Lupita Nyong’o: The rave of the moment

Deborah Dzifa Makafui November 09, 2022
Lupita Nyong'o/Black Panther

Actors are frequently praised for their abilities, originality, and tolerance. These traits can influence both their public behavior and their private choices. In light of this, Lupita Nyong’o comes to mind as a Black actress who has made a significant impact in the entertainment world. 

Nyong’o has demonstrated a variety of skills and has established herself as a gifted, clever, and diligent personality in the film industry. She has excelled in every role she has played and has been a standout in every film she has been in. 

The Kenyan actress, who was born Lupita Amondi Nyong’o in Mexico, was raised in Kenya by her father who was a senator and government minister. She was a student at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and worked on multiple films as a production assistant and an intern while she was still a student. She earned a bachelor’s degree in film and African studies in 2007.

The 2010 New York African Film Festival showed her senior thesis movie, In My Genes (2009). Later, Nyong’o took on a role in the Shuga (2009; 2012) television miniseries on the youth culture in Lagos. Following that, she enrolled at the Yale School of Drama, where she graduated with a master’s in acting (2012). 

In this article, I want to draw attention to a few of the films she has appeared in and how she excelled in each role. 

Black Panther 

One of the most successful and timely movies to emerge from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther met almost all the expectations of a superhero movie. It had thought-provoking social topics together with the tale of a new ruler of a country. In this movie, Nyong’o plays the super spy Wakandan Nakia. 

Nakia was born in the River Tribe in the African nation of Wakanda. She grew up to be fiercely independent, but she also fell in love with Prince T’Challa, the heir apparent and son of King T’Chaka. Despite their seeming destiny to be married, Nakia’s journey led her to join Wakanda’s War Dogs, an elite espionage unit, and undergo training. As she delved deeper into missions that she thought aided not only Wakanda but the wider cause of women, especially those being subjugated on the African continent, she became an expert spy and spent an increasing amount of time abroad from her home country. 

Lupita Nyong’o’s versatility and variety (in Adelaide Wilson and Red)

Us is the sequel to Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning horror thriller Get Out, which dealt extensively with social satire. The story centers on a suburban family who goes on vacation only to learn that some doppelgängers are hunting them down. 

The Us movie centers on Adelaide (Nyong’o), a wife and mother of two who is plagued by a childhood incident in which she discovers a mirror image of herself in a House of Mirrors. She visits her family at their vacation house as an adult. Nyong’o gives an excellent performance both as the lead and as her evil twin. She is gifted, as evidenced by the range she displayed in this film. 

Princess of Katwe 

It is based on the true account of Phiona Mutesi, who began playing chess at age nine despite not attending school and went on to compete in international competitions. David Oyelowo played her chess instructor, while Nyong’o played her mother. 

She portrayed Nakku Harriet, the mother of the main character, a fierce single parent who sells food on the streets to support Night (Taryn “Kay” Kyaze), an independent adolescent, Phiona, and two younger sons. Children who don’t have time for school have a difficult existence. Nyong’o encourages and supports her daughter in pursuing her goals while also fretting that the girl could have unrealistic expectations. 

Twelve Years a Slave 

African American Solomon Northup, a free man, is abducted in 1841 and sold into slavery for 12 years under the alias “Platt.” Under the control of several slave owners, he must endure the rigors of being a slave. Northup must endure and survive those 12 years of servitude via faith, willpower, and bravery. 

Almost no one had heard of Nyong’o until the Toronto Film Festival premiere of 12 Years a Slave. She was still a student at Yale Drama School when Steve McQueen handed her the leading female part in 12 Years a Slave. Nyong’o plays Patsey, a young slave who has grown to be the fixation of Michael Fassbender’s sadistic cotton plantation Master Edwin Epps. 

Currently the talk of the town, Nyong’o earned an Academy Award for her feature film debut in 12 Years a Slave (2013). She won the prize, becoming the first actress from Mexico and Kenya to do so. She is also the author of the book “Sulwe,” which is based on her experience growing up as a dark-skinned girl and tells the tale of a young Black girl coping with colorism and challenges of self-esteem. The Oscar-winning actress was recently in Lagos, Nigeria for the historic Africa premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”.

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