From Shuga to Oscar Awards: The story of Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong'O

Lupita is up for an Oscar.

Dreams do come true. This saying describes the rapid rise of tall, black, and beautiful Mexico born Kenyan actress and filmmaker, Lupita Nyong’o, who just a few years ago was a little-known actress in Kenya.

Lupita rose to slight fame in the MTV Base series, Shuga, a 2009 drama that explored sexual relationships among youth in Nairobi, Kenya. She later wrote, directed, and produced the critically acclaimed documentary about the treatment of Kenya’s albino population in Kenya titled, In My Genes.

At a time when Nigeria’s Omotola Jolade and Genevieve Nnaji were battling for international recognition, the Kenyan actress made her Hollywood movie debut as Patsey in the Steve MacQueen directed movie about slavery in America, 12 Years A Slave. The movie soon turned a huge turning point for her.

Her outstanding performance in the movie has won her multiple awards including New Hollywood Award, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and also nominations at Golden Globes, BAFTA and the Academy Awards (Oscars).

The graduate of the Yale School of Drama’s stage credits include playing Perdita in The Winter’s Tale (Yale Repertory Theater), Sonya in Uncle Vanya, Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, as well as being in the original production of Michael Mitnick’s Elijah.

Known for her short hair, which she has been wearing since she was 19 years old, Lupita, has been featured on the cover of several international celebrity magazines.

Lupita, who was born in 1983 in Mexico, is from the same ethnic group as President Barack Obama’s father. She is multilingual; speaks English, her native Luo, Spanish, Swahili and conversational Italian.

She will star next in an action thriller dubbed Non-Stop, scheduled for release on February 28, alongside Liam Neeson (Taken) and Emmy Award winner, Julianne Moore.

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