Achieng Agutu’s Powerful Example of How ‘Rejection Is Redirection’

The content creator is always encouraging fans to be unapologetically themselves and chase their dreams.
Achieng Agutu
Achieng Agutu / Kristina Bumphrey/Getty Images

Achieng Agutu’s motto has always been “Rejection is redirection.” The SI Swimsuit model and content creator uses her platform, where she calls herself the ‘tantalizing confidence queen,’ to encourage women, particularly Black women, to take up space, chase their dreams and be unapologetically themselves. She’s constantly sharing uplifting videos and messages sharing ways in which she steps into her own power, and inspires her followers to do the same.

This week, she took her profound voice and thoughts to another level and spoke on a fireside chat in front of tons of Black women, at Google’s Hudson Yards office in New York City.

“We’re at Google, about to do a bombass talk. We are here to influence the culture. Let some some Black women know what’s popping and we’re out here doing the damn thing,” she began a video on Instagram, before admitting she was a little nervous ... but that’s nothing a little affirmation can’t fix. “I can do anything I put my mind to.”

Agutu, who was born and raised in Kenya, and now lives in Manhattan, walked on stage in a super cool Dalmatian-print backless tank top and tailored pants set. She showed off her vibrant, spunky personality with massive statement earrings, stilettos and a gorgeous full-glam moment.

“Rejection is redirection. When I was in grad school, I applied to work at Vogue as an intern, and I went all through like three different interviews. On the last interview they said, ‘we cannot hire because you will not be able to have the right visa’ and I was devastated,” Agutu shared with moderator Crystal Monique and the audience. “And the next year in January, I was in Vogue. Rejection is redirection. That’s what things like that have taught me. Rejection is supposed to take you to exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing around the people you’re supposed to be around.”

Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.