Lupita Nyong’o is in the country. She was spotted on Thursday night, four days before the official date given by her publicists.
This, perhaps, was in a bid to throw journalists and photographers off the famous Kenyan girl’s track.
Fortunately, one of our hawk-eyed photographers happened to be at the lobby of the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel when Lupita walked in at about 10pm. She was wearing a black dress, her head covered with a scarf as if to disguise.
“But I identified her all the same. She was accompanied by her father, Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o and mother Dorothy,” says Edward Kiplimo.
Instinctively, Kiplimo flashed out his camera, and took a few images.
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Unfortunately, Lupita is no ordinary Kenyan girl, being the first to win the coveted Oscar this side of the Sahara. As such, no sooner had Kiplimo taken the pictures, than two security officers, who appeared to be police, pounced on him.
“They asked that I delete the images. They took the camera and made sure I had deleted them,” he said.
Outside, says Kiplimo, there were six other officers in civilian clothes, firearms discernible to the curious. To give their identity away, a police Nissan Xtrail outrider was packed by the entrance.
“After about 20 minutes, Nyong’o and his wife left. He was driven off in a Toyota V8, Dorothy in a Mercedes Benz,” says Kiplimo.
Kempinski is one of the brands hosting the ‘Lupita Homecoming.’ Others are Safaricom, Kenya Airways, Simba Colt Motors, African Heritage and Lulea, a luxury bag manufacturer. Companies will be required to pay Sh100,000 for a table, while individuals will have to part with Sh10,000.
And Lupita is not on holiday here in Nairobi, a city that she sees in ‘blue,’ a colour that inspired her flowing Prada gown March last year as she received the Oscar for supporting actress in the movie ‘12 Years a Slave’.
“It is a blue that reminds me of Nairobi, so I wanted to have a little bit of home, “ she then told the American idol host, Ryan Seacrest.
And it has taken Lupita over an year since that momentous day for her to come back home. The day she immortalised the phrase, “no matter where you are from your dreams are valid”. Nevertheless, in her diary is a mentorship session with students and young artists. Lupita will also use her brand to talk against poaching of the endangered elephant.