Lupita Nyong’o’s Father: Our Family Was Tortured in Kenya

Posted Wednesday March 19, 2014 5:43 PM GMT

She has been enjoying overwhelming career success all year, but life hasn’t always been Oscars and SAG Awards for Lupita Nyong'o.

The “12 Years a Slave” star’s father Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o told The Independent that back in the 1980s, their family was abused and tortured for opposing Daniel arap Moi, the President of Kenya at the time.

Mr. Nyong’o explained that Lupita’s uncle Charles disappeared after one particular attack- "Even now, no information has come to light. I know he was on a ferry in Mombasa and witnesses who I managed to talk to told me clearly that it was not an accident and he had been attacked and pushed off the ferry.”

“But the witnesses were too terrified to testify to the police... I spoke to members of the Kenyan Special Branch and someone informed me that they knew what happened. They were not willing to help in any way whatsoever because of that."

After moving to Mexico, the Nyong’o family returned to Kenya in 1987. "I was being picked up monthly and weekly. It would depend on the period. It was as often as they wanted. It was mainly psychological for me, although it was physical for others. You could not wash for days, you were harassed, threatened, you couldn't sleep and it becomes unbearable."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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