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Watch Lupita Nyong'o Speak About the Importance of Literature on the 'BBC'

'I realized that books don't have to be about White people, they can actually represent all people,' the actress says describing her complex relationship with literature during childhood.

Lupita Nyong'o was recently invited to the Harris Westminster Sixth Form in London to speak to young women about leadership and the importance of literacy. The event was hosted by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Lancôme.

There, the Kenyan-Mexican actress spoke to the BBC about the importance of literature and her own journey with reading books as a child.


"When I was growing up I didn't like reading but I was surrounded by books all ti mes and I did know how to read. But as I grew older I realized that with reading comes comprehension and confidence," Nyong'o begins. "And I think those are two qualities that are really important as you get into the workforce and try find your place in the world."

Intermittent snippets show the actress speaking to the young women about the roles reading and studying have played in her professional career when having had to play certain characters with specific capabilities.

Cutting back to the main interview, Nyongo'o continues, "When I was younger, one of the things that didn't help my dislike of reading was the fact that not a lot of the books that I was reading were relevant to my immediate life, to my immediate world." She adds that, "I realized that books don't have to be about White people, they can actually represent all people."

Just last year, Nyong'o released her debut children's book Sulwe which seeks to address colorism in the Black community by providing much-needed representation for dark-skinned little girls through a character who looks just like them.

Towards the end of the interview, Nyong'o says simply, "When you are reading stories that have themes and characters that are relevant to your world, then you're more likely to stick with [reading] longer because you can see the ways in which it is applicable to your life."

Watch the full video below:

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Still from interview via Comedy Central.

Watch Lupita Nyong'o's Interview on 'The Daily Show With Trevor Noah'

The star actress discussed awards season and the positive response to her debut book 'Sulwe.'

We love it whenever Trevor Noah has a fellow African join him on his late night show The Daily Show, and his latest guest is none other than the insanely talented Lupita Nyong'o.

The Oscar-winning actress spoke with the host about all of her recent award nominations, which include the Screen Actor's Guild Nomination and the Critics Choice award (she already won the New York Film Critics Circle's Best Actress Award for her performance in Us). The standout performance has also garnered serious Oscars buzz.

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'Sulwe' Book Cover

Lupita Nyong'o Releases Debut Children's Book 'Sulwe,' an Ode to Dark-Skinned Kids

The actress says she wrote the book to help children learn to "love the skin they're in," pulling from her own childhood experiences with colorism.

Lupita Nyong'o's highly-anticiapted debut children's book, Sulwe is finally here.

Sulwe is all about self-love, the protagonsit is inspired by the actress herself (and even wears a dress the same that's the same shade of "Nairobi Blue" as the one she wore to the 2014 Oscars).

The book was illustrated by Vashti Harrison, who colors its pages with whimsical drawings of young Sulwe. Here's an official description of the book:

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

The actress has been promoting the new book with several interviews and appearances. Last week, she appeared on BBC Newsnight where she spoke openly about her experience growing up in a world that places more value on lighter skin and Eurocentric features. "Colorism is the daughter of racism," said Nyong'o.

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(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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