Lupita Nyong’o

The family of Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o reportedly experienced similar abuse as that depicted in 12 Years a Slave, her father told the Independent.

The actress has garnered widespread praise for her performance in the film as Patsey, who was subjugated and dehumanized by her owners, earning her an Oscar for best supporting actress. But her family has also experienced much of the same violence in Kenya, Peter Anyang Nyong'o, a leading Kenyan politician who serves on the country's Senate, told the Independent.


He also revealed the true extent of family's brutal treatment, which led them to flee to Mexico, where Lupita was born in March 1983. The opponent of former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, Nyong'o told the Independent that he was tortured repeatedly. The body of the actress' uncle, Charles Nyong'o, was never found after he was attacked onboard a ferry and tossed overboard. Lupita's father said that his brother Charles vanished in 1980, two years after Moi came to power, and at a time that he described as being difficult politically. 

"We were put into prison and the torture chambers by the regime, but it was like a dinner party when you compare it to what the slaves went through," he told the Independent.

Read more at the Independent.