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Lupita Nyong’o idolised mother and aunt

Published:Wednesday | January 19, 2022 | 12:07 AM
Lupita Nyong’o.
Lupita Nyong’o.

Growing up, Lupita Nyong’o’s mother and her aunts were her “idols”.

The 38-year-old actress – who was born to Kenyan parents, Dorothy Ogada Buyu and Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o – is currently starring in the all-female spy film The 355 and revealed the “strong” women in her life who have inspired her the most.

She said: “I grew up with a very strong and close family, so my idols were a lot of my relatives, especially my aunties and my mother.”

The Academy Award winner then went on to cite classic films such as The Sound of Music and The Color Purple as memorable movies from her youth, noting that seeing “dark-skinned” women like herself act had a “big impact” on her childhood.


She told OK! Magazine: “When it comes to film and TV, I was madly in love with The Sound of Music. Fraulein Maria [played by Julie Andrews] was my idea of the perfect governess I wish I had. And then, of course, The Color Purple. I’ve talked about this a lot, but [that movie] had a really big effect on me. Seeing Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg and Akosua Busia, all these actors who look like me and doing this thing called acting, had a big impact on me and what was possible for me in the world of entertainment for someone like me.”

The star – who plays former MI6 agent Khadijah Adiyeme in The 355 alongside Jessica Chastain – then jokingly admitted that while her character in the movie is a technology expert the same cannot be said for herself.

She quipped: “I think Khadijah is extremely intelligent in a way that I am not. I’m the kind of person who sweats when I have to change my phone. It’s a proper stressor. I need to block out a day or two where I can just figure out this new gadget and get help to figure out all the things. Technology dwarfs me. I feel like there was a time when I knew what was going on, and that time is no more!”