Lupita Amondi Nyong’o
Lupita Amondi Nyong’o is a Kenyan- Mexican actress and film director. The award winning actress was born on the 1st day of March 1983 to Dorothy and Peter Ayang Nyong’o in Mexico. She was however raised in Kenya as her parents moved there the same year she was born (1983). She attended college in the United States, graduating from Hampshire College with a bachelor’s degree in film and theater studies.
Growing up, Lupita attended Rusinga International School in Kenya and got herself involved with acting in school. Her first play was a minor role in Oliver Twist. Lupita acted as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the age of 14 this was produced by the Nairobi-based repertory company Phoenix players. This turns out to be her professional acting debut. She also made appearances in some plays like “on the razzle” and “there goes the bride” while she was a member of the Phoenix players. She later attended St. Mary’s School in Nairobi where she received an IB diploma in 2001 before attending college in the United States.
Lupita started her career in the film industry as a production assistant on a number of Hollywood films. Her acting debut was in the short film East River in 2008. She returned to Kenya in 2008 to star in a Kenyan television series Shuga. Shuga is an MTV Base Africa/ UNICEF drama about HIV/AIDS prevention. In 2009, she wrote, directed and produced a documentary called “In My Genes” This documentary was about the discriminatory treatment of Kenya’s albino population. The documentary won first prize at the 2008 Five College Film Festival. She also directed a music video titled “The little things you do” by Wahu featuring Bobi Wine, the video was nominated for the Best Video Award at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2009.
Lupita enrolled for and completed a master’s degree at the Yale School of Drama in 2012. While at Yale, she was in many stage productions like Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus, Lights the Lights, William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and The Winter’s Tale. She also bagged the Herschel Williams Prize for “acting students with outstanding ability” during the 2011-2012 academic year.
Her first feature film role was in Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 years a slave (2013). This film turns out to be her breakthrough role. Reviews on her performance in the film were incredible. She was nominated for several awards. She bagged the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress asides many other awards and nominations. She is the sixth black actress to win the award, the first African actress to win the award and the first Kenyan and Mexican actress to win an Academy Award. She’s won at least 25 awards till date. She also played a brief role as a flight attendant in the action thriller Non-Stop (2014)
Lupita Nyong’o was appointed by the Togolese magazine Africa Top Success for “African of the Year”. She has also appeared on the cover of various magazines like the New York’s spring fashion issue and UK magazine Dazed & Confused. She was the July cover for Vogue in 2014 (the second African woman ever and the ninth black woman) She was named the new face of Lacome in April 2014.