Born in Mexico, Lupita Nyong'o grew up in an artistic family in Kenya. She self identifies as Kenyan-Mexican with dual citizenship. She came to the U.S. for higher studies and received a BA from Hampshire College. She graduated with an MFA degree from Yale School of Drama in 2012. In her youth spent in Kenya, she was active in theater, starred in a TV series, and directed and produced the documentary In My Genes about the discriminatory treatment of Kenya's albino population in 2009. A proponent of women’s and animal rights and historic preservation, she authored a bestselling children’s book titled Sulwe.
Her major breakthrough came in the movie 12 Years a Slave in which her acting was critically acclaimed. She won an Academy Award for 'Best Supporting Actress' for her role in this movie and is the first Mexican-Kenyan actress to receive this honor. With other key roles in movies and Broadway under her belt, Nyong’o has won numerous awards/nominations and accolades. Her next projects are to produce and star in Born a Crime, a film adaptation of Trevor Noah's memoir and in a television series based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Americana.