Lupita Nyong’o Takes Vogue to Kenya
Starlet Lupita Nyong’o recently showed Vogue magazine her beloved Kenya in the newly released October issue.
Lupita Nyong’o graces the cover of the October issue of Vogue. She takes Vogue and the rest of the world on a tour of her beloved Kenya, sharing its beauty from her perspective. The photos are by Mario Testino and styled by Tonne Goodman.
Nyong’o takes Vogue on a tour, including dinner with her family at her father’s farm in Kisumu. While there, Lupita’s mother teaches the actress and Vogue readers how to make ugali, a traditional Kenyan food.
The visit was part of a publicity tour for her latest film Queen of Katwe. The film stars Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, and Madina Nalwanga. The film is about the rise of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, who becomes a Woman Candidate Master after winning the World Chess Olympiads.
“To play a mother of four in Uganda, a formidable mother who has so much working against her, was so compelling to me. It wasn’t something I thought I’d be asked to do,” she said.
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@voguemagazine October cover star @lupitanyongo photographed by @mariotestino 🙏🏽📸😘 Looking radiant under the light of her motherland #Kisumu #Kenya. ✈️🌍🇰🇪✨✨✨That gorgeous skin with that @31philliplim florals print ❤️❤️❤️ Fashion @tonnegood 💥 Headwrap @vernonfrancois 💥 Makeup by me for @lancomeofficial 💄💋✨ #lupitanyongo #MarioTestino #Vogue #Africa #Beauty #Travels @rscapellan @teamid @xclusiveartists
This is Nyongo’s second time on the cover of the magazine, and she is only the ninth Black woman and second African woman cover the fashion magazine.
To put that in perspective, it should be noted that Vogue magazine was founded in 1892.
In 124 years, there have only been nine Black women on the cover of the fashion magazine. Even if the magazine had only been published once a month (which it was not — it started out as a weekly magazine, moved to biweekly and then found its monthly cadence), that would mean that there were 1,488 issues and only nine of those cover girls were Black.
With those numbers in mind, this makes the work of Nyong’o that much more important.
“The European sense of beauty affects us all,” she says in the Vogue interview. “I came home from college in the early two-thousands and saw ads on TV with a girl who can’t get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job. The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called ‘black mamba.’ The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you.”
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@voguemagazine October cover star @lupitanyongo in #Chloe shot on the majestic Lake Victoria in Kisumu, Kenya ❤️❤️❤️ In @mariotestino words 🙏🏽📸😎 " And Then God Created Kenya" Ahhhh he captured the light, the colours, the air, the magic in these photographs 🇰🇪🌍✈️✨✨✨ Fashion by @tonnegood ✨ Headwrap by @vernonfrancois ✨ Make Up by me for @lancomeofficial 💋💄😘 #lupitanyongo #kenya #Kisumu #Africa #Travels #Fashion #Vogue #MarioTestino @rscapellan @teamid @danielled2mgmt @xclusiveartists
“Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice,” Nyong’o told Vogue, “I feel very passionate about that. It feels intentional, meaningful.”
“I want to create opportunities for other people of color because I’m fortunate enough to have a platform to do that. That is why Eclipsed and even Queen of Katwe are so important, to change the narrative, offer a new lens on African identity.”
Queen of Katwe premiered at the Toronto Independent Film Festival and will be in theaters across the U.S. later this month.
Visit Vogue for interview and spectacular photoshoot.