Friday, 31 January 2014

Lupita:The new name of success

Ok Ok. Let's start it here! I have many role models and big figures who have helped me in emulating them. I have had many things in mind to write about them as a way of appreciation but let's just say I was too lazy then(Of which I was. No offense!) I hope I am forgiven Trump, Russel and the rest, am I? :). First of all let's start it this way,I am a Kenyan African man who was taught in the bush not to show emotions and feelings especially towards a girl.Lord, don't think I have a crush on her!(Yes, I do! Who in his right mind wouldn't? Maybe if your genes mutated during the embryonic stage before you were born.). Even if I were to... her,(anything that leads somewhere), the fact is, She is ten years older than I am. Something I detest very much, sometimes I ask my father, why he married my mother late. I would have joined the league of Bradd Pitt and company in submitting my CV to her for vetting as a potential 'nani'. Ok, by now you have all the clues on who is about to be the topic of this context.But for my blonde fellows, let me help you. She is female, she is Kenya (Woohoo! I AM KENYAN!) and the fact that She is in freaking Hollywood just ices the cake very well!

Her name is...Stop , you guessed right!!  So she was not that famous for 29 years, and not until recently when all of a sudden, she became new kid in in the corridors of Hollywood!! What does that mean?  She became an household name. Not only here in her mother country, Kenya but the world!! Imagine that?? A whole planet talking about you! Because of what?? Success.  The stunning Kenyan actress has taken the film world by storm with her gripping performance in 12 Years a Slave, and the role has garnered her best supporting actress nominations at the Golden Globes and Oscars. Most recently, she took home a SAG award in the category and was also honored at the Critics' Choice Awards, where she was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation by her idols and peers before giving an emotional, heartfelt acceptance speech (it was one for the books; if you haven't seen it yet, we suggest you grab a tissue and watch :link). While there's a lot to love about Lupita — her raw talent, wide-eyed ingenuity, and incredible sense of style included. Lupita was born in Mexico City, where she and her family were political refugees. Her parents decided to adhere to Kenyan tradition — naming your child after the events of the day — and give her a Mexican first name. Her father, Hon Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, is a former minister and current member of Kenya's parliament. Thanks to his notoriety there, Lupita has a realistic view of fame, telling the LA Times,
Look at that caption, I don't need to add mine! 

"I grew up in the limelight and being the child of someone famous, so my relationship with fame is not bedazzled." But Lupita's still not quite used to her growing stardom; as she told The Huffington Post,
Lupita at the 71st  Golden Globe Awards
"I'm trying to get over the fact that my name is being mentioned with freakin' Brad Pitt! It's a lot. My name is coming up alongside people that I have grown up watching and who I respect so deeply. That is incredible and unbelievable."

Lupita graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in film and theater studies. She went on to earn a master's degree from Yale's School of Drama in 2012, just months before landing the role of Patsey in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. She speaks Spanish! She learnt this when her parents sent her back to Mexico at age 16 to learn the language.

Lupita in one of the scenes in "12 years a slave"
Also it looks like success is just not far away from her family, as her cousin Isis Nyong'o Madison was on Forbes's  list of Africa's Top 20 Youngest Power Women. Lupita also brought her brother, Peter Jr., as her date to the Palm Springs Film Festival and thanked Julia Roberts for "making him the coolest kid in school" by taking a photo with him that night. Lupita landed a job as a production assistant in 2005 when The Constant Gardener was being filmed in her Kenyan neighborhood. She spent some of her time helping the film's star Ralph Fiennes.

Lupita with her brother, Peter Jr. at the Palm Springs Music Festival
In 2009, she wrote, directed, and produced the documentary In My Genes, which explores the treatment of Kenyans with albinism. She credits Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple as inspiration for her performance in 12 Years a Slave. Lupita told the Independent ,

"Whoopi looked like me, she had hair like mine, she was dark like me. I'd been starved for images of myself. I'd grown up watching a lot of American TV. There was very little Kenyan material, because we had an autocratic ruler who stifled our creative expression."

Lupita also drew inspiration from Michael Jackson: 

"There's something very Michael Jackson-like about Patsey, the childlike quality he always had."
Her breakout role has earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. This is how we imagine Lupita reacted when she found out the news. She's into '90s TV just as much as we are; growing up in Kenya, Lupita's favorite shows were Full House, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Friends. Hear that, Jennifer Aniston ? Lupita's first time seeing a roller coaster was in the opening credits of Step by Step . Watch her hilarious interview with Jimmy Kimmel where she explains her first time riding one.Lupita's interview with Jimmie

Director McQueen, Lupita and Ejiofor. '12 Years a Slave' Premieres in London
For her first-ever time at the Golden Globes, Lupita had an adorable "checklist" of stars she wanted to meet and take photos with. She nailed it! The red-caped Ralph Lauren gown she wore that night turned lots of heads and landed Lupita on many a best-dressed list . Lupita told the LA Times that she's also been keeping a journal to track her journey through award season. Prior to starring in 12 Years a Slave, Lupita appeared in a short film called East River, as well as an African MTV miniseries called Shuga. She's a fashion-industry darling! Lupita covers the February issues of W Magazine and Dazed and Confused and has already landed a gig as one of the new faces of Miu Miu 's Spring campaign. Nyong'o picked up the very first SAG Award of the night, beating out American Hustle star (and Golden Globe winner) Jennifer Lawrence for the Best Supporting Actress honor.
"Being recognized by fellow actors is an honor of the highest order, and I want to thank all of you so much,"

she said in her emotional acceptance speech. 

Lupita looking emotional during her speech
"First of all I want to thank the man without whom this would all not be possible, Solomon Northup, for a life well lived..."

She went on to thank director Steve McQueen, as well as her alma mater, Yale School of Drama, for the "amazing training." Last but not least, she thanked her family, who "have kept it real." Recalling the moment she got the role in 12 Years a Slave, Nyong'o told the crowd,

"I said, 'Daddy, do you know Brad Pitt? I'm going to be in a movie with him.' And he said, 'I don't know him personally, but I'm glad you got a job."
The invitation letter she got to the Oscars

Well as a young guy in his last teen years, I am happy that I can have a person I can look up to, a person  who has garnered a lot of accolades within weeks and has grown. And if you think she's stopped at it, you're wrong! We'll next see Lupita in the upcoming action film Non-Stop with Liam Neeson, Michelle Dockery, and Julianne Moore. Not too fast young lad! She is going for the Oscars too! Let's hope she wins! Wait! Hope?? No!! She is going to take all the Oscars she has been nominated for! I am that optimistic!

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