Kenyan wins Oscar for best supporting actress

Lupita Nyong'o makes history by becoming the first woman from her country to win much-coveted Hollywood award.

    Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o has made history by becoming the first woman from her country to win the Oscar for best supporting actress for her performance in the film 12 Years a Slave.

    Nyong'o scooped the award at the 86th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

    "Thank you to the academy for this incredible recognition," an emotional Nyong'o said, earning a thunderous standing ovation from the Hollywood audience.

    "It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain and someone else's. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance."

    The Yale Drama School graduate plays hardworking slave Patsey in the film.

    "When I look down at this golden statue may it remind me, and every little child, that no matter where you are from your dreams are valid," she said.

    Nyong'o, 31, won her first Oscar after earning the same award from her peers at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January.

    She received plaudits from critics for her depiction of suffering as a field-working slave who becomes an object of sexual desire for her master.

    Kenyan excitement

    The award marks Nyong'o's coronation into the top echelon of dramatic actresses working in Hollywood. She has also burnished her image as an emblem of high fashion with her style on the red carpet.

    12 Years a Slave, directed by Britain's Steve McQueen, is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a 19th century free black man tricked and sold into slavery.

    Nyong'o's Patsey, who is able to pick more pounds (kilos) of cotton per day than the stronger male slaves, embodies resilience in the drama even as the primary recipient of physical and sexual violence.

    "There was an underlying stream of grief at all times even in the lighter scenes," Nyong'o said last year while promoting the film. "There is a deep pain in Patsey throughout and living in that pain was not easy."

    The Kenyan media were agog with Nyong'o's award on Monday, with leading newspaper the Daily Nation proclaiming: "History as Lupita Nyong'o scoops Best Supporting Actress Oscar."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?