Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o revealed that winning the Academy Awards in 2014 helped her land a green card in the United States. Lupita won an Oscar award for the best supporting actress after her Hollywood debut in the movie ‘12 Years A Slave’.
During an interview with her former college mates, Thanu Yakupitiyage and Rage Kidvai, of the ‘Bad Brown Aunties’ podcast, Lupita revealed that she is a Kenyan actress with a Mexican passport, living in America.
She struggled to root herself in the US because she did not have permanent residency. The only way she could get a green card, she said, was by getting a permanent job or winning an international award; the latter worked for her.
Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico where she lived for almost a year before her parents moved to New York, when her father worked for the United Nations. She is the 5th born of 6 children, born to Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and Dorothy Nyong’o.
She reminisced about her childhood days, being the daughter of a politician and having a supportive mother who has helped her stay grounded. Watching her father live a public life has helped her value her support system and also helped her to separate her public life from her personal life.
She counts herself as a Hollywood actress who uses her contemporary voice to tell the African story. This part of her career is very important to her as she is able to contribute to changing the narrative about being black and about Africa as a whole. Through this value, she further revealed, she has turned down a number of job opportunities which did not amplify the African perspective.
Despite it all, Lupita has learned to be still and not be carried away in the chaos that comes with her profession. To choose keenly and stand for what’s important to her and her people.
In the interview, Lupita also revealed that she was not the smartest kid in class, but that did not stop her from pursuing her dreams. History subject was not her forte and neither was math nor Chemistry.
However, her parents have always been supportive and treated each child specially by helping them figure out their individual strength and capabilities.
“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid,” said Lupita in her famous speech after winning the Oscar award.