Self Made

Stories about inspiring women are always fascinating.

And imagine how compelling would a story be, about a coloured woman who was the first self-made millionaire way back in the beginning of the 19th century.

This mini-series of 4 episodes tell us a fictionalised depiction of biography of Hair Care Pioneer and Mogul Madam CJ Walker , who rose from being a poor washerwoman to being the owner of a business empire fighting all odds and hostilities , social and personal.

Cast – Octovia Spencer , Tiffany Haddish , Garett Morris

Based on – Biography “ On her own Grounds “ by A’Lelia Bundles


The story begins with Sarah , a poor black washerwoman fighting poverty , baldness and a failing marital relationship. When a hair grower product works wonders for her hair, confidence and personal life , enterprising Sarah wants a chance at selling it. When rudely rebuffed for her looks and status , she decides to take a chance at developing the product herself to sell which she eventually succeeds in.

With the support of her husband CJ Walker, Sarah embarks on an uphill journey of expanding her sales ,diversifying to salons business , adding more hair care products , revolutionising the use of hot combs for hair styling , making it available and affordable for every common coloured woman ,scaling up the business from small scale production to factory level and eventually have 10,000 workers in her empire.

Imagine turn of the century America, when women were yet to find a place in society in terms of freedom and rights .

Imagine a woman who had neither money , nor colour or looks on her side.

It was enthralling to watch her fight a pitched battle against business rivalries, personal and professional betrayals , health scares, tumultuous family life, gender and colour biases. I think the list ticks all the boxes. But it was absolutely intriguing to watch her go ahead undeterred with unflinching ambition and passion.

She not only felt deeply but worked throughout the life to support the cause of coloured community and specially coloured women. She made way for them to be financially independent.She was a known philanthropist and activist ,supporter of the coloured and women’s rights.She holds a Guinness record of being the first self-made woman millionaire.

This delightful and highly inspiring story of an exceptional woman , backed up by a superb performance by Octovia is definitely worth a watch.

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