Kenyan actress Lupita Amondi Nyong’o has made history after scooping the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the 86th Academy awards held in Los Angeles, California on Sunday night for her role in the movie 12 years a Slave.
Lupita who is the first Kenyan to be nominated as well as win an Oscar was in the company of her family.
She beat out her main competitor Jennifer Lawrence who had been nominated for the award for her role in the movie American Hustle.
Other nominees in the category included Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and June Squibb (Nebraska).
A clearly stunned Lupita took the stage to a standing ovation and went on to thank the 12 years a slave cast. She also thanked her brother Junior who was sitting next to her as well as her family.
"As I look down this Oscar, I hope that every child knows that no matter where you come from, Your dreams are valid." She said.
GRACE AND HUMILITY
The win wraps up the 2013 film awards season in which she won more than 60 per cent of the awards 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 Awards, Image Awards, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards and several others.
The Yale University graduate had been tipped as the favourite to win the award due to her strong performance in the slave era movie and graciousness in the interview circuit where critics said she conducted herself “with grace and humility.”
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. The statement “the blue reminds me of Nairobi” trended widely on Twitter as well.
A little after the start of the show a thrilling moment for Kenyans watching the event was in the form of a short dance by Lupita along with US artist Pharell Williams during a performance of his song “Happy” a soundtrack from the movie Despicable Me 2. The artist then moved to actress Meryl Streep.
The Oscar win for the new Hollywood favourite who turned 31 on Saturday capped a memorable weekend for the newly minted star.
On Saturday, she celebrated a star studded birthday party graced by the presence of Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as well as the cast of “12 Years a Slave.”
This weekend, Lupita’s new movie topped the US box office toppling weekend toppling Warner Bros. animated The Lego Movie which had reigned for three weeks.