As Lupita Nyong’o accepted an award from the Harlem School of Arts — and entered the stage to Beyoncé’s anthemic hit “Brown Skin Girl” — the actress mainly had two people to thank for fueling her passion for the arts as a child: her parents.
“I was thinking about (the Harlem School of Arts) and what it does for children and its students (and) I didn’t have an institution where I’m in from in Nairobi, Kenya. And so the only way my interest in the arts thrived was because I had parents who valued those interests,” she said Monday night at the school’s annual Mask Ball in New York City. “And my mother in particular, she really nurtured my artistic spirit.”
So it was only appropriate that the Oscar winner’s mother, Dorothy Nyong’o, also received the Visionary Lineage Award alongside her daughter at The Plaza Hotel.
“I really didn’t do much,” Dorothy Nyong’o said to laughs from the audience, which included staff and students from the Harlem School of Arts, board members, donors and more.
Dorothy Nyong’o said she noticed her daughter’s interest in the arts as a child and so she looked “for opportunities to nurture that.”