Lupita Amondi Nyong’o is an Academy Award-winning Kenyan-Mexican actress of Luo descent. She is the daughter of Dorothy Ogada Buyu Nyong’o and Kenyan politician Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o (currently the governor of Kisumu County). Lupita was born in Mexico City, Mexico and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. Lupita received her bachelor’s degree in film and theatre from Hampshire College, and a master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama.
Lupita also happens to be one of our close, long-time friends and we’re super excited to bring you this rare, intimate conversation with her. Go listen to the second episode of Bad Brown Aunties, here!
Below is a playlist of our favorite songs from soundtracks of Lupita’s films, along with videos, photographs of her and her family, and other episode-related goodies!
Lupita’s Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 12 Years a Slave (2014).
East River (2008): Lupita starred in the short film directed by Marc Grey and shot in Brooklyn
Shuga (2008): Acted in the MTV Base Africa/ UNICEF drama about HIV/AIDS prevention
In My Genes (2009): Wrote, directed and produced the documentary about albinism in Kenya.
12 Years a Slave (2013): Directed by Steve McQueen, Lupita played the role of Patsey, a slave who worked alongside Solomon Thorthup, a free-born African-American man of upstate New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in Washington, DC, in 1841.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015): Lupita played Maz Kanata, a CGI character.
Eclipsed (2016): A Broadway play written by Danai Gurira, Lupita had a starring role in the production. Eclipsed tells the story of five Liberian women and their tale of survival near the end of the Second Liberian Civil War. It became the first play with an all-black and female creative cast and team to premiere on Broadway.
The Jungle Book (2016): Lupita played the voice of Raksha, a mother wolf who adopts Mowgli.
Queen of Katwe (2016): Directed by Mira Nair, Lupita co-starred in the biopic based on the true story about the rise of a young Ugandan chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi. Nyong'o played Phiona's mother, Nakku Harriet.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017): Lupita returned as CGI character, Maz Kanata.
Black Panther (2018): Lupita starred as Nakia in the superhero film produced by Marvel. The film received 7 nominations and 3 wins at the 91st Academy Awards. A sequence is in the works…
Us (2019): American psychological horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele, starring Lupita Nyong'o in a double role as her own doppelgänger.
UPCOMING PROJECTS for Nyong’o include a children’s book titled Sulwe, a television series based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Americanah which she will produce and star in, and a film adaptation of Trevor Noah's Born A Crime, which she will produce and play a leading role in as Noah's mother, Patricia.
Lupita with her parents, Dorothy and Peter.
Vogue goes to Kenya to see Lupita make ugali on her family farm.
Lupita’s younger sibling @juniornyongo.
Lupita doing the “T-pose” on the red carpet! Go listen to the episode, if you don’t know what we’re talking about…
Lupita with the cast of Us, the movie.
Lupita’s long-time collaborator Danai Gurira will be writing & producing the adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. Read about it here.
Lupita with Trevor Noah. Lupita is set to star in and produce Noah’s book “Born a Crime.” Read about it here.
Listen to Lupita’s speech on beauty at the Essence Awards (2014). Lupita decided to write a children’s book (Sulwe) so she could talk to a younger audience about colorism and beauty.
Lupita wrote children’s book Sulwe (illustrated by Vashti Harrison); Out October 2019.
Listen to Lupita talk about the importance of representation and story-telling in this episode!
Lupita with some of the auntie favorites she mentioned on the podcast.