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Lupita Nyong’o

Before Lupita even secured Yale’s grad program, the Mexico-born Kenyan graduated from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, then left for Kenya to produce a music video for Kenyan musician Wahu and Ugandan musician Bobi Wine. The video for their song “Little Things You Do” won Best Video at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards.

 

In 2009, Lupita also directed and produced the documentary In My Genes, which follows the ups and downs of an albino woman in Kenya.

 

Despite her boss-like moves behind the camera, Lupita still didn’t stray from her acting dreams though. In 2008, she made her movie debut in the short film East River about a Brooklyn wonderer who sparks a relationship with Lupita’s character. The flick went on to screen at various festivals.

 

Not too shabby for someone who barely started her Yale classes yet. When Lupita finally did graduate from Yale in 2012, she immediately got her big break by starring as Patsey in 12 Years A Slave. 

The rest is history.

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