In her new movie, Queen of Katwe, Lupita Nyong’o brings her talent and brilliance to a story from her native East Africa.
To celebrate, she takes Vogue—and the most glorious prints of the season—to her family’s village in Kenya.
She has made her mark since that dramatic turn in 12 Years A Slave. Lupita Nyong’o proves that point once again as she graces the cover of the October 2016 issue of Vogue magazine.
The 33-year-old Queen Of Katwe star looks every bit the royal in a richly coloured and floral embossed Chanel dress with crew neckline and short puffed sleeves.
The actress, who was born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents and raised in Kenya, attributed to the inner strength and beauty that emanates from within.
It’s that inner strength that fuels her desire ‘to create opportunities for other people of color.
The piece captured Lupita returning to her family’s village in Kenya and telling African stories about her people and culture.
Lupita is the second of six children from a prominent Kenyan family. Her mother manages the Africa Cancer Foundation. Her father is a senator, political activist, and former university lecturer. She and her siblings grew up in the public eye, negotiating visibility, privilege, and politics.
“Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice. I feel very passionate about that. It feels intentional, meaningful.”
In the six months leading up to the Oscars, she swirled through 66 red carpets. She was dubbed People’s Most Beautiful Person and appeared on the cover of multiple magazines. “But it was all not acting,” she says.
Lupita was in Kenya a few months ago, where she had traveled to her family’s ancestral village in the Luo homeland, a stone’s throw from Lake Victoria.
“We’d visit my grandparents, spend my vacations here; all the cousins would come from around the world to spend Christmas in the village,” says Lupita. She was staying at the Acacia Premier Hotel in Kisumu.
Lupita was already acting and leading the other kids in kindergarten. By high school at St. Mary’s, in Nairobi, she was in all the musicals.
“When I got there, I kept hearing ‘Lupita this, Lupita that,’ and I thought, Is she some supermodel?” a Kenyan producer told Vogue. “All the guys talked about her. She had a walk.”
Around Christmas of 2014, Lupita got an email from the director Mira Nair with the script for Queen of Katwe, which tells how Phiona Mutesi, an uneducated girl from the slums of Uganda, rises to become the chess champion of her country and an international chess master.
Nair wanted her to play Phiona’s mother, Harriet. “Five pages in I wrote my manager and agent with the words ‘I must do this film,’ ” says Lupita.
Lupita said: ‘I came home from college in the early two-thousands and saw ads on TV with a girl who can’t get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job.
‘The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called “black mamba.” The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you.’
Lupita recently played a 15-year-old Liberian known only as The Girl in the Broadway play Eclipsed, which saw it’s final performance in June.
“There are certain cards that have been dealt me that I take on,” Lupita explained. “That is why Eclipsed and even Queen of Katwe are so important, to change the narrative, offer a new lens on African identity.”
On Instagram, Lupita hinted that a big surprise was in store as she posted another picture of herself about to open a box – a box that contained the first issues of the October edition of Vogue.
‘I have a secret that I can finally share… Guess who came to see me back home in Kenya?!’ wrote Lupita, whose smile in the photo couldn’t contain the giddiness.
She also shared a picture of herself holding the newest issue along with a shoutout to the people who worked so diligently behind it: ‘LOVE. Thank you @VogueMagazine, @MarioTestino, @TonneGood, @VernonFrancois, @DilokritBarose, @TeamID. #QueenOfKatwe’
Source – Kiss 100