Lupita Nyong’o (1983- ) is a Mexi-Kenyan actress, best known for playing Patsey in “12 Years a Slave” (2013). She has appeared on Kenyan television, in Hollywood films and, now in March 2016, on Broadway – in “Eclipsed”, the first Broadway play with an all-Black female cast.
She is so beautiful and talented that even White people can see it: she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2014 and has appeared on the cover of Vogue in both 2014 and 2015.
But even she did not always see her own beauty:
“I got teased and taunted about my skin. My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before.”
Her prayers were answered in the form of South Sudanese model Alek Wek:
“She was dark as night and was in all the magazines and on runways. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me.”
“Oprah telling her how beautiful she was. I was like, ‘what is going on here?’ It was very powerful. Something in my subconscious shifted.”
Her hair she used to wear long and straightened, but at 19 it got so chemically damaged that she shaved it off. She has kept her hair short ever since.
Her father was a Kenyan professor who taught in Nairobi and Addis Ababa, at Harvard and in Mexico City, where she was born. Lupita is a Mexican name. They moved back to Kenya when she was one. He has since become a senator and government minister in Kenya. She returned to Mexico at age 16 for seven months to study Spanish.
She speaks Spanish, English, Swahili and Luo.
After high school, she came to the US to study film and theatre at Hampshire College.
In 2009, back in Kenya, she wrote, produced and directed “In My Genes”, a film about albinos. Her early film credits are behind the scenes.
In 2009 and 2011 she appeared on Kenyan television as one of the main characters of “Shuga”, an MTV Base soap opera that pushed safe sex.
In 2012, like Angela Bassett, she got her master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama. From there she went straight into “12 Years a Slave”, which made her name. She makes you feel what her character feels.
In 2015, she appeared in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Reportedly, some of her scenes were so bad they had to be cut or reworked. In her defence, she played an alien with a computer-generated face!
– Abagond, 2016.
- Welcome to Black Women’s History Month 2016!
- Alek Wek
- Angela Bassett
- All-White Oscars
- All-Black Vogue
- Are white women beautiful or is it society that makes them seem so?
- skin lightening
- The most beautiful women according to Kenya