Lupita Nyong’o has become the first Kenyan to win an Oscar, the highest prize in the film industry globally.
Lupita bagged the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her role in 12 Years A Slave, a film about a free African American who was tricked and sold into slavery.
She trounced seasoned Hollywood actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and June Squibb (Nebraska) to clinch the coveted award.
“When I look down at this golden statue,” she said after accepting the award at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, Monday morning “may it remind me and every child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” In Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta led other Kenyans in congratulating Lupita for the victory at the 86th Academy Awards.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Cord leader Raila Odinga, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie and the German ambassador to Kenya, Mr Andreas Peschke, were among the leaders who sent their congratulatory messages to Lupita who had been accompanied to the awards ceremony by her father, Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o, her mother Dorothy and her younger brother Peter, who was also captured in the news-making selfie tweeted by actress Ellen DeGeneres.
Said the First Lady: “Congratulations Lupita. You’re truly an African daughter. So proud of you as a nation.”
Mr Odinga said: “Congratulations @Lupita_Nyongo. You have made us proud!” Mrs Kandie said Lupita’s success was a clear testimony of the abundant talent that is to be found in Kenya’s youth.
“She has become a true inspiration to millions of young compatriots not only in Kenya but also in the rest of Africa”.
And Mr Peschke said Lupita had written history.
“Germany wholeheartedly congratulates Lupita on this fantastic achievement. It is well deserved by an outstanding performance.”
Soon after learning of Lupita’s big win at the Academy Awards, Kenyans took to social media to compliment her. Messages of goodwill poured in from across the globe following her triumph.
On Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, Kenyans expressed their joy at the announcement.
“I never imagined that I would live to see a Kenyan accept an Oscar,” said Kagendo Dorcas via Twitter.
“Go beautiful Lupita, the competition was stiff, but you showed the world that we too can do it,” said Nyanchama Lawrence in a message on Facebook.
In the film, Lupita played the role of Patsey, a young slave who suffers physical and sexual abuse under her cruel master.
And when she rose to accept her award, she received a standing ovation from the Hollywood audience after beating fellow frontrunner Jennifer who played the role of a housewife in American Hustle.
“Yes!” Lupita exclaimed as she accepted the coveted award.
“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s, and so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey, for her guidance,” she said.
The Kenyan community in the US and the media had been supportive of Lupita since she was nominated.
Denzel Musumba, a US-based Kenyan journalist told the Nation by phone that Lupita had made “Kenyans out here very proud of their roots.”
The win wraps up the 2013 film awards season in which she won over 60 per cent of the nominations.
With the Oscar win, she won 27 awards out of 42 nominations during the 2013 film awards season.
She adds the Oscar to her collection which includes the Hollywood Film Awards, Independent Spirit, Image and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
During the Red Carpet event prior to the awards show official start, Lupita gave a shout out to Nairobi when answering a question from Ryan Seacrest the American Idol talent show host about her dress.
“This is Prada….. it was made for me. I like the blue as the blue reminds me of Nairobi,” she said fiddling with the dress. “I just wanted to bring a piece of home with me.”
The statement prompted hashtag Nairobiblue to trend on social media.
( Courtesy Daily Nation……Source …….Our Freelance Contributor in Kenya Africa)