To hear her Lupita’s first name some may recognize it’s Spanish origin and that her last name Nyongo denotes her African heritage. Currently, the 12 Years a Slave star is one of Hollywood’s “It girls.” Nyong’o was born in Mexico City, Mexico where her family were political refugees. It is traditional to name a child after the events of the day, so her parents decided to give her a Mexican first name. She is the second of six children.
Nyong’o’s parents are Dorothy and Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, a politician. She is of Luo descent. Peter was the former Kenyan Minister for Medical Services. At the time of Lupita’s birth, he was a visiting lecturer in political science. He was elected in 2013 to represent Kisumu County in the Kenyan Senate. Her cousinIsis Nyong’o was named one of Africa’s most powerful women by Forbes magazine in 2012.
Nyong’o moved back to Kenya when she was less than one year old, when her father was hired as a professor at the University of Nairobi. At age sixteen, her parents sent her back to Mexico for a few months to learn Spanish
Check out her moving Critic’s Choice Award Speech