front. Don’t look left, don’t look right because these are other people’s journeys and if you’re focusing on them, you’re going to get lost so just face your front, focus on your path.

And also that you are stronger than you think. I think that we all have strength in us at times when it feels like you’ve got none left and everything has gone crazy. If you dig down a little bit deeper, you’ll be able to find something that’s going to get you through. I feel like we’re able to get through anything, you’ve just got to search for it. And also it’s OK not to be OK.

Sex Education is available to stream on Netflix now.

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