Plotting categorical data with pandas and matplotlib

I have a data frame with categorical data:

         colour  direction
    1    red     up
    2    blue    up
    3    green   down
    4    red     left
    5    red     right
    6    yellow  down
    7    blue    down

I want to generate some graphs, like pie charts and histograms based on the categories. Is it possible without creating dummy numeric variables? Something like


You can simply use value_counts on the series:


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