Before Lupita Nyong’o got her big break in films like 12 Years a Slave (2013) or the highly anticipated upcoming film Black Panther (2018), she worked behind the camera and even landed a role in an African mini series.
In 2009, Nyong’o portrayed a young Kenyan woman named Ayira on the MTV Africa mini series, Shuga. Ayira was a fiery, ambitious and intelligent college student trying to maintain her busy lifestyle and then some.
Shuga was a mini-series based in different parts of Africa. Season one and two starring Lupita Nyong’o was based in Malinda and Nairobi, Kenya while the remaining seasons were set in Lagos, Nigeria. The main focus of the mini-series was to bring awareness to controversial issues such as safe sex, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy and domestic abuse as it pertains to African youth who are juggling their education, family life, friendships and romantic relationships all while trying to figure out their paths in life.
Likewise, Nyong’o was working on blazing a trail of her own. Earlier in her career she spent time behind the camera as the production assistant for films such as, The Constant Gardener (2005) and Namesake (2006). Also in 2009, she made her debut as a writer, producer, editor and director for her own documentary called In My Genes, which was about Kenyan people who suffered discrimination due to albinism and their experiences in a predominantly black society.
Since 2009, Lupita Nyong’o’s career has soared like previously mentioned before she landed the role in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013) and won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the young slave woman, Patsey. In 2015, she made her Broadway debut in the play Eclipsed written by Danai Gurira. Nyong’o won a Tony Award for Best Actress in Play for her portrayal as the character, The Girl (Wife Number Four) in Eclipsed. In 2018, she will be starring in the upcoming film, Black Panther as Nakia.
Who knows what else Ms. Nyong’o has in the works, but one thing we do know is that we’re excited for whatever it may be.