‘I was living in a lot of pain’: Lupita Nyong’o opens up about decision to publicly announce breakup 

Francis Akhalbey February 27, 2024
Lupita Nyong'o recently spoke about why she decided to make her split from Selema Masekela public -- Photo Credit: Lupita Nyong’o/Instagram

In a recent interview with Net-a-Porter, Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o touched on her breakup with her ex-boyfriend Selema Masekela and why she decided to publicly announce their split.

As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, the 40-year-old in October took to Instagram to announce she had ended her relationship with Masekela after she was spotted with fellow actor Joshua Jackson and friends during a night out. 

“In my mind, when I shared my relationship status with the world, it was because I felt sure about it,” the Black Panther star said in the interview. “I was living in a lot of pain and heartbreak. I looked at the environment of my social media and thought, I don’t want to be a part of this illusion that everything is always coming up roses. Surely there is a lesson for me to learn in this, and I just want to be real about it.”

Nyong’o also said she was glad she shared the news as the response and support she received were positive. “I knew how it could be interpreted; I knew it would have a life of its own,” she stated. “But then I started to see the comments and people were being so loving and supportive. The ones that moved me the most were other people sharing their pain and their heartbreak.”

Despite her previous relationship not working out as expected, the 12 Years a Slave star said she’s open to finding love again – though she’s not in a rush. “Our purpose in life is to love. And so you have to get back in it,” Nyong’o said in reference to a comment fellow actress Niecy Nash made.

“I think what I’ve learned is, I’ve got to just face this thing that I’m going through. I can’t run away from it. And so I am not looking for its opposite right now,” she said.

Masekela, whose father is legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela, and Nyong’o made their relationship public in December 2022. Nyong’o in the Instagram post to announce their split the following year explained that their relationship was cut short by “deception.”

“At this moment, it is necessary for me to share a personal truth and publicly dissociate myself from someone I can no longer trust…,” the 40-year-old shared at the time.

“I find myself in a season of heartbreak because of a love suddenly and devastatingly extinguished by deception,” she added. “I am tempted to run into the shadows and hide, only to return to the light when I have regained my strength enough for me to say, ‘Whatever, my life is better this way.’”

Despite her state, Nyong’o said she was confident about pulling through. “But I am reminded that the magnitude of the pain I am feeling is equal to the measure of my capacity for love. And so, I am choosing to face the pain, cultivating the courage to meet my life exactly as it is, and trusting that this too shall pass,” she wrote.

Nyongo’o also explained why she decided to share her story, writing, “The promise, they say, is that a tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. I hope it’s true… I share this to keep it 100, and hoping that the knowledge of my experience might be useful to someone else out there experiencing the grip of heartbreak who is poised to try and escape from the pain and miss out on the wisdom that comes from it.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 27, 2024


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