WATCH: Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o on Kenyan Soap Opera ‘Shuga’

Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o was unknown to American audiences before her scene-stealing role as slave Patsey in Best Picture Oscar winner “12 Years A Slave.” Now, after winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar (the first African actress to do so) and giving an incredibly moving speech, Nyong’o is on her way to becoming a household name. But did you know that before being cast in “12 Years A Slave,” Nyong’o played the lead role on a ground-breaking ?

According to MTV News, Nyong’o once starred in an MTV/UNICEF-produced soap called “.” On the show Nyong’o played Ayira, a “very modern woman who must navigate the waters of dating, love, and sex in Africa and the responsibilities that come with it.” The show was considered revolutionary in because it was one of the first times a show featured a woman dealing with sex in a responsible way during the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Curious about what a Kenyan soap opera might look like? Below is the first episode of “Shuga,” featuring Lupita Nyong’o.

Show More
  • Bexx

    Interesting that we’re just learning about this after her Oscar win.

    • african girl

      Americans are so funny. In all of Lupita’s bios, her role in Sugha (the Kenyan soap opera) was mentioned. No american media house tried to do a simple google search for Shuga, I only saw Australian and European media that had links to Shuga. It was never hidden, just your lazy, sensational journalists that are now ‘discovering’ what is very public information.
      All episodes of Shuga have been online for 4 years, recent comments on the youtube versions are now littered with “Oh its Lupita!!” and “I knew I had seen her somewhere.”
      It was a great, ground breaking show and she acted her part out so well. Shows that she is not a one dimensional actress. Enjoy it and see how young people in Africa live, laugh, have fun (hint no mud huts and spears)

      • Bexx

        I first read about it in the European rags they kept going on about how sexually charged the role was. It seemed it was done in a manner to demean her accomplishments. They’ll try to destroy her like they do most of the young women in Hollywood, but I hope she stays true to herself.