Lupita Nyong’o Discusses the significance of ‘Black Panther’ for African people

The actress is most intrigued by the film's political relevancy.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 21: Actress Lupita Nyong’o attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_010 (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner)

Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o believes her upcoming film, Black Panther is far more than just an action-packed movie when it comes to representation of African people, even if the African nation in the movie is fictitious.

The highly anticipated movie stars Chadwick Boseman in the titular role, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, and a slew of other incredible Black Hollywood talent. Due mainly to advanced ticket sales, the Marvel-Disney project is projected to make $100 million to $120 million at the box office during its North American opening during the President’s Day weekend, according to Variety.


Representation Matters

Nyong’o plays the warrior Nakia. She accepted the role without even seeing the script first, a clear indication of her desire to be a part of this story.

“We were creating an aspirational world where an African people are in charge of their own destiny. And that really appealed to me and had the little girl inside me jumping for joy. To just have African people, Black people, at the center of that narrative is so exciting,” Nyong’o told E! News.

A Family Connection

The Kenyan thespian is very familiar with African politics and fighting for freedom. Her father, Peter Anyango’ Nyong’o, is the governor of Kisumu County in his native country. During Nyongo’s episode of Henry Louis Gates‘s PBS show Finding Your Rootsshe learned more about her family’s activism dating back generations.

“My father raised us to stand up for what we believe in and to fight for what is right. We were always told, ‘You need to make a difference in the world.’ I live with that insistence all the time,” said Nyong’o.


Already Making History
Marvel’s Black Panther won’t be out until February 16, but numerous memes and jokes have already begun circulating about how Black people will handle opening weekend.

Nyong’o herself had a hard time snagging tickets for her family.