Newly minted Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o is riding on high these days, but her family has certainly had their share of pain.
Her father, senior Kenyan politician Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, talked with British newspaper, The Independent, and laid out details on how his family experienced abuse and torture due to their opposition from the regime of then-Kenyan president, Daniel arap Moi. Lupita’s uncle, Charles Nyong’o was attacked and disappeared in 1980.
“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,” Peter said to the newspaper. “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.”
And that’s the reason why Peter and his wife Dorothy left Kenya and moved to Mexico, before Lupita was born in 1983.
“I was being picked up monthly and weekly. It would depend on the period,” he said. “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.”