Actress Lupita Nyong’o is Kenyan, But She's Also Mexican — and Yes, She Speaks Spanish

Lupita Nyongo

Yes, the parents of Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o are Kenyan, but she was born in Mexico City and she speaks Spanish fluently. That means that she is a Kenyan-Mexican. She also fluently speaks Luo and Swahili.

A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, she landed her first leading role in a feature film in 2013 playing Patsey in Steve McQueen's biopic 12 Years as a Slave, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Since then, she has starred in several other films including East River, Nonstop, the Jungle Book, Black Panther, Us, The 355, and again in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

In the Black Panther franchise, Lupita plays the multi-lingual character of Nakia and says that she was ecstatic to be able to celebrate her heritage in the second film. In the first film, there's a scene where she speaks Korean (which she had to learn), but in the second film, she speaks her native language of Spanish.

During an interview on Entertainment Weekly, she said that being able to speak Spanish in a Marvel film "was a straight gift. I was so excited about it... And I was very, very happy to do it... I've always wanted to work in Spanish and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that that opportunity would come in Black Panther."

"The film represents different sides of my heritage," Lupita said. "Being born in Mexico and having that Mesoamerican culture represented, it's very close to me."

In addition to her Oscar, Lupita has also been the recipient of several accolades including an Academy Award and nominations for two primetime Emmy Awards and a Tony Award.

Follow her on Instagram at @LupitaNyongo