Lupita Nyong’o: The Shining Star Who Is Making Kenya Proud

Lupita Nyong’o a Mexican-Kenyan actress and film director who was born in Mexico, but was raised in Kenya seems to have emerged from the blues and swept people off their feet as she has gained huge love from the audiences around the globe.

She won the hearts of many for her role as  Patsey in the Academy Award winning film and historical drama, 12 Years a Slave. She earned several cute titles in one year including “Most Beautiful Woman” by People and “Woman of the Year” by Glamour. Now the big question is: Who is this extraordinary woman who is known around the world for her prominent role in upholding Kenya and the African culture?

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Lupita Nyong’o is a Mexican-Kenyan actress and film director.

Her father, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and her mother, Dorothy, boxed up the belongings of their family and moved from Kenya to Mexico City when his brother got missing. His brother’s car was later discovered on a ferry with his shoes abandoned inside the vehicle but no trace of him. Her father, Peter decided that his family will be safer elsewhere since they were not able to determine what had happened to the brother. He took a job teaching at the Colegio de Mexico. There, the young woman, Lupita was born. Her parents chose to give her Lupita,  a common Mexican name because of a long-held Kenyan tradition that children are to be called something that is important to the day of their birth.

According to what she stated, her life growing up in Nairobi, Kenya can be described as “middle class, suburban,” and her wildest wish was to become an actor someday because she grew up in an artistic family, where family get-togethers often included performances by the children in the family, and trips to see plays. You could say her big dream came through as she is now not just any ordinary actor but one of the most famous ones around the globe.

She enrolled at the Yale School of Drama, and there she impressed the chair of the acting program, Ron Van Lieu. He clearly recalls her audition distinctly, saying her Romeo and Juliet monologue is one of the most exciting of his entire career.

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She made a few appearances before her manager requested her to submit an audition tape for 12 Years a Slave, which was her first attempt at a feature film. Director Steven McQueen was totally impressed by Lupita’s performance since he wasn’t lucky enough to find someone with the immense talent to play one of the major and important characters, Patsey. McQueen remembers how he was heavily shocked watching her audition tape. In his words:

“We auditioned over 2,000 women all around the world, I always compare it to the search for Scarlett O’Hara. I had a tape of Lupita’s, and I couldn’t believe it. I thought, Is this person real?… She’s a total professional, incredible.”

At this point, she was unknown but the lasting impression McQueen had about her gave her a cast. And this cast created paths which she walked on to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her individual role, and the film was nominated for nine awards out of which it won three. Since then, she has been nominated countless times and she has taken home countless awards from that debut role. More amazingly,  Nyong’o is the first Mexican and first Kenyan actress to win an Academy Award

The breath-taking actress never misses an opportunity to upholding African culture, skin color and its true beauty. You are right to say she likes it in the African way. She has inspired several women with her true African beauty. She once gave a speech on the beauty of black women and spoke about the insecurities she had undergone as a teenager. She recounted that her views changed for the better when she saw South Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek become successful. She even mentioned receiving the following letter from an unidentified girl from Africa she had inspired in turn:

“I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

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No doubt, the ground-breaking movie actress, Lupita has so much to offer our continent both morally and otherwise so watch out for her in her forthcoming roles in the live adaptation of The Jungle Book, Star Wars: Episode VII, and in the film adaptation of best-selling novel, Americanah, the story of a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to America. In fact, she is murdering the motion picture game right as I am writing this. Of course she knows we can’t wait to see what else she can do and she is climbing higher so not to let us down one minute!

Check Out Some Stunning Looks She’s Brought to the Red Carpet in Recent Years. 

At Cannes, France, May 14, 2015

Lupita Nyong'o

Attending a Christian Dior Show, July 6, 2015

Lupita Nyong'o attending Dior's Fall-Winter 2015/2016 Haute Couture collection show held at the Musee Rodin in Paris, France on July 6, 2015 in Paris, France. Photo by Nicolas Briquet/ABACAPRESS.COM

Attending the Premiere of La Tete Haute, May 13, 2015


Arriving at the Academy Awards, February 22, 2015


Attending the Glamour 2014 Women of the Year Awards on November 14, 2014


At the Sindika Dokolo Art Foundation Dinner, October 18, 2014


Arriving at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, May 31, 2014


The Accenture Gala Ahead of the Premiere of “Twelve Years A Slave” During the 57th BFI London Film Festival at the Langham


Lupita at 25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards.


Lupita Attends Marie Claire, Celebrates May Cover Star on April 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.


Rihanna and Lupita Attend Miu Miu Show on March 5, 2014 in Paris, France.