Award winning actress Lupita Nyong'o is this month’s Black Star Inspiration. She is a determined, talented and phenomenal woman who has worked her way to the big screens in Hollywood - a job some would say she has been working towards since childhood. While you may know her from Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ or Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ films, we’d love to share with you some things you may not know about her.
1. Lupita was born in Mexico City, Mexico and lived there for 7 months as a teenager
Yes, that’s right. Most people may associate Lupita with Kenya - it’s where both her parents and family are from - as is she. But, not many may know Lupita was actually born in Mexico City, Mexico when her dad was working at a University there. While she was still young, she returned to Kenya with her family where she grew up. During her teen years however her parents sent her back to Mexico to study Spanish for 7 months at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s Learning Center for Foreigners.
2. She starred as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet in Kenya
The repertory company called Phoneix players in Nairobi put on the play Romeo and Juliet where Lupita was the star role of Juliet. In an interview with her mother, she reminisced fondly of Lupita’s wonderful performance at the age of 14 years old.
3. She Directed a music video in Kenya called “Little Things You Do”
After graduating college, Lupita returned to Kenya and worked on a few film and media projects, which included a music video by popular East African musicians - Wahu from Kenya and Bobi Wine from Uganda. According to Blackpast.org, Lupita directed the music video which ended up being nominated for the MTV African Music awards in 2009.
Sulwe is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that addresses colourism and is a #1 New York Times Best seller. The story was designed by Lupita to “ inspire children to see their own unique beauty.” There is also an audio book narrated by Lupita as well as a song.
Versatility is also one of Lupita’s talents as she was the voice to the character Maz Kanata in the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lupita did both voice over and CGI acting for the role.
Lupita on vacation wearing a pair of Bôhten Aristotles
This one does make a bit of sense though right? After studying Spanish in Mexico, and living in Kenya, this one checks out. However, just in case you want proof, check out this 73 questions with Lupita Nyong’o from Vogue where she speaks both Spanish and Swahili for the viewers.
7. Lupita featured on the broadway play Eclipsed
Playbill described the Broadway play Eclipsed as, “Danai Gurira's critically acclaimed drama about war in Liberia.” The play was nomintated for 6 Tony Awards. Lupita starred in the play alongside other talented actresses. According to producers, the show was historical as it was “...the first time the cast, director, and playwright are composed entirely of female artists, fitting for a production that so stunningly chronicles the experiences of a group of very resilient women.”
Overall, Lupita has become a master at the arts as her talents allow her to dabble in everything. This of course is not limited to fashion in eyewear. Take a look at this Bôhten compiled video of her rocking different pairs of eyewear in her daily life.