Four years ago, Hollywood based Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
It took her a while before she came back home to Kenya and that got some of us insecure. So I wrote her the letter below:-
First of all, let me congratulate you for putting Kenyans on the global map by winning that Oscar in 2014. At least Kenya is now known for something else apart from wildlife, the Maasai, athletics, terror attacks, warring politicians and corruption.
WHY I DON’T TELL THE AFRICAN STORY Before I move on to my main agenda, I must also applaud you for declaring to those clueless journalists that the Oscar belonged to you and not Mexico. I mean, it belongs to you and us – Kenyans.
That said, Amondi, your Kenyan fans are still waiting for the homecoming Oscar party. Nyar Seme, do you know how it feels to see you fly past Kenya to Uganda.
In preparation, I have several venues in mind. We will party till the break of dawn as we take selfies with your Oscar. How much is it worth by the way? We can hire professional bodyguards to watch over as we dance the night away. Don’t worry, bouncers no longer disappear with millions as they used to six years ago.
Back to the venue details. Of course we will secure a fancy place away from half-lit strip clubs frequented by bleached women who gained fame from silicon enhancements protruding from their bums.
We will also avoid nightclubs around that busy street in Westlands where nubile girls suck on a bottle of lager for seven straight hours. Maybe, after all, we might hire a reputable events organiser to set up tents and flashy lights at the top of Ngong’ Hills where we can fly in selected guests to avoid city floods.
We promise to invite the crème de la crème of celebs and a few St Mary’s and Rusinga school alumni. I’m sure you won’t mind hanging out with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Youth Fund Chair Bruce Odhiambo, rugby player Biko Adema, Kitu Kidogo singer Eric Wainaina and TV personality Jeff Koinange. They are all ‘Saints’, right?
While at it, I hope you can also talk to the Rusinga School management to stop suspending kids with dreadlocks. I mean, you are living proof that success has nothing to do with hair, right? By the way, was it not at Rusinga where you made your debut in acting playing a minor role in Oliver Twist? How old were you, 14?
Lupita, is it okay if we also invite some of your Kenyan colleagues from Phoenix Players? It’s only fair since this is where you began proper acting. Remember playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet before leaving for Hampshire College in 2001?
We understand you have a very tight schedule and your movement is closely monitored and controlled by your management. Speaking of management, they are yet to reply to 11 emails I have sent them since 2014. Tell them not to take President Uhuru’s meat wrapping stories too seriously.
I would hate to imagine that you are avoiding home. We saw the selfies you took with Ugandan comedian Ann Kansiime and even wrote a tribute to her on your Facebook page.
The last time you featured Kenya on your Facebook page was a post you made about ugali and sukumawiki. Do you ever miss us like we do?
You went ahead and credited your hair inspiration for Cannes Festival to Ugandan women. I cannot blame you for that though; there is nothing inspiring about weaves made of cat fur and horse tails. I also noticed you wore a dress similar to the famous Nairobi Blue gown you wore at the Oscars. I’m talking about your green dress at the Cannes. Was it inspired by Ugandan matoke?
Did I mention that I’m proud of your acting skills? No? Of course I loved what you did in 12 Years A Slave as Patsey and a bit disappointed by the minor role they gave you in Non-Stop. I really hope that they will do you justice in Star Wars. If they don’t, we can always attack them on Twitter with a battalion of hashtags and memes. If that does not work, we can always send fans of a certain Kenyan football club (names withheld)with a lorry full of stones.
Rumour has it that you are about to land in South Africa anytime this month to shoot the Ugandan inspired movie, Queen Of Katwe. Please be careful because our brothers down south have gone nuts and are stabbing anyone they perceive to be a threat economically. Be careful. While at it, chunga mizigo yako. Those guys are thieves.
Did you get a boyfriend by the way? I heard you broke up with that Somali boy K’Naan and got a little flirty with actor Jared Leto. Don’t sweat it. Come home. We will get you an African man preferably from Ingokho land. We have noticed your cheekbones and shoulders. You need to feed!
Lupita, my dreams are also valid, so I believe this letter will get to you!
NB: This article was first published by this writer on The Nairobian Newspaper in 2015.