Lupita Amondi Nyong’o is born in Mexico City, Mexico. Her father is Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, a Kenyan Senate politican and her mother is Dorothy Nyong’o, Africa Cancer Foundation’s managing director. She has five siblings and is of Luo descent. The Luo tradition is to name a child after the events of the day, so her parents give her a Mexican name, Lupita (a diminutive of Our Lady of Guadalupe). As a child, Nyong’o is teased about her race.
I got teased and taunted about my skin; my one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before.