Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why I'm tired of hearing Lupita Nyong'o complain about fame

I remember the first time I saw Lupita Nyong'o. I was scrolling through a fashion website trying to get the lowdown on what the celebs wore to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). While mindlessly eye balling the red carpet pictures I did a double take when I spotted HER. Seemingly floating down the red carpet looking like an absolute vision in white. I thought to myself "MY GOD what a beauty"

This unabashedly gorgeous woman with short natural hair, luminous skin and megawatt smile was absolutely stunning. And I knew she had to be African. Call it the motherland intuition but I immediately knew this sister was one of us. She stopped me dead in my tracks. After a quick Google search I realized that the 32 year old was a newcomer on the red carpet scene. Little did I know that she would continue to thrill us by going from strength to strength, killing every single red carpet she stepped on. 

Fast forward to a few months later and Lupita is a bonafied starlet. I mean you know you are a big deal when Oprah sings your praises. Our African gem was now a Hollywood A-lister. A personal highlight for me was when the Kenyan beauty won her very first Academy award. Do you remember her speech? I was weeping the entire time. I heard her loud and clear - our dreams are valid!!

Unbeknownst to me at the time, long before she became America's sweetheart she was doing the damn thing in Africa have starred in a MTV series called Shuga amongst many other accomplishments.

She was the real McCoy, proving that the road to success was paved with hard work - she had been grinding for a long time, how could we not be proud?

Contrary to popular belief it takes more than talent, beauty, intelligence to go from the Yale student next door to America's bankable sweetheart. From the time I spotted her at TIFF to the Academy Awards, Lupita slayed over 60 something red carpet events. She was everywhere! 

The New York Times detailed the "military precision" deployed by Lupita's team that lead to her conquering the red carpet and "burning her image into our collective consciousness". 

Which is why I am bit puzzled by the Oscar winner's thoughts on fame. In the March issue of Lucky Magazine Lupita says "when I don't feel like being famous, I still am". Earlier last year she told Glamour magazine that even though "I did have a dream to be an actress, but I didn't think about being famous". Things that make you go hmmmmm. 

Listen, I get how the Hollywood machine can be overwhelming. But isn't this what her agents, management, stylists fought so valiantly for? Fame is a double edged sword. On one hand you are adored by millions and everyone seemingly wants a piece of you which translates to the paparazzi following at times when you may crave the solace of being anonymous. I hate how harsh the following statement comes across but honestly it sounds like champagne problems to me. Tantamount to saying my fifty dollar bills don't fit in my wallet. I really struggle with having sympathy for actresses that quite frankly have some of the most privileged jobs in the world complaining about being recognized. You get paid for being recognized- that's part of your job! It's the reason why she was able to book major campaigns such for Miu Miu, Lancome and land the highly coveted cover of Vogue.

Here is what it boils down to me, by taking a job in the movie industry where your films will be seen by millions across the world you must be on some level OK with being famous. Your face can't be plastered on every single red carpet. billboard and award show and yet you still complain about being spotted in the bathroom line at  Starbucks. It just comes across as a bit disingenuous. I understand that this may not be her intention but it just reads that way. I am still a huge fan and will continue to support where I can but this constant complaining about the pitfalls of fame has got to stop. 



  1. Your writing is phenomenal Makho! Keep up the amazing work!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

© Makho Ndlovu

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig