Lupita Nyong’o Lip Syncs to Juan Gabriel on TikTok, Reminds Everyone That She Was Born in Mexico and is Fluent in Spanish
It’s easy to forget that “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents and is fluent in Spanish, along with English, Luo, and Swahili. However, the actress took a moment to remind her fans by posting a TikTok of her lip-syncing to Juan Gabriel’s “Me Gusta Estar Contigo.”
The 15-second video shows Nyong’o singing along to Gabriel’s classic song as an announcement of her arrival in Mexico to promote the upcoming “Black Panther” sequel. “México!! Estoy aquí! Una canción para ti!” reads the caption, as well as two emojis: a Mexican flag and a red heart.
In a 2014 interview with CNN Español, she shared some details about her upbringing in Mexico, where she lived until she was three. She then returned at the age of 16 to “learn Spanish” and attend “the UNAM, the Education Center for Foreigners.” While in Mexico the second time around, Nyong’o became a fluent Spanish speaker and lived there for seven months.
The actress has been posting videos from the “Wakanda Forever” press tour, which has taken the cast everywhere from New York City to Laos and pretty much everywhere in between.
The film has been garnering positive reviews from critics with many saying the film manages to tell a satisfying story while also mourning the loss of Chadwick Boseman.
To this day, Nyong’o maintains citizenship in both Mexico and Kenya although she currently lives in Brooklyn but has not shied away from doing interviews that are almost entirely in Spanish. In addition to the CNN Español interview, Nyong’o spoke Spanish during a 2015 appearance on Despierta América to promote “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” alongside Oscar Isaac, another Spanish-speaking actor.
Comments on the TikTok video were praising Nyong’o for staying true to her Mexican heritage all these years. “People be really forgetting that Lupita is Mexican!!!” wrote one commenter. “Your parents honored Mexico so beautifully naming you Lupita,” wrote another.
Nyong’o actually responded “that’s so cool!” to one commenter who wrote, “I love her. I’m Mexican Too! And grew up in Kenya. So I feel like we need to be friends.”
The “12 Years a Slave” actress is far from the only person in the “Wakanda Forever” cast who speaks Spanish. The Atlanteans at the center of the film are, for the most part, played entirely by Latino actors including Tenoch Huerta, Mabel Cadena, and Alex Livinalli.
Huerta, who is particularly outspoken by social and political issues facing Latinos today, has praised Marvel for its treatment of the characters and the fictional underwater society’s Mayan and Aztec influences.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” hits theaters this weekend!
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