Lupita Nyong’o is an award-winning actor, vocal feminist, the star of Black Panther, the face of Lancôme, and most importantly, she’s our March issue cover star. The Kenyan-Mexican actress gained international acclaim for her role in 12 Years A Slave, and has established herself as one of Hollywood’s most valuable treasures. Her latest performance is in Black Panther, where she plays Wakandan spy Nakia.
Lupita Nyong’o also has admirable strength of character which we get a glimpse of every time she delivers a speech. So we’ve chosen five (out of a plethora of) things that have distinguished Lupita as an inspiration to women across the globe.
1. Oscar acceptance speech
When Lupita won an Oscar for her portrayal of Patsey in 12 Years A Slave in 2014, she accepted her award in a blue Prada grown; but more captivating than her dress was her speech which set out to motivate young girls.
‘It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance,’ she said emotionally.
She closed off her speech with this memorable line: ‘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. Thank you.’
2. Lancôme ambassadress
In 2014 when Hollywood’s darling signed on as the face of French luxury brand Lancôme, she became their first black ambassadress. This was a groundbreaking deal not only because she’s black, but also because she’s especially dark-skinned and has natural hair – features which were previously not embraced in the beauty industry. ‘I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself,’ she told Time.
Lancôme, in partnership with the NGOCARE, is supporting worldwide literacy programs to help young women living with illiteracy to turn their lives around. Show your support like Lupita Nyong’o (@lupitanyongo ) Write your name so she can write her future. Follow the link in bio. #Lancome #DeclaringHappiness #WriteHerFuture #CommittedTogether #HappierTogether
3. Sulwe – An illustrated children’s book
Lupita has written an illustrated children’s book called Sulwe, which will officially be released in January 2019. The book is about a young Kenyan girl’s journey to self-acceptance as a dark-skinned girl much like Lupita herself. The book is therefore intended to inspire dark-skinned girls (aged five to seven) as they follow Sulwe’s journey to self-acceptance and confidence.
We got a peek inside Lupita’s fun, quirky side at last year’s Comic-Con when she dressed up as a Pink Power and posted this incredible video, living her best life;
— Lupita Nyong’o (@Lupita_Nyongo) July 26, 2017
5. Humanitarian work
As a celebrity who ‘believes in using the platform [her] career has given [her] to speak out on important issues’, Lupita supports a number of charities and causes that are close to home. These include the African Wildlife Foundation, American Association of Retired Persons, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, GLAAD, Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation, Save the Elephants and WildAid.
To read more about Lupita Nyong’o’s formidable career and character (plus her experience of playing Nakia in Black Panther), get a copy of our March issue on shelf now.