When you hear of Hollywood, what comes to mind? I think of the greatest movies to have ever existed and what we could refer to as the epitome of film since history. When I was a young girl I wondered if there was a single Kenyan adorning the flashy and glittery red carpets but I concluded it was all a western affair. Taking interest in film and media I realized there are more Africans than I thought in Hollywood. I mean African with origins from the black continent, not African American. If you thought it is just Lupita, you should think again. I’ll give you a heads up on just a few common ones.
Boris Kodjoe is a sweet memory from my childhood, having to sneak up after bedtime to watch Soul Food. He is from the Nzema people in Ghana. He holds a German citizenship and I must admit it was weird listening to a brown skin speak with a German accent. He is quite the looker and wondering where else you saw him; probably in Surrogates, Resident Evil or even Brown Sugar. He is a big shot.
Peter Mensah is also Ghananian, the West of Africa is quite a hotbed. Born in Accra, he and his parents moved to England when he was 11 and he now resides in Canada. He is your typical Tall Dark Bald and Handsome. Mensah has graced your screens in some of your favourite actions; Avatar, The Incredible Hulk, mostly popular for his role in Spartacus: Blood and its Sequels.
Benjamin Ochieng’ has his second name giving him away. He was born in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and has been growing by the day in Hollywood. Benjamin most of the time took up roles that demanded a fluent Kiswahili speaker and he makes me regret why I kept skiving those ‘ngeli’ classes. His success in the TV series X-files is quite notable and he has had major roles in the likes of; Inception, Tears of the Sun, The Crude and The Disciple.
Djimon Hounsou was born in Benin and moved to France when he was thirteen. His story is not easy, having been homeless at some point, bumping into a photographer who then introduced him to a famed designer. He was molded into a modeling career and later moved to the US and made debut in Film through a role in Without You I’m Nothing. You have definitely noted him in ER, Gladiator, Fast and Furious and the list is endless.
Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico to Kenyan Parents and partly raised in Kenya. She holds and Oscar for Best Supporting Role in 12 Years a Slave. What can I say about her; basically everything you need to know about her is pretty much everywhere because she is currently the talk of the globe. Look out for Queen of Katwe; I’m sure it will be intriguing.
On that note, are you a performer? There is no stage/ set too big for you and where you come from does not really matter. As Lupita put it “Your dreams are Valid”