*Yep, as the world already knows by now, Lupita Nyong’o is a pretty cool, elegant, stylish and talented actress.
But there are facts people might know about this Academy-Award winning thespian.
And for added bonus, her family too!
She’s Mexican: Well, she’s actually Kenyan, but she was born in Mexico City, Mexico. Her father, a Kenyan politician was a visiting lecturer in political science at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City and there she was born. And stayed there for the first year of her life basically right before her first birthday — moving to Kenya. However, she was immersed in Mexico’s culture — being sent back as a teenager for seven months to learn Spanish at 16. She is fluent in four languages: Spanish, English, Swahili and her native Luo.
Her Name: Hence, her Spanish roots explain her name, Lupita and her name is in alignment with Luo tradition, she was named after the events of the day. Lupita means ‘Guadalupe’ from ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe.’
Her Family is Pretty Awesome! Her brother Peter Nyong’o had the best photobomb of the night at the Oscar and she gave him a special shout out as her best friend. Not to mention that awesome Instagram video he posted after she was nominated for the Oscar.
She’s the second of six children.
Her father was elected to the Kenyan Senate.
Her mother is managing the Africa Cancer Foundation.
Her cousin, Tavia Nyong’o is both a scholar and professor at New York University.
Another cousin, Isis Nyong’o was named one of Africa’s most powerful women by Forbes.
She had an uncle who was a prominent physician in Kenya, but Aggrey Nyong’o was killed in a 2002 car accident.
She Had Issues With Her Complexion: She recently talked about her issues growing up with her skin tone. She prayed to God to make her a little lighter. But Alek Wek, a well known Sudanese supermodel, became her role model for beautiful, rich dark complexions. Lupita said, “When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty.”
Her Talent Goes Beyond the “Patsey” Role: She graduated from Yale with a MFA in 2012.
She has also appeared in several short independent films and a Kenyan soap opera.
And like she plans to create roles for women of color, In 2008, she won a first place prize at the Five College Film Festival for a documentary she wrote, directed and produced called In “My Genes.” It’s about the treatment of Kenyan’s albino population.
Fun Fact: She directed a music video called “The Little Things You Do” by artist Wahu featuring Bobi Wine (watch it below), and she was nominated at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards.